CZECHOMOR Live in Shanghai Imagine a Czech band doing to Bohemian and Moravian wedding dances
and folk music what The Pogues did to traditional Irish music and you're
some way toward understanding the appeal of Czechomor.
The band augment rock instrumentation such as guitar and drums (but
no bass) with more traditional instruments such as mandolin, accordion
and Czech bagpipes, breathing raucous new life into timeless tunes.
Founded in 1988 as First Bohemian & Moravian Independent Music
Society, the band quickly developed a large following, counting former
President Václav Havel as a fan.
In 1993 the group even played in the foyer of London's Royal Albert
Hall as part of a Czech music festival but it wasn't until 2001's
collaboration with Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman, Proměny
(Transformations), that the band hit the mainstream, by now equipped
with a far less unwieldy name.
Proměny (Changes) sold 70,000 copies in the Czech and Slovak Republics and picked up a slew of awards.
Czechomor's profile soared even higher in 2002 when they starred in
Petr Zelenka's film Rok d'ábla (Year of the Devil). Thanks in part to
the band's theatrical background, Czechomor easily avoided the pitfalls
that trap most rock stars who dabble in cinema and the film was a
massive critical success. Among other honors, Rok d'ábla won the top
prize at 2002's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the Crystal