Live Review: Cinema Prague @ Capitol

Cinema Prague Return Show
Capitol
Saturday 1st September 2007
Review By Leo Abbs

It’s been a long time since Cinema Prague last played a show. Their last show was in August 1998, a Sunday Show at Mojo’s Bar in North Fremantle. They finished our their set that night, saying ‘We’ll back soon.’

That was over nine years ago! A Funny definition of soon, but it was bloody fantastic to see them on stage tonight.

The atmosphere beforehand was like a reunion. Over the years people have talked about the days of Prague, and many local punters have described them as the best local band ever. WA music’s best kept secret? Well tonight we had a chance to see if they were good as we remember, and for those who hadn’t seen them, a chance to see what the fuss was about.

With such a big build up, it was a fairly low key beginning to their set. There was no big introduction, they just started playiing. They began with a number I didn’t recognise: ‘George’s Blues.’ It seemed an odd choice to begin with a lesser known tune. However, many people seemed to be loving it.

‘I thought they were Jazzy?’ My friend said to me during the punkish parts of the song.

Which sums up the confusion of trying to explain Prague to someone who’s never heard them before. While the vocals are punk-influenced, there’s parts of funk and jazz, with a fair dose of rock, and you can hear a Zappa influence too. A very unique band.

Then then out came the three piece horn section, to play on the track ‘Hangman’ from the Meldatype album. The three horn players returned a number of times during the set to play on various Meldatype numbers, doing a great job.

The band covered good ground tonight, playing songs from all parts of their career. After Hangman, it was time to play some songs of the Zasph EP in ‘Legoman‘ and ‘Jump For Joy’, the latter summing up what half the crowd seemed to be doing.

The most obvious factor tonight was they were without bass player Rex Horan. With Rex being such an important part of the Prague lineup, many people were skeptical in the lead up to the gig. However, Roy Martinez (from Dave Mann Collective and others) did a great job of filling in. He is an awesome bass player. In the end, you could say it was about the songs, and the crowd were having a ball hearing them, Rex or no Rex.

Prague charged through the set, with tracks such as ‘Boogie’ (featuring a mention of ‘bacon and eggs’ which is a common theme in their songs), ‘Clean Sheets’ and ‘Rose Sun Pea’. Soon they announced that their next single was to be ‘We are the Moo Moo’. This track has already been released to radio, and had been heard during the week on RTR and JJJ.

The highlights came towards the end of the set, when they played ‘Dumped Again’, with Roy nailing that wicked bass part, and ‘Finale’ off Nordensost. Only it wasn’t to be a finale just yet, because they came back for a two song encore with the horns in tow, to play ‘Say It’s The Day’ and ‘Terms’.

One of the best gigs I’ve seen in ages.

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