John Cale coming to Metronome Festival

Some stars have already been announced for Prague’s biggest summer festival

Former Velvet Underground member John Cale will be coming to next year’s Metronome festival, which will be held June 22 and 23, 2018, at Výstaviště in Holešovice.

The festival will be in its third year, and the lineup is not yet complete. Other names already announced include singer-songwriter Tom Odell, DJ and producer Sister Bliss, and Czech band Tata Bojs.

John Cale is best-known as the bassist and keyboard player for the Velvet Underground, an influential band that became a major influence on the Czechoslovak dissident music scene. Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed, who died in 2013, was a friend of former Czech president Václav Havel.

John Cale was last in Prague in 2014 to perform at the National Theatre as part of a televised commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. He sang his cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and his own “Paris 1919.”

As a solo artist, he has been to Prague nine times since 1992, not counting the anniversary appearance. He was also in Prague in 1993 as part of the brief Velvet Underground reunion tour.

His best-known albums after the Velvet underground era include Songs for Drella, a cycle of music about Andy Warhol, and Wrong Way Up, a collaboration with Brian Eno. His cover of “Hallelujah” is his most popular song, but a bit atypical of his catalog.

Cale is also known as a producer, and he produced the debut albums of the Stooges, the Modern Lovers, Patti Smith, Squeeze, and Happy Mondays.

He has also produced or collaborated with Nico, John Cage, Cranes, Nick Drake, Kevin Ayers, Art Bergmann, Manic Street Preachers, Super Furry Animals, Marc Almond, Element of Crime, the Replacements, Siouxsie and the Banshees and many others.

Cale was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 as part of the Velvet Underground and named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2010.

English singer-songwriter Tom Odell shot to fame with his 2013 debut album Long Way Down, which hit number one in the UK and the Netherlands. He won songwriter of the year at the 2014 Ivor Novello Awards.

His second album was Wrong Crowd, released in 2016, and a third album should come soon. Despite being a songwriter, his most successful single has been a cover of the Beatles’ song “Real Love” from his 2016 holiday EP called Spending All My Christmas With You. The song first appeared in a 2014 Christmas advertisement.

DJ and producer Sister Bliss will perform her Faithless DJ set, based on her work with her electronic music band Faithless.

Tata Bojs began in 1988 when the members were in elementary school, and they were originally part of Czech alternative music scene. They now have a large local following.

The Metronome festival was launched in 2016 because Prague was lacking a big outdoor summer music festival that could attract big names. The headliner for the first year was Iggy Pop, and the second year had former Police frontman Sting.

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