Slovakia early 90s. The night was quite young but I was already on the way being off my face by the time 'The Havels' came on stage. This was not the kind of music I was listening to at the time - or any time as it is its own kind of music - but it fitted perfectly that evening. So gentle and quiet it forced you to press your ear a bit closer. I understood almost nothing but I remember thinking of it as being a dreamlike celebration of the sound of the Czech language. "A festival of sibilants" I recall saying at the time.

Yesterday, nearly 30 years later, browsing the internet, their names pop up again, as a compilation of their music has just been released, and it takes me a moment or two to realise who it is and what it is that connects me to them. I'm a generally responsible and sober man these days but it feels intoxicating to listen to this music again.

Nostalgia is fine and listening now I'm taken back to that night, but I like to think there's a bit more to this mysterious whispered music, and having found it again I'm not about to let it go for another 30 years.

(Posting this is my way of ensuring that the memory is this time built on more solid foundations than a vague recollection of a support band half a life ago.)



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