Chorus and Verse
James Dalton
Chorus and Verse Blog
Posted: May 10, 2010 09:20 am (-05:00)
James Dalton
The Globe Bookstore and Cafe in Prague

So, I had two performances in Prague, both of them at the Globe Bookstore and Cafe, a place I first discovered in the spring leading up to the summer of '04.

I was about to embark on a great European adventure, not my first, but still an amazing one. I had scored a gig in Switzerland at a little bar in St. Moritz playing for the month of July six nights a week. (Of course, if you'd like to know more about that, read the Chorus and Verse article from back then titled "The St. Moritz Scene Returns Home".)

This was the money gig. After that, I bounded through Austria, Poland, Czech, back to St. Moritz, to Italy and back to the US. A Czech friend of mine helped with some searching on the web and we came up with a handful of venues in Prague. I am sure you see where this is going...

The Globe of then was a beautiful space with a great-looking English language section, two levels with a high ceiling not far from the Old Town Square and Charles Bridge. The back room, again two levels with high ceilings was cream colored with a nice bar, tables and a cool set of stairs going up to the second level. There was no real sound system to speak of, but honestly, there was no need in this open planned space.

All my "proper" voice training taught me how to vocalize in rooms regardless of mics, so I remember hanging in the corner, picking a place to project and just going for it, a method I remembered and aptly repeated on my most recent visit.

The first night in Prague had me as a guest at the Alchemy ( show celebrating a release of a great (and lengthy) book of expat writings and translations. A number of poets were reading excerpts from their included works and, at the end of the night, I got up and gave it all I had. This was a crowd I had to win over. None of them knew who I was (or cared) when I started, since they were all part of this book. But by the time I was finished, I think I had a more than a few people returning the following night.

My second night in this Globe of today, a new paint job featuring some nice darker reds accenting the room's older design along, was pretty fucking cool. First off, a handful of people did come from the night before which made me smile and, secondly I was flashing back to the performance of six years prior.

As I was sitting there, revisiting songs from back then, tunes I played in that room that were new for me at the time, I was thinking about how they had changed, how they had evolved as songs through countless performances and how I, too, had changed and evolved.

First it's the tempos, then is the simplified turnarounds, then it starts to be the emotions and what the lyrics actually mean. An angry song back then has turned into something filled with melancholy or love. Certain choruses resonate deeper within.

I am real grateful to Jason and the crew down there. Please, if you can, drop in on them( The current artwork on the walls are from Aiden Hughes, so drop in soon! They've even got a couple copies of Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again.

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James Dalton
Photo Credit: Michal Mecner
James Dalton
James Dalton is a New Jersey-based singer/songwriter/performer that has had his ups and downs but still pushes forward and stuff.
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