Mon, 03 May 1999
"The worse nightmare of the Prodigy fans in Bulgaria has become true!
The band has postponed their gig only 30 hours before it was due to
begin - 8.00pm today!
The reason is the war in Kosovo and Yugoslavia, which is situated on
the west side of the country. Yesterday a F-16 has bombed a house in
Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria by mistake.
As you may not know, Bulgaria is a candidate to be a future member of
NATO and this incident was treated as a very big inconvenience. The
alliance made apologies to Bulgaria. Despite that fact, the reaction
of the Prodigy is absolutely normal - "We won't play in a place where
there are falling bombs". However they promised that they will come to
gig in Sofia the first Saturday after the war ends (I want to explain
that there is NO war in Bulgaria).
The tickets which are all sold will be passable so KEEP THEM!!! The
frustration of the fans here is very, very big - we all have waited
for this concert for 5 entire months.
This is the transcript of a fax sent to Mr Christo
Roussanov - the manager of the promoter of the gig :
Because of the continuing conflict in Yugoslavia and following the
missile falling on Sofia yesterday the band feel that they have no
choice but to postpone the concert scheduled for May 1st in Sofia
until the earliest possible date once hostilities in the territory
Prodigy are very much looking forward to playing in Sofia and deeply
regret this situation which has been forced upon them by circumstances
outside anyone's control.
Concorde International Artistes."
MAXIM TALKS ABOUT THE POSTPONED GIG
NMA Agent: About the Prodigy live show in Sofia, I have some questions
for you: Have you ever heard anything about Bulgaria before this show?
Maxim Reality: No, it's the first time, but I'm looking forward to it
you know. It's going to be my first time in the country and it's good
just to take the Prodigy music to different people all over the world
regardless of what their culture, what their situation is, because
music is a form of expression and it's good to see people who
understand the music, understand us and you know that's what it is
NMA Agent: Yeah, obviously your music is quite the same for people all
over the world but do you find some differences between the audience
in Europe and the USA?
M.R.: Not really. Obviously in different music fields, you know
America is a bit more rock-orientated, very split up, rock and
hip-hop, but as far as audiences who come to the Prodigy shows,
I think they understand us and they are into wide spectrums of music.
They just don't listen to us because the Prodigy music is about
any category or such. It's a mixture of audience, so to be into
Prodigy music you've been or you have to be into the hip-hop, some
kind of rock, some hard bands like the Smashing Pumpkins or Rage
Against the Machine, that kind of "music understanding". So I think
our audience no matter where you go around the world is always the
same kind of audience.
NMA Agent: You've played quite a lot of times for the first time in
some audience, but you have some experience from Macedonia, Ukraine
and Russia. Can you share us a bit of it?
M.R.: Yeah, we played in Russia twice and the first time was about
four or five years ago and that was the first time we've been to
Russia and we played in Moscow. It was a new experience, we played at
Red Square actually 3 years ago and that went down relly well, 'cause
you know, people came out... I think that music as time goes on, music
is more universal and it's easy accessable now, you know, people can
take records, they can listen to music from all those channels. And
our music actually touches people over there. And we played in Saint
Petersburg two weeks ago. And that was really good as well. People
came out to see us and the turnout was really good, the tickets were
totally sold out, it was a good show. And it is a good feeling when
you go to eastern countries and see how many people come to your show
and the enthusiasm of people who are into the music, it puts a nice
feeling inside of you, we appreciate it.
NMA Agent: Do you think that there is a kind of a struggle or war
between different types of music like hardcore, rock music and what so
M.R.: I couldn't tell you, because all I know is the music we're
moving to. I don't really analyze music or such. If there is tension
between music, then it's stupid really, 'cause music is out there
created by people and it's just individual feeling which someone has
put on record and you can listen to all types of music you want, so
you know tension between music is stupid really. Music is just to be
enjoyed and it's something which is pleasurable.
NMA Agent: How do you feel about this censorship which was on your
famous clip Smack my Bitch Up on MTV at the end of the 20th century?
