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British Sea Power sing about Heydrich

Critics hail British group BSP as one of the island's most interesting rock groups of the moment. BSP gave an interview in Prague for the Czech office of the BBC.

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The five-member group from the south English town of Brighton exhibit a curious interest in Czech history and culture.

Proof can be found in one of their songs, whose lyrics deal with the assassination of Reich Protectorate Heydrich. BSP recorded the song with Czech group EoST in both Czech and English, the single will be available from April 12th.

Guitarist Martin Noble explained what attracted the group's attention to a small central European country:

"We're interested in the Czech Republic, we've travelled a little in eastern Europe. People mostly sing about everyday things, so we thought it would be better to sing about heroism, about important, albeit relatively sad, events."

When a British rock band sings about events, about which Czech children have to study in school, what's all that about?

"It's about painting an atmosphere, how these two men arrive from England over Czech - I don't know how dark the night was then - but when they parachuted down, they don't know where they are and then they have this special mission to accomplish" explained the author of the song, bassist Neil Hamilton.

"We didn't set out to recount the story, it's more about the atmosphere. If people are attracted to the story, that's good. But if they just enjoy the music for itself alone, that's also fine" he added.

Manager Roy Wilkinson also explained that we shouldn't expect a history lesson from BSP:

"No, the song shouldn't be taken as a history lesson, the text is really just a little dark. The main thing is the thought to honour some kind of spirit which can be found in the Czech people. It's our way to make music from the romantic notions we have about Czechs."

Even though the British rockers exhibit an unusual interest in the Heydrich affair, Roy Wilkinson admits that, with the exception of Ivan Kral, they don't know much about the Czech rock scene.

"We know about Ivan kral, because he played with Iggy Pop, but otherwise we don't know many Czech groups. Of course I can't forget EoST though, their vocalist sings so beautifully on our song A Lovely Day Tomorrow."

translated from Czech to English by A.W.O.L.

Author: Petr Dudek
Source: BBC Czech
Date: 8th April 2004

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