the train journey from tábor to plzeň was something of a soothing dream sequence. the bright afternoon sunlight streaming through the dusty windows of the carriage seemed slightly unreal, my weariness from the tour, the great gladness in my heart, the slowly changing landscapes, the slow line, the small village stops, all came together to create a magical sense of being outside space and time. my path saw me change trains at ražice, another small town stop en route; the sound of birds taking in the new dawning spring, the whilstle and whine of the engines, the sound of a party of very young school children on an excursion. the line meandered on to plzeň and how i was met on the platform by the very cool roman and david, two of the místní borci crew in charge of tonights show. we jumped in the car and ran a few errands including picking up some errant cables and ondřej, the third member of the crew before making our way to the kapsa; a old-time rockers bar and our venue for the evening. we met with the mighty jan outside and the four of us started to load in all our gear and think about the sound-checking process.
with great fortune i was presented with a really awesome meal of fresh salad with rocket, oven-baked potatoes and vegetable moussaka whilst the gents whirred around me weilding cables, laptops, mixers and monitors. the bar was small and the setup limited, but we were very much of a spirit to make the very best out of that at our disposal. excitingly, the very awesome support act for the evening, inau appeared after not too long and how we all got set for the performance. in truth, a little disappointment ran amongst our number as we were very much fighting amongst the regular patons of the bar to be heard above their drunken conversation. very happily though we surmounted the obstacles and, those of us gathered around the PA were all treated to a really great performance indeed. inau got up and chewed first and really chomped his way through reams and reams of lines over a host of nice, slow electronic beats, very cool indeed. i was most keen to take to the stage myself and really enjoyed getting to play the set one last time for the attentive few gathered. again, 'insect forms' and 'subduing demos in the old world' were real favourites, but also 'aqualung zodiak cancer' and 'price of grey' were real treats too, and how there was even time to rock a further freestyle over an edison beat to finish off with. a low-key but most enjoyable performance to be sure, and a great way to leave the czech republic on a splendid high.
after the show, time was short. i was due to be taking an overnight bus back to frankfurt a little after midnight, but there was still a little time to chill with the gang before it was time to bid each other farewell. gladly i got to have the speakings with inau about his alt-rap material and how he fascinatingly explained to me that it is something of a departure from his other musical work, and an effort for him to force himself to speak onstage. i also got to have a splendid conversation with jan about english comedy; something of a marvelously recurring theme for the tour, and a root of most jovial banter indeed. sadly, the time was marching onwards and onwards and it was time to start gathering our gear and leaving the kapsa. our paths would be leading us in seperate directions though so we bid roman, david and ondřej farewell in the bar whilst jan kindly began to accompany me to the bus depot. we rode the tram a few stops and then took a brief stroll along darkened streets, lit with the fluorescent and neon lights from bars and occasionally filled with the odd hooded pedestrian. finally, the bus depot emerged from out of the gloom and, with twenty or so minutes to spare, we took to a bench a spent a little while just taking in the night air. it felt strange to think that the bus would soon arrive and that my journey was almost at an end. still, what a wonderful journey it had been. jan's own tram home beckoned and so we bid each other farewell before i spent the last five minutes waiting alone and reflecting on the long, glorious week now almost passed.
my carriage soon arrived and how i quickly found myself crammed into a full capacity bus, between the window and a rather dour older lady who did not seem pleased to find me as her new travelling companion, and behind a passenger who appeared to have managed to recline their seat to an unbelievably claustrophic angle for my own comfort. still, i somehow managed to take myself away into a zen place for the duration, trying not to focus on being almost entirely incapacitated in movement and breath. gladly my weariness afforded me half-sleep through the night, but i was still quite beside myself with happiness when the dawn began to arise and the towers of frankfurt began to loom on the horizon. i jumped out of the bus into the overcast very early morning light; back by the empty lots, car-parks, fallen concrete slabs and messeturm pyramid reaching high. it felt good to be back in hessen, a different world indeed. but one now richer for my own part with this whole new raft of rich experience sailing through my thoughts and memories. i wandered wearily into the hauptbahnhof and managed to find myself on an s-bahn back to gut city and towards the safehouse and, as the familiar landscapes and stations drew out before me i felt a great sense of peace and tranquility, a great gladness to be returning home, a wonderful joy from such rich travels, from meeting so many wonderful souls and filled with a newfound strength and energy to press on, to create more and to travel further still to share my works with others.
so, might i take a moment to thank all of the dear folk who helped to make my visit to plzeň so very enjoyable. the místní borci crew; roman, jan, david and ondřej, the mighty inau and the brave souls who made it down to the show whose names i did not get to learn. i sincerely look greatly forward to next time.
next report : images from the reflecting pool