The Lucerna Music Bar - a classic venue for the real thing

07-11-2003

Clubs may come and go in Prague, but no matter how the city changes one venue seems set to survive: the Lucerna Music Bar. Located within the famous Lucerna Palace, the music bar has hosted some great acts in the past and continues to be a favourite for Czech rock bands today. No wonder: a wide stage and cavernous hall offer plenty of room to party and dance. Plus, its balcony and several strategically-placed bars and alcoves have all the dark mystery of a Stanley Kubrick picture. Even on a quiet night the bar has atmosphere. Sure, it has been worn by the years, but so what? Its faded style makes it the perfect setting for a retro evening, such as this night, when a more or less decent crowd has come to see a couple of classic bands.

"Oh yeah I'll tell you something I think you'll understand, When I, say that something I wanna hold your hand..."

On stage are a Fab Four that have made headlines all around the Czech Republic and abroad - four young men from the working-class town of... Kladno, near Prague. From the very start it is clear that this is one Beatles revival band that has its act together: the instruments are all the original designs, the suits too, the voices are sublime, the mop tops are perfect. Well, all except for one. Otherwise, these guys are the real thing. As expected the girls go wild...

"And when I touch you I feel happy inside, It's such a feeling That my love I can't hide, I can't hide, I can't hide..."

The Beatles Revival end with a bang and a promise they'll be back. With a laugh they say they'll do anything for money, but we know that all they really need is love.

"Last night I said these words to my girl, I know you'll never even try girl, come on, come on, come on..."

A young man at the concert:

"I like the Sixties that's my reason for coming. I met my one of my friends today and I decided to here."

A young woman:

"Oh, I like Lucerna Bar very much. I like the Sixties and also the Eighties. I come from Germany and when I visit I come to Lucerna because I like it very much here."

A musician in the audience:

"The music from the Sixties is an evergreen for me, and I think for people in the Czech Republic too."

What about Lucerna? It hasn't changed much - it's kind of old school...

"In New York is Carnegie Hall and in Prague is Lucerna Bar!" {laughs}

The Apples, photo: www.apples.czThe Apples, photo: www.apples.cz Of course he's right. Lucerna is in a class all its own: all the bands who come here know it is no small feat to play there, even for this evening's headliners the popular all-girl band the Apples. I speak to guitarist Karolina. She tells me about her group's love for the 1960s and some of the songs they play:

"We also play the Beatles, but in fact it's Sixties music in general because we have even like the Kinks or Steppenwolf, or I dunno, songs like 'It's in his Kiss' or 'It's My Party. So, these are sweet songs and stuff. So, that's it."

What song by the Kinks?

"Uh, you really got me!" {laughs)

"Girl, you really got me goin'
You got me so I don't know what I'm doin'
Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can't sleep at night"

The Apples cap what has already been the most pleasant of evenings at the Lucerna Bar. Now, it's all cute but dangerous, raise it up a notch. The crowd rocks out.

"Oh yeah, you really got me now You got me so I can't sleep at night

You Really Got Me
You Really Got Me
You Really Got Me"

Well, they really got me and Lucerna Music Bar will get you too. For 60s or 80s retro music or an introduction to today's Czech pop scene, mark this venue as a must any given night.

For more information on the two bands mentioned in this article visit their websites: www.apples.cz and www.thebeatlesrevival.com

07-11-2003