Prague Dog Eat Blog

The Tits at Skabetka Bar

Mar 7, 08:30 (Filed under: Prague nightlife, Prague pubs, restaurants and cafes )

It’s always a treat to discover cool new bars in Prague. Thanks to Jeff, I went to Skabetka Bar (Zborovska 37, Prague 5) for the first time on Saturday. I was up for a night of heavy drinking and good live music, and got just that at Skabetka.

A band called The Tits was playing that night. I’d been intrigued by their ad on prague.tv, which proclaimed that their musical stylings would BLOW [ME] AWAY. And when Jeff suggested we go see them, I reckoned, Hell yeah – I dig a band with bravado.

So, after a couple of beers and a chat with Mike at U Zpevacku, I headed over to Skabetka. Set in a basement, the bar is pretty good looking, with pale yellowish walls that host some cool, dark and bizarre artwork. It’s fairly spacious and has that laid-back assortment of mismatched furniture that is typical of many a good Czech toker’s pub. Skabetka’s main area has a slightly elevated space for a stage, to the right of which is a small back room with a foosball table. The staff is friendly and on Saturday the place was buzzing with excitement and good vibes. My only criticism is that on a night like this, Skabetka could have done with dimmer lighting and candles for a more intimate setting, not to mention hushing the crowd.

I got a beer and sat by the stairs. Suddenly this very attractive black haired woman in silver trousers comes over to me and asks, “Are you here to see the show?”

I tell her I am. She tells me her name is Carron then invites me to join a table with friends of the band, in front of the stage. Turns out this is The Tits’ maiden gig, so nerves are jangling intensely, but it’s all good energy.

The Tits are four women who do acoustic covers of Bowie, AC/DC, CCR, Guns ‘n’ Roses, and a whole lot more. The ladies all take turns singing along with combinations of guitars (at most, three), mandolin and recorder. The covers were all good, my personal faves were Bowie’s Starman, and GnR’s Sweet Child o’ Mine, but it will be nice to hear some original stuff from this band in the future.

After The Tits finished their crowd-pleasing set, a French DJ named Phillipe took over, accompanied by a percussionist and a Czech rapper named Petr. Jeff hit the nail on the head when he said Petr sounded a bit like a Czech MC Solaar. His performance was quite raw, as he delivered rhymes (written on the way to Skabetka) with his back to the crowd. But his talents were certainly impressive to anyone who was paying close enough attention.

After a while, Jeff took control of the keyboard by the DJ and I did a bit of poeticizing over the music. It’s never a good idea to try and recite when loaded, but my mic was so overpowered by the keyboard and the decks that I couldn’t hear myself. Not that I would have wanted to when Phillipe had me trying to recite in a dirty ragga styleÔ??

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Mezcal, U Vystreleneho Oka, Znama Firma

Jan 28, 17:20 (Filed under: Prague nightlife, Prague pubs, restaurants and cafes )

Feeling rather groggy today following the prelude to Jitka’s graduation party. We started out at Radost, where we had planned on eating. We ended up leaving due to the fact that the lounge was closing for the evening and the cafe was full. The Mezcal Restaurant up at Jugoslavska 18/599, Prague 2, had always piqued my curiosity, so we decided to go there for some Mexican food.

Being a vegetarian, Jitka was pretty disappointed by the fact that Mezcal only offers one meat-free meal on the menu: vegetarian quesadillas. The rest of the menu offers standard Mexican fare: burritos, tacos, and fajitas, as well as pork, chicken and beef steaks. We split nachos and guacamole as a starter. This turned out to be a lousy idea – the cheese-flavoured nachos were cheap-ass Czech chips that, judging from all the crumbs on our plate, came from the bottom of the bag. On the side we got a dollop of bland guacamole, sour cream and a few tired-looking slices of jalepeno pepper.

Jitka’s quesadillas were lousy, but I had a pretty decent dinner of 15 chicken wings with barbecue sauce and sour cream for dipping, a big slice of garlic bread, and corn on the cob. We both washed down our meals with a half-litre of Stella Artois. The total came out to CZK 500, including tip.

U Vystreleneho Oka
UVO is one of Zizkov’s greatest pubs.
Artwork by Martin Velisek

From there we went to see a drummerless Fatty Lumpkin at U Vystreleneho Oka (At the Shot Out Eye – U Bozich bojovniku 606/3, Prague 3). The band was great and it’s always a pleasure to drink at UVO. The clientele is primarily Czech, but the pub also attracts plenty of expats and tourists. Great service and incredible art and details by Martin Velisek, best known for his work for Uz Jsme Doma, a sensational Czech underground band. UVO is the only pub where I’ve seen headrests above the urinals in the men’s room. Talk about customer care…

Walking down Husitska to Florenc to catch the metro home, we decided to have a quick beer at Znama Firma. This place plays good music and has a young and consciously hip crowd, but it’s a bar best to be avoided. The bartender watched me waiting at the bar for a while as he sat and ate his dinner.

Do not go to Znama Firma
Cool bar. Too bad they have a tosser serving drinks.

When I asked him for a couple of beers, he got sarcastic with me. So I returned the sarcasm in Czech. We didn’t get our beers, and I didn’t take the opportunity to spit in his meal (let alone his face), but we did manage catch the last metro back to Blackbridge after having picked up a couple of beers in a shop across from Znama Firma.

To sum up: don’t go to Mezcal if you’re a vegetarian, do go to U Vystreleneho Oka if you dig cheap beer and cool art and don’t mind lots of smoke, and don’t go to Znama Firma if you don’t like snotty barstaff and too-cool-for-school crowds.

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Hyperion hangover

Dec 16, 12:35 (Filed under: Prague pubs, restaurants and cafes, Prague nightlife )

Groan… I’m hurting today when the good folks at Provokator throw a party, they don’t mess around. Marika Ley’s webzine had its XXXmas 2004 party last night at Hyperion (Zerotinova 31), a brand new basement lounge in Zizkov.

It kicked off with a really solid open mic. The emphasis was on guitars and singing, but there was also a bit of comedy, as well as a little poetry. I put in five-minutes’ worth of material myself with a piece called Progress report, inspired by expatriate message board flame wars and a little rhyme that popped into my head one day while sitting in a pub. Chris Parsons accompanied me on guitar, providing me, as always, with a nice wave to ride on.

The highlight of the night was Jeremiah Palecek (aka King Vitamin) and his accomplice MC Dirty Diaper (well, that was his ‘power name’ last night. I still don’t have my own power name’). The duo threw down some wicked freestyling—a skill that I aspire to acquire some day. For now, memorising my stuff is enough work.

After the open mic, Daniel our DJ ‘spun’ (more like ‘clicked’ through his laptop) a great blend of indie, oldies, and hip-hop.

So much expat talent in this city on Wednesday, after a pleasant evening spent with fellow translators, I stopped by Marquis de Sade and caught a few sets by an excellent singer/songwriter named Jamie Marshall. He did covers, but not carbon copies—he owned each song he played. Between sets, Jamie told me that he does his own material as well. Hopefully we can get him to feature at Alchemy sometime early next year. Either way, keep your ear to the ground and check him out when you’re in town.

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