Czech folk-rock band Divokej Bill recently celebrated 20 years of existence with 18,000 fans cheering in a sold-out O2 arena. The band, which hails from the town of Úvaly near Prague, was founded by singer and guitarist Václav Bláha. Since 1998 it has released 13 studio records as well as a number of singles and music videos.
Throughout its two decades of existence the band, which is known for mixing various genres including folk, country, rock and punk, has gone through a series of noticeable transformations. Whereas in their early days, the bands line-up was known for its wild and fierce attitude, with the passing of time they became more moderate, all the while keeping their characteristic warm-heartedness.
Founder Václav Bláha, who is also the author of most of the band’s songs, characterises the Divokej Bill‘s genre as something between ‘country and big-beat‘.
Not just Czech bands like the legendary Tři Sestry, but also the world-famous Levellers have inspired the group. Just as the Levellers, Divokej Bill mixes folk with rock and punk. The Czech band even toured with the Levellers playing as the opening band.
In 2018 Divokej Bill released their latest album. It is named after one of its songs called Pocit (feeling), whose lyrics can be interpreted as tracing the bands history (“…we were boys, but now we are men, so get up lazybones, you can still do it mate…”), but also show that the grouping is by no means tired or finished.
Divokej Bill has long established itself as a permanent force on the Czech music scene and it should be said that it deserves its place in the sun. It used to do as many as 200 concerts a year. While now the number of annual performances has gone down to 50, this is still enough to provide its loyal fans with the necessary supply of energy and catchy lyrics.