Klec - promo and history
Those who venture to see a Klec gig can expect a few best-known and a majority of less-known melodies from the klezmer, Gypsy and the band's own repertoires, a few lyrics in Yiddish and many in Czech presented in a non-traditional sound (such as "horns" consisting of flute and trumpet). What the listeners are not in for is die-hard folklore arrangements, seriousness associated with the interpretation of a cultural heritage, or a clear answer to whether the musicians are Jews.
band was founded on a Sunday afternoon in February 1997. A then folk-rocker, flute
and singer Martin Smid, charmed by klezmer music, was seeking to find
use for his
creative urge and his wish to play like the Klezmatics, which he could not find with his
former band, Lunovis. He invited his brother Michal Smid and a Lunovis
bassist Filip Gut to cooperate.
The newly established trio had to find a replacement bassist very soon (Filip didn't manage rehearsals, so Ondrej "Kudyd" Tichy took the post readily). They played live for the first time on June 17, 1997 in the famous rock club U Rafa at Hanspaulka, Prague.
Autumn 1997 saw the band drafting Antonin Hlustik and Martin Kopecky whose electric guitar and clarinet / bass guitar, respectively, enriched the band's sound (the two would later take turns on bass as Kudyd had left the band in the meantime because he could not manage). Next year, a multi-instrumentalist Jakub Schmid joined Klec wishing to, among others, practice his trumpet playing. He brought in his jazz influences.
During 1998 and 1999, Klec gradually built its repertoire and did live gigs. The gigs included joint events of the Stejny ksichty (to name a few, there were several nice gigs at Na Slamniku and U Rafa in Prague, raids to the Broumov area and Litomerice, shows in Caslav synagogue and, later, joint shows with the "Balkan" band Ahmed ma hlad), and several concerts played as the only band (a few almost unplugged shows in the Nad Kralovskou Oborou pub in Prague back when live music was still allowed there, two shows for Evangelic parishioners in church in Louny, and a few afternoon gigs at Jazz Klub Zelezna in downtown Prague). In mid-1999, Klec got exposed to wider audiences - Litomericky koren, Repice u Strakonic and Mezi Ploty Bohnice festivals.
The beginning of the magical year 2000 marked a crisis for Klec. Michal left the band after long and painful considerations. The band lost a co-founder and also its rhythmic motor, as we soon found out. Michal played his last show as a regular member on January 8 at Zelezna. Somehow, the band managed to fill the large gap in its sound that was left after the departure of his accordion. Martin S. grabbed his acoustic guitar and Jakub took to play piano, but Michal's accompaniment, solid and always reliable, was missed strongly.
We spotted a light at the tunnel's end in the spring, though. Jana Modrackova, the former drummer with Zuby nehty, joined the band, increasing the overall standard of musicianship in the band and making it sound heavier.
In the second half of 2000, the band was gelling with new bassist Jiri Vana (Martin K. cannot manage playing with two bands) and its sound transformed from folk-rock to no-prefixes-rock.
In the beginning of 2001, Antonin Hlustik - magician of guitar sound - anounced his departure. To preserve its sound, we decided to record our debut CD called 15 pisni o lasce (15 songs about love).
After some other personal changes, the group has six members and is preparing for its second album.