M.R.: Well, there's nothing to do with the time, nothing to do with
the 20th century. It's just censorship and some censorship I can agree
with. Like a war when you see on the news and they show dead bodies,
and things like that should be censored in a way because if it comes
it glorifies a war. As far as the video it was something what happens
in everybody's lives. And one part of that video happens to everybody
- you know people go out, they drink at weekend, some people do drugs,
some people don't. I'm not sayin' every weekend, but during a
lifetime. It was overdone in a way, and it was all in one night. But
you know, people are experiencing it, that's been what I have
seen... there's prostitution goin' on... And at the end obviously
everybody thought there's gonna be a man but there is a woman 'cause
we're just tryin'to say that women are just as bad as men really. And
no so much as just bad as men, but that women have the freedom to do
what men do and vice versa. But yes, censorship in that way I didn't
really agree with it because it's a music video and there wasn't
anything really drastic in the video to censor. Because half of the
things you saw in the video you can buy in an Arnold Schwarzenegger
NMA Agent: You have been recording for the same record label, and
you're not recording in one of the major, let's say, record labels and
companies. What are the benefits of this?
M.R.: Of havin' an independent label?...Hmm...So was you sayin' it was
benefit of havin' independent label?
NMA Agent: Yes
M.R.: Well in a way the small company can give you a freedom and you
have a close relationship with the record company because there's only
a few people and they give you the freedom to express yourself how
you want to and they trust you in doin' that because we've taken it so
far with this label and they trust us in doin' things our way. It's a
close unit, so we're quite happy the way it is. There's no advantage
in going to a major label in any way. They just split the families up
and make everything very distant and very controlled. We love the way
NMA Agent: This radio station is the most listened in Sofia what would
you say to the audiences that are going to expect you on Saturday?
M.R.: I would say the people to come out and listen to the music and
enjoy the live show and feel up the energy really. And I'm not just
talkin' to Prodigy fans, I'm talkin' to people across the Balkans to
come and experience the show, because it's goin' to be loud, very loud
and we always put 100% of us in the live shows, there's not one show
that we don't put 100% to. So come in out to see us. Bye bye.
NMA Agent: OK. Thank you very much for your time and we're expecting
you here in Bulgaria. Bye.
M.R.: OK, I will be there. See you soon."
CONCERT REVIEW BY SUMMER BREEZE AND THE BOMB:
I and my friends were there nearly at 6 o'clock at the venue. The doors
were open at 7. We got inside and saw the place. The stage was in front
of the main tribune. Most of the people sat up there and there were few
people down in front of the stage.
First came out the Bulgarian DJs MINDSTORM. They played nearly 1.5
hours and played very good mixture of breakbeat, d'n'b and minimal
techno. The crowd became larger and crazy.
The second act was a Bulgarian band called FAKE. This was a very
strange decision by the promoters because they are a new band, don't
have any records yet and people don't know their songs. They were a
typical summer festival band - a little hard core, a little industrial
and so on. The text of their last song was only "Pro-di-gy" and the
crowd, which was ready for the headliners, started repeating it.
After the end of their set there was a little break for the sound
crew's last preparations and there were a few jazzy hip hop tunes
which we couldn't recognise. The last song was Keep Hope Alive by
Crystal Method and after that there came THE PRODIGY:
1. Rock 'n' Roll
2. Smack My Bitch Up
3. Funky Shit
4. A new song, very hip hop sounding with down tempo rhythm and
vocals by Maxim
6. Prodigy remix of Chem Bros. Remix of Voodoo People
7. We Do What We Want, We Say What We Want, We Fuck What We Want.
9. Their Law
13. Fuel My Fire
In the beginning of the show, we managed to reach the front row. There
was war. So we stayed infront of the stage and watched with attention
what's goin on. In the beginning there was Liam behind the keyboards,
Keeron on drums and Maxim on the mic. The show began. For the second
track there came Keith and then Leeroy. Keith had his double mochikans
as always. The new haircut of Liam is a blond punky hair-comb. He wore
a t-shirt like the UK flag but with wrong colours. So this is interesting
about the guys. The party was crazy. Maxim was unstoppable, he performed
kung-fu-like movements, kicked the spotlights on stage and shouted to
the crowd: Hey Sofia are you feeling nice? and so on. Leeroy was
incredible dancer and Keith was acting as usual. They came down several
times and walked in front of the fans. They were just a hand far from
our place but I couldn't touch them. Some songs were played in different
versions - Poison had cool instrumental in the middle, there are new
lyrics in Their Law - "where is the law/DJ's brings (breaks?) the law".
Extremely interesting was The last track Fuel My Fire with Keeron on
guitar and Leeroy on drums. So that it was. The show ended around 11:30