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THE UN-PLUGGED TOUR, VIENNA & KURKOVÁ

Posted on September 23, 2015

We just announced our unplugged-no-mics autumn Furch Tour (we play Furch acoustic guitars, they sound incredible and we’ve been friends with the guy who founded the company for a couple of years now) .

Rehearsing for the unplugged tour
I got this no-mics idea in Brighton during The Great Escape when we did the Sofar Sounds Session in Hotel Pelirocco, one of the coolest places to stay ever to be found on earth. In fact, you can find some photos of the hotel in this blog post here.

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Yes, it’s all in the Czech Republic. I need to buy my plane tickets to London soon. We’re looking to do a UK tour in spring, so I am searching for bands to play with and thinking ahead. Vojta just came into our Prague apartment now so I gave him a hug… Yesterday, we were shooting a new music video for We Are Making Love Again with Martin Linhart at Cash Only which is the very studio where I got to meet Karolina Kurkova, yeah! I wonder how she’s doing.

We Are Making Love Again (video shoot)

We’re playing Waves Vienna soon. I went to Vienna when I was sixteen to learn German. I like the city. Especially their accent in words like “Straßenbahn” and “zwei”. I need to go to sleep now. If you’re reading this blog, do leave a comment! Say hi!

We Are Making Love (video shoot)

I’ve been hugely inspired by Mike Skinner’s blog although there’s fewer photos of him and more photos of strange random people. I’m gonna take some next week. Finally, I have to admit I’ve heard London Thunder by Foals over thirty times in a row now. Bought it on iTunes and watched the Créme Anglais documentary with Jerome the other day, so cool… Good night… Ã.

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ALBERT’S WEEK ON THURSDAY

Posted on September 17, 2015

I’m late again. I should be at Patrick’s for our little studio session in about three minutes from now and I’m still having breakfast. I spend far too much time in Prague these days. Yesterday it was incredibly warm. We went to Cash Only Studio to check out where we’ll film stuff that will go into the video for We Are Making Love Again. Martin Linhart is directing. It was partly made in California. Sandra from Bomton cut my hair for that reason on Tuesday. She’s into car tuning and wants to drive a BMW M5 one day.

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We’re also finishing the video for Young Blood with Yemi AD who’s an incredibly talented artist and probably the busiest person I know. He’s worked with Kanye West and directed huge shows and events. He moved house the other day and now boasts this lovely fireplace.

Yemi

I also discovered this new song by Deerhunter. I love what Austin Kleon wrote about their singer in his book Steal Like An Artist.

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The summer hasn’t left yet, so enjoy the weekend! And do stay tuned for our acoustic cover of Love Me Harder plus a new song called Not My Street we recorded for Student Pocket Guide. We’ll upload them both in a week or two. Ã.

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ALBERT’S WEEK ON FRIDAY

Posted on September 11, 2015

Yesterday, this gypsy guy wanted to play my guitar for a while, so I sat down and listened to him singing about love. Powerful.

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On Friday, we did this photo shoot with Katka Kvardova. Can’t wait for all the photos to be out there!

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Then we played a big gig at a beer festival that went down well. And then we ran the marathon.

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Yesterday, I also bought a brand new guitar tuner that will fit nicely into my new pedal board. I was so excited I nearly slept with it last night. I woke up now singing Kate Tempest in my head and hungry for love. Tomorrow, we play three gigs in a row starting off at 10.30 am on the Prague Teribear Stage. Enjoy the weekend! Ã.

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TRAINING FOR THE HARIBO MARATHON

Posted on September 10, 2015

Imagine this situation: it’s a lovely morning, the sun is shining, you wake up in a cottage surrounded by beautiful mountains putting on trainers preparing for a little run (‘cause you’re running a marathon in a few weeks’ time) and then suddenly, out of the blue, Albert shows up and asks you: “Can I go for a run with you?”

What would you say? Two weeks ago, I was in that situation and said yes.

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If you’ve ever seen Albert, you know he’s got the right physical characteristics of a marathon runner. I thought his insanely skinny legs had nothing to do with genetic predispositions of long-distance runners. That was the first mistake I made that day.

You should also know that Albert’s daily energy intake mostly consists of sweets so I thought he would run out of sugar in fifteen minutes and then we’d run back. That was the second mistake I made that day. Finally, I even let him choose the route for us. That was the last and by far the biggest mistake I made that day.

I ran before him and he navigated me by simple commands: “Left, right, straight ahead.” I was feeling great for the first half an hour and then Albert started losing speed so I felt even better. The gap between us was widening and I was just waiting for him drop down to his knees desperately looking for a pack of Haribos in the middle of the forest. But he seemed hooked on an invisible rubber band behind me: The more he struggled, the more easily he kept up smiling and shouting: “Can you see that hill there? That’s the route.”

After the next 30 minutes I started being suspicious. “Maybe he was born in Bekoji? Maybe he’s got some relatives in Ethiopia. Those skinny legs don’t lie. And he’s still smiling. I think I’m gonna die.” When we finally got to the top of the hill, I literally felt like I could die. Then Albert stopped, looked around and said: “I know where we are, we’re in Poland! There’s a bobsleigh track near here. Let’s go and check it out! But please can we just stop running now? I’m wasted.”

He later admitted he’d nearly given up after the first 20 minutes, that he’d got lost and hadn’t been able to catch his breath for the next 80 minutes. In fact, his smiling face was the expression of pure suffering but he just didn’t want to give up.

No, he’s not some bloody Kenenisa Bekele, he’s an idiot like me pushing his boundaries much more than necessary. Looking back at it, though, the training was worth it! Lake Malawi Team came 7th in the Ostrava Marathon Relay Race beating 61 other teams of runners. We ran 2×5 km each and these are the results. Let’s have some Haribos now…

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Jeroným

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ALBERT’S WEEK ON TUESDAY

Posted on September 1, 2015

Hi! I just decided to write something for our fans and friends and I will be writing something like this here every week.

I am on a train now reading Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. This book is amazing! I also read Steal Like An Artist and I strongly recommend both books to people who believe that simple quotes like this can change your life: “We don’t make movies to make money. We make money to make more movies.” -Walt Disney.

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I spent a couple of hours today assembling my new pedal board with Jaroslav Smrcka who’s an expert in guitar effects. Viktor (our sound man) made a better mic stand for me last night and I just can’t wait to use it all at the weekend. I’ve been selling of some of my older effects saving up for the Strymon Big Sky I discovered when we played with Kosoti in Newcastle a few months ago. It sounded incredible and when I found out Kevin from Tame Impala uses it too, I knew it’s a good idea.

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On Sunday 6th September, we’re taking part in a serious running competition Ostravsky Maraton. You can still join the fun and run, too! Only the drummer is missing out, he is lazy. Patrick, Jerome, our manager Vojta and I all got new running shoes from Ondrej Nemec and we’re going to run 2×5 km each. I think Matt Lawrence (the producer who worked on the EP) would beat us all anyway. My grandma used to tell me how she watched Emil Zatopek train in a long army base corridor back in the days. Vojta and I also read Born To Run by Scott Jurek. He’s great! That’s it for now. Be back soon, Ã.

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HOW OUR DRUMMER LOST WEIGHT

Posted on June 28, 2015

So our Uk tour is over now and I can say it was a great success! Let me tell you about the most important thing we were dealing with.

Paul, our drummer, suffers from strong backpain from time to time. This is why he took his own huge mattress on tour with him. We lost it at the first gig.

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Also, there wasn’t enough space in his hardware case for the drum pedal and sticks. So when we lost his sticks somewhere in Newcastle, Patrick got into a really uncompromising mood. In Birmingham, he waited until Paul set up his drum kit and then had a look into the hardware case. It was still full of steal! He shook everything out with happiness mixed with anger in his eyes.

And since then, Paul’s hardware case is one of the lightest things to carry. It’s airy. And there’s even a pillow in it. Lesson we learned:

If you have backpain - exercise!

The Driver

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RAN OUT OF COINS IN BRIGHTON

Posted on May 28, 2015

Hotel Pelirocco

I got up at 8:30 yesterday morning because Albert forgot to get up to move the van. :-) The challenge was to walk 1 mile from ​Hotel ​Pelirocco to​ Brighton​ Marina because of cheaper parking. It costs ​£​15​.​4 a day. So I took ​£​​​20, started the engine and ​put on John Mayer’s “Slow ​Dancing ​In ​A ​Burning R​​oom” live from somewhere we haven’t played yet.

Wow! There is a parking place straight next to​ the​ Brighton Pier. BUT! ​The ​parking machine ​only ​accept​s​ coins. ​So, ​I spent 25 minutes ​getting coins all around​ Brighton​!

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At first, ​a ​young lady told me that she can’t give me ​any ​change, so I bought ​this luxury green tea. She was strict and gave me ​a ​10​-pound​ bank note back. So I went to​ the​ Pier and all Polish​ doughnut sellers told me they​’ve got no​ change. ​Fortunately, one of them explained that there’s ​a ​supermarket nearby.

So I went there holding my luxury green tea and​ was​ finally​ forced to buy ​a ​pack of chewing gums using ​my ​5​-pound​ ​bank note and then ​do it again with another one.

HOTEL PELIROCCO

H​oo​raaaayyyy!! Got it! ​£15​.6 in coins is in my pocket! Luckily​,​ the van was still there – sometimes they ​tow ​cars​ away​ without notice in Brighton​.​ :-) ​ So I fed the machine and went to the beach​ get over it​. Then I did my morning run back to the hotel and ​did some ​exercise. ​When ​I went back to my hotel room and ​started ​stretching on a beautiful Dolly Parton red carpet​, ​Albert walked in and sa​id: “Where is the key? I’m gonna move the van​.​” Cheers to that!

The Driver

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ARM WRESTLING WITH JOEL PETER

Posted on May 24, 2015

Greetings from Littlehampton!

We’re staying at Joel Peter‘s these days – it is so kind of them! To show ​them how much we appreciate it, ​we let them ​score a few goals in ​the afternoon football match. No offence but we were training hard at petrol stations on the way ​down to Sussex ​from Newcastle​. ​N​o way ​you guys could win. Hahaha

They took us to ​a​ popular ​pub here​ yesterday​. I haven’t had Fosters since my ​time in Sydney, Australia. It ​brought back nice memories even though we didn’t play pool at all. I don’t know about Joel,​ but we weren’t surprised when our sound​ ​engineer Viktor started to challenge everyone in arm​ ​wrestling. If there is ​one​ thing he does quite well, it is arm​ ​wrestle​ing​. And drinking milk.

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​Many interviews with our band ​Albert gets asked: “Why do you wear red trousers all the time?” He didn’t ​wear them in Birmingham! I swear! He simply didn’t manage to get dressed ​in​ time. Sad.

We are touring Sussex ’til 27th May​ (we added a gig at Hotel Pelirocco in Brighton on Tuesday)​ – if you’re here, meet us and celebrate ​the release of our EP “We Are Making Love Again​” Sussex style on Monday ​25th May!! :-)

The Driver

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JAMIE OLIVER MEETS PETR ČECH IN NEWCASTLE

Posted on May 20, 2015

Newcastle!! I didn’t know that the city looks like a castle indeed! :-) Even our hotel is like a castle. Made of stone and equipped with old windows which allow you to breath fresh air even when you shut them.

thai carry newcastle

Patrick made an extraordinary meal yesterday based on jasmine rice which is always an indicator of success. His Thai Curry is made of ginger, garlic, coriander, mushrooms, sweet potato, zuchinni, coconut milk and oriental spices. I love this band :-)

football M1

One of the reasons why it is also great to be touring the UK as a team of six is that we get to play football every day three on three. Petr Cech would be proud if he saw us play.

The Driver

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GABI DESERT ROSE

Posted on May 17, 2015

Let me introduce our PR manager to you. After spending all day networking at The Great Escape, Gabi visits Albert and me in her pyjamas. She sits down on the carpet in our hotel room, arranges her new business cards in front of her and decides to charge her phone. It’s almost 2 am, we’re enjoying a cup of tea and Gabi goes: “I’ve got 32% battery. Do you think it’s enough ’till the morning?”

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I love PR managers.

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As you can see in the map, we’re gonna have a lot of fun tomorrow on our way to Newcastle. We play at The Cluny 2 on Tuesday 19th May with Kosoti. They told me that Geordies are as good at drinking as they are at football. The only thing we have to solve in the van is whether we’ll bypass London on the left or on the right. I think I’ll let Paul decide.

The Driver

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