Wednesday, July 4, 2012

New Republic

Jazz Republic, the strangely placed music club in Můstek Metro station, has reinvented itself and set itself apart from Prague's other jazz venues by no longer charging an admission fee. The concerts are sponsored by the Lobkowicz Brewing Company, and one can only hope that they're providing enough cash to pay the musicians a respectable fee.

The positive side of this model is that it has become a lot cheaper to see some of Prague's best jazz musicians. There are some decent names playing there, including the "Live and Together" jam sessions where some unusual combinations share the stage.

The free door policy and the location means that there are lot of casual visitors, and so the level of talking can be very high. Thankfully a lot of them are so casual that they move on after a couple of drinks, with just a hardcore of serious music fans being there for the entire evening.

It isn't the best musical experience out there - the talking is distracting and you're seldom going to get a focused audience that energises the performers - but it is a cheap way to sample bands you're not sure if you'll like. There is a good selection of beers on sale, including Lobkowicz of course, and even with the slightly inflated bar prices it is still easier on the pocket than most other live music options. If you can make it through the night without punching a talker it is definitely worth visiting.

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