Trans Europ Express (also Trans-Europe Express or TEE) was a train network in western Europe in mid-to-late 20th century. It was set up in 1957, proposed by the then president of Dutch railway company. It was primarily targeted at businessmen, featuring only 1st class trains (no 2nd class) and the trains were scheduled so that they were fit for traveling to a foreign country, do business there, and return back same day late in evening. At its peak in 1974 it connected 130 cities in Denmark, West Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain and Benelux countries. It slowly died in the 1980s due to emerging various national express trains like the French TGV and continuously higher usage of aeroplanes for business travel. [source: Wikipedia]
Of course, it is impossible to visit more than 40 countries in Europe in just 2 hour show. I also choose not to follow the TEE closely, so we make a more free tour around Europe, starting with a "ride to Norway" as the lyrics say in NEU!'s Hero track (which was, by the way, inspiration for track title "Heroes" by David Bowie, maybe even more than just title). From then across the Scandinavia to Sweden and Finland.
Across the forests where big battles were fought in early 1940s to Russia. We play two songs from there, since it's a big country and one of those from our friends 208 Talks of Angels. Since Russia extends also to Asia, let's mention that besides well known Russia and Turkey, there are also other countries spanning both Europe and Asia, depending on border definition. And according to the most common and accepted one, a bit of Kazakhstan also fits into Europe. That tiny little bit. Which is so big in fact, that it's larger than entire Greece! Counting just area that's within borders of Europe, Kazakhstan is 14th largest European country by area. Though it is largely empty. Since we're riding trains, a Mystery Train is but a great request.
Greece may be smaller than Kazakhstan, but much more important in European history, so we just can't skip them even if the Greek Folk track played doesn't completely fit more rock tracks, tonight. But it's Dusty Road, always crazy music. From then on north to Serbia and a great rock band Smak, farther north is Hungary. From Hungary comes one of the most craziest, but still serious bands that I know. Korai Öröm. They've many many members (more than 10 definitely), but their numbers fluctuate, since they seemed to pick up their members somewhat randomly, even on concerts. And they don't title their music. Albums, tracks, nothing. At least first few releases weren't, recent are. One band, who titled their tracks with just length in minutes and seconds, once said they do so, because they don't want to influence the listener in any other way than with just (instrumental) music. So no "forced" meaning. Maybe Korai Öröm shared the same philosophy. Good psychedelic music, though, both rock and trance and some other, too. Played the first track from their album released in 1995, which is their 2nd album.
Hungarians got a several centuries long lasting friendship with their northern not-quiet neighbours - Poland. Played a track by Animagnetical, which is another band we promote. Less good a relationship, but improving recently, is that of Poland with its big western neighbour - Germany. Where the title track of tonight's show comes from, if you will. Trans Europa Express by Kraftwerk must've definitely been inspired by the train network TEE, since the music itself does sound so as to imitate train ride. And many may recognise it, since it was heavily sampled in Afrika Bambaata's Planet Rock.
A sole blues track tonight comes from the Czech Republic and then we moved down south to (1100 years ago still neighbours) Slovenia. Siddharta, arguably the most popular rock/pop-rock band from the country, released their album Rh- (from which the track we played comes from) in a blood bag.
And talking about bags, we can't go without bagpipes. So Italian Barbarian Pipe Band comes to the rescue. From there it's just a calm boat/ship travel across the Mediterranean to Spain, particularly Barcelona, from where we can catch a TEE to France. And since we were in Barcelona, let's make it clear again: I'm From Barcelona may be a good band, but they're definitely not from Barcelona, but rather Jönköping, Sweden.
In Gaul we play one proper French track, albeit with English lyrics, and one proper Celtic, I mean, Irish track. Though played by a French band Aislinn. And since we're at Irish music, we continue the theme by a proper Irish band. And then it's just a quick jump to the UK and their post-rock band 65daysofstatic. They won't Retreat! But we might have to, 2 hours of great music behind us, we just quickly jump back to the Continent and play the closest thing to American Country music by the Dutch Sickboys and Lowmen.
Tune in this Sunday, July 22nd at 19:00 CET!
1. NEU! - Hero
2. Nicklas Barker - Celestial Ghost
3. Valkyrend Variété - Karjala
4. Risha - Dorozhenka
5. 208 Talks Of Angels - Hero of past
6. LAF - Mystery Train [request]
7. S. Xarhakos - Patience
8. Smak - Crna Dama
9. Korai Öröm - 1995 / 1
10. Animagnetical - Time To Walk Away (Here & Now)
11. Kraftwerk - Trans Europa Express
12. Jiří Míža - Vestapol
13. Siddharta - Rave
14. Barbarian Pipe Band - Digo Janeto
15. Albatros - Supernova
16. I'm from Barcelona - Cornelia Norgren - Pet Duet
17. Antarhes - She Told Me
18. Aislinn - Moorlough shore
19. The McSherry Ceili Band - Advanced Reel
20. 65daysofstatic - Retreat! Retreat!
21. Sickboys and Lowmen - Drove Too Long
bonus: G. Zabetas - Syrtaki
News writer, ex-presenter