Alphaville in Budapest
(von Gabor Bacskay)
K. lately keeps on reading Franz Kafka – right now he’s reading “The Castle” (“Das Schloß”). Oh, don’t bother about the world, K., today is Saturday, the day of the Alphaville concert.
K., as a good vegetarian has dinner at Café Central together with his Hindu wife. (“It’s the start of the season…”) They’re having cheese and coffee. The sky is cloudy, the temperature is max. 6 degrees, but at least it’s warm in the café.
It’s 19.00 p.m., K. pays the bill and they join the queue in front of the night club. The blowing wind is cold like ice; K. feels worry his wife – she’ll probably catch cold. A girl bangs at the glass door; the impatient crowd could finally be entered.
The fee of the cloakroom is HUF 100. It’s unbelievably expensive. K. looks at the pictures on the wall. They enter the hall, the stage is round-shaped. K.meditates on that this place used to be the City Café (Belvárosi Kávéház) til 1945. The building itself is called Klotild Palace; Klotild was an Austrian princess (who else?).
K.’s wife brings orange juice, the concert gets started at 21.00. p.m., they must wait. K.’s jostled back from the stage by bald-headed security guards. K would say with pleasure: “millions of sailors” – although there are only 80-100 people in the hall, including the lots of security guards and organizers.
K.’s wife starts gossiping with another girl. The girl tells them that on the previous show in Trencin on 5th April Marian had hit his leg seriously and it wasn’t sure for 100% that he undertakes this gig. Poor Marian…And what is more, the acoustics are very bad among the pillars. What can we do, it was intended for being a café, not for being a concert hall.
K.’s wife keeps on chatting, the other girl is called Moni; she bought a bottle of Hungarian wine for Marian as a gift. It comes to K.’s mind that if Marian really feels bad, then he won’t be too happy with visitors – but it depends on him.
At 21.00 p.m. the band arrives, Marian is lame in the right leg, just like Lord Byron. Both Lord Byron and Marian are stubborn; the lord had swum through the Dardanelles, while Marian will be on stage for 90 minutes.
“Marian has a daughter!’ – tells Moni to everybody enthusiastically. “No, he has 3 daughters.” – corrects K.’s wife. “Oh, why doesn’t he live together with me?!” – sighs Moni.
Christian tunes his guitars a bit, then he disappears. At 21.15 Pearson appears on the stage for first, then Christian, Mr. Martin Lister, finally Marian arrives with the help of two men, he visibly drags his foot. Thanks to the small hall, he’s only 3 metres far from the audience. Elevator is a B-side, the crowd don’t really know it, Marian doesn’t dare to move powerfully. On a screen the musicians can be seen, on a bigger one there are every kind of “artwork”.
2. Waiting for the New Light
In front of Marian there’s a bunch of paper with lyrics, probably even he doesn’t know them by heart. If he finishes a new song, he screws up the paper and throws it into the audience. Wow, K. thinks, he tries to keep on moving the noticeably lazy people.
3. Guardian Angel
At least a well-known one that shakes up a bit the confused fans. The list of songs is striked to Martin’s synthetizer. Marian starts to get into the show, the first smile appears on his face.
4. Shadows She Said
The audience turn back into silence at the new songs. It looks like it would be prohibited to sing along with the band.
5. Monkey in the Moon
One of K.’s favourites. K. feels that he’s lost, but he doesn’t mind it at all. Three musicians are wearing sunglasses (exc. for Chris), the spotlights are shining with a high power, K. envies them.
6. Carry Your Flag
A slower track, K. calms down a bit and looks at Martin, who covers up Chris and Pearson. On the big screens there are Stalin and Milosevic.
Even K.’s leg starts hurting, it seems it’s an epidemic. His hands are in pain because of clapping them.
It’s a usual song at concerts, Marian doesn’t really introduces it. Marian can’t really move, the stage is rather small. K. thinks of how timely this song is – and of Kafka, who was Jewish.
9. Big In Japan
“This one was when I fucked my leg!” – shouts Marian and the audience starts raving like a hundred-headed hydra. the duo of Chris and Marian heats up the atmosphere to the maximum.
10. See :P>
Time for some gasping, but K. still can’t find his lung.
11. Miracle Healing
“It’s for Christmas!” – says Marian (after Easter…). K. tries to memorize all the songs he heard.
12. A Victory of Love
Another great song, Marian sings it from the deep of his heart, K. keeps on watching the fans on the other side of the stage.
13. Upside Down
A new song again, Marian sings it with a deep feeling – and very well. On Martin’s face there’s a big-big smile.
14. Sounds Like a Melody
The crowd rise again from the laziness, Marian sings with a great routine, Chris plays his solo with enjoyment and there’s no break before the coming up song that is
15. Wishful Thinking
The crowd go even crazier – if it’s possible at all…–, it seems that it’s worth to play these evergreens here, in Eastern Europe.
16. Forever Young
The refrain is sung only by the audience. K. sings at the top of his voice as well. The musicians leave the stage, the fans are honouring them with a great applaud. They come back. “I have one more song for you!” – says Marian.
17. First Monday (in the year 3000)
A slow, melancholic song, it doesn’t really good for an encore, but in the end the band leaves with no doubt. It’s 22.50, K. and his wife can catch the last train going home.
In the cold wind K. looks at electoral placards. Next day is Election Day – and a one-day rest for Marian.