Rock for Churchill brings eclectic mix

The summer music festival season is drawing to a close

The music festival Rock For Churchill, set in forest park Myslivna near village Vroutek, takes place Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25 and 26, on two stages plus the Red Bull tour bus.

Headline bands on the program include German group Irie Révoltés, Jamaican reggae artist Ky-Mani Marley, British producer and DJ Roni Size, Belgian rockers Triggerfinger, and Swedish Indie Rock trio Peter Björn and John. One oddity on the list is Hungarian “speed folk freak punk” band Bohemian Betyars. Czech names on the roster include J.A.R., Tata Bojs, Gaya Messiah and Mydy Rabycad.

Reggae, dancehall, punk, electro, hip-hop, ska, all belong to Irie Révoltés style. Fronted by French brothers Mal Élevé and Carlito, the band began in Heidelberg, Germany, and they sing in both French and German on controversial issues.

The name Irie Révoltés comes from a Jamaican creole word meaning “positive” and a French word for “rebels.” They are famous for their non-profit activities and hate-free policies, such as supporting causes that fight against prejudice, racism, homophobia and sexism.

The band said 2017 is the end of the line for Irie Révoltés, and Rock for Churchill will be their last festival in the Czech Republic.

Jamaican rapper, hip-hop and reggae artist Ky-Mani Marley is the son of Bob Marley and Jamaican table tennis champion Anita Belnavis. Ky-Mani began his career with the 1996 album Like Father like Son. Six years later, he got a Grammy nomination for the album Many More Roads. In 2010 he published a book Dear Dad. Referring to his 2000 song of the same name, Ky-Mani described the pain of his father’s shadow. His latest album, Conversations, was recorded with German reggae star Gentleman.

Roni Size was one of the pioneers of drum 'n' bass. His collective Reprazent won the Mercury Prize for their album New Forms in 1997. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Roni Size grew up in the Bristol suburb of St. Andrews, and he cites reggae as his first big influence. Later he became known for jungle beats mixed with d'n'b. He will be appearing on the DJ stage.

Belgian trio Triggerfinger combines blues and hard rock in spirit of Led Zeppelin. Their 2012 acoustic cover of “I Follow Rivers” from Swedish pop singer Lykke Li scored a number one hit in Austria, Netherlands and Belgium. Triggerfinger opened for The Rolling Stones during 2013 Barclaycard Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park. The band’s 12th album Colossus will be released on the day of their concert at Rock For Churchill.

Peter Björn and John consists of Peter Morén, Björn Yttling and John Eriksson, who founded their band in Stockholm. The trio is famous for the 2006 song “Young Folks,” which ranked number five on Pitchfork’s Top 100 Tracks of 2006 and it appeared on Rolling Stone’s Best 15 Whistling Songs of All Time. Popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother used it as a theme, and it appeared in 2008 karaoke videogame Lips. The group released their seventh album Breakin' Point in 2016.

Bohemian Betyars are six oddly dressed men singing in Hungarian. Bohemian refers to a carefree lifestyle, not the geographic area. Betyars were a type of highwayman fighting for social justice.

A violinist, saxophonist, drummer and three guitar players met in 2009. Almost overnight they became a hit on the dance floors. Mixing punk and electro with traditional Hungarian, Balkan and Romany music, they released the first album Boros Utca 1 in 2011. Their latest album Csavargó came out earlier this year.

Going to Rock For Churchill also supports the Light for the World, a Czech project that fights blindness in Third World countries. Last year Rock For Churchill visitors raised Kč 52,257 for that cause.

The festival has been running since 2000, and began to get money to fix a local 13th century church, which inspired the festival name.

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