Metronome festival promises top international acts and local faves

The two-day Metronome music festival kicks off on Friday evening at the Výstaviště exhibition grounds in Prague. Among the most awaited acts this year will be Massive Attack and Chemical Brothers. In addition to the main stars, people can see a number of local formations, such as the cult band Sexy Dancers, who are returning to the stage after 20 years. As final preparations were underway, I spoke to Metronome’s organizer David Gaydečka:

Massive Attack,  photo: archive of Metronome Festival
“Chemical Brothers are coming seven years after their last show. They asked us to promise to everyone that this is not just a DJ set but a live show. Massive Attack are celebrating two anniversaries: 20 years since the release of their cult album Mezzanine, and their 30 years on stage, so it’s going to be a big celebration.

“Both Massive Attack and Chemical Brothers have already delivered five trucks of equipment so it’s going to be a crazy show for the eyes and ears.

“Then there is Tom Odell, a fresh artist from Great Britain who people call the Elton John of the new generation.

“And we are also bringing two special artists signed in music history. One of them is David Byrne, one of the leaders of the cult 1980s band Talking Heads, who is bringing his new album called American Utopia.

John Cale,  photo: archive of Metronome Festival
“And there will also be John Cale, a founding member of the Velvet Underground, who has promised to do kind of a ‘50 years on stage’ set.”

Apart from the biggest stars, what are some of the fresh discoveries that you bring to Metronome festival this year?

“The festival is fully international on stage, so it’s not only English bands, it’s also bands from Denmark, Austria, Poland and we have also lots of Czech bands. And it is also international beneath the stage.

“We expect around 30 percent of foreigners and expats, 30 percent of Czechs and Slovaks and also a lot of locals from Prague.

“We will definitely have some Czech discoveries for the listeners. We are bringing Mydy Rabycad which is probably the most successful Czech group beyond the country’s borders. They travelled the US, some African festivals and they were in Asia, so I think it will be a big discovery. They are opening for Chemical Brothers, so it will be a spectacular show.”

Who are the artists performing that you are personally watching out for this year?

“Well, my generation, which is people in their 30s and 40s, will celebrate the 30th birthday of the Czech band Tatabojs. They started in 1988 just shortly before the Velvet Revolution as a school band and now they are celebrating 30 years on stage. So I am looking forward to this one.

“And to be honest, the Velvet Underground has left a strong mark on the Czech music scene, so we will see what John Cale will do.”