Reports

Many people considered it to be a sensation when two years ago the band Omega, which was formed 44 years ago in 1963, had a concert on the football pitch in Dunajská Streda. The concert in Gombasek followed and now on 23rd May in Bratislava (Sibamac arena, at 7 pm) and one day later on 24th May in Košice (at 7 pm, Amphitheatre) the “Old rascals” will sing again. The band “sent” the singer János Kóbor for field examination and then he answered the questions of journalists. Why did you call this concert series Omegatour – we asked János Kóbor. – On one side we are happy that we could become a member of the European union and on the other side our concerts will direct to some cities of the union. Apart from performances in the Czech Republic, Horná zem, Sedmohrad we also plan to go to Poland, Germany and Holland. But we do not stop at the borders of the EU, we will perform in Switzerland and probably for the first time in history we will also conquer Moscow. What can we know about these concerts? – They can vary according to the term and place they will be held at but all of preserving the traditions of the band Omega, as to outer form and music material. In fact it is not a tour but more like acceptation of personal invitations. We will not stop, – but of course we will take a break during the soccer world cup. We are big football plans; in August we will go on holiday and then in the autumn we will set off again. Next year we plan to celebrate the 45th anniversary of founding the company by organising a concert. After a long time you prepared a new album… Yes and we are happy that right here in Bratislava for the first time we can play some new songs from this album. Not the whole content, only three songs. Of course not at the expense of big Omega hits as without the songs like Gyöngyhajú lány (Girl with pearl hair), Tízezer lépés (Ten thousand steps), Petróleumlámpa (Kerosene lamp) or Fekete pillangó (Black butterfly) it would not be a real Omega concert. The name of our new song is Égi jel (A Sign from Heaven) and relating to its mood, music and text it fits in well with the songs from the albums of the band Omega issued in the 70s, for example like Csillagok útján (On the Way of the Stars) or Gammapolis. Of course on a modern technological level of today’s world. But have not been without an album even so far as some best of albums of the band Omega were issued in Germany. We are preparing the English version of the new album, which will be recorded in the summer. The music material was traditionally prepared by the members of the band, but the texts tie with the names of some other persons. János Bródy for the first time wrote an Omega song under his own name, but Péter Sülyi and András Trunkos are traditional text writers of the band Omega. Despite the fact that the texts were written by three different people, to me as a singer it seems that they reflect a unified world of thinking. And as usual, we do not deal with big issues from public life or the society – even if we could talk about many things in Hungary -, but in our songs we still sing about personal fate and feelings of people and the mood surrounding them. What do you expect from Bratislava and Košice? – I think that we have all the preconditions given for having a great party in these cities. As last year in Prague, although the audience have been spoilt by the concerts of world famous stars, more people came to our concert than to the concert of the band Duran-Duran, which took place at the same time. I consider the concert in Prague to be one of our best-level performances in our career. It was an amazing experience when I heard the audience sing the song Gyöngyhajú lány (Girl with pearl hair) in Czech. As to Slovakia, according to our experience from two years ago in Dunajská Streda and last year in Gombasek, I think there is nothing to worry about. Of course Bratislava and Košice are different, but if we were successful in Prague, it should not be the other way round here either. I know that also in Bratislava many big rock concerts take place, which are a kind of competition for us, but we are not afraid to face it. Omega was the first Eastern European band, which could achieve success also beyond the Iron Curtain. Would it be easier now? – Well, the regime