Mushroom Tour Day 6: Koprivnice – Sunday 14th April
After big party, big hang over. In these situations, there is always a victim, and this morning the designated sufferer is the Spice man, Mr Gvi. ‘I don´t feel so good’ are his sombre first words.
So we leave him to rest and go to pick up the instruments at last night’s venue, only to find that the party isn’t over yet. The survivors, mostly members of Jagar, are still at it (Jura is on his fifth pint), and they will carry on for the rest of the day in their second home, the”Balon” (see day 5), eating Gulash and drinking Radegast. One of them, aptly nicknamed “vodka”, left home at 11am telling his girlfriend he was going to buy juice, only to return twelve hours later in a happy state.
However, we do not join the post party, because as Jiri’s uncle once said, “tonight we need fresh musicians”. The spice man rises from his purgatory at 4pm and we make our way to tonight’s gig . In the small town of Koprivnice we find a tea room with shisha, a hippie shrine in the middle of the Moravian countryside, were we have our first vegetarian meal in four days. Francesc says to the pretty bartender “this place is an oasis” and we all agree. We meet Marian, a local bass player who put us in touch with the venue. He is also a flute maker, and so Zac can finally know the name of his small flute – furulja! – (which he plays on Closely Observed Trains). Marian shares with us his enthusiasm for creative music and his struggle with the local audiences. Another long conversation about art music ensues…
This audience, however, is entirely receptive to Fly Agaric, even asking for an encore. We play two sets of hangover jazz, toning down the extremes of the originals and we stumble upon the first satisfactory version of the “deconstructed standard concept”, an attempt to stay away from stride jazz and other rigid styles. Francesc, his stride-pianist pride still stinging, retaliates by threatening to play completely free and out until further notice. Czech national TV shows up to interview Jiri Slavik, the international star returning to the homeland. On the way back to Havirov we argue about the set list of the morning concert we will play in less than 12 hours. Francesc is found practicing on an electric keyboard at 3am with headphones and shameful posture. Finally, there is the achievement that for the first time we are in Czech, we do not drink any alcohol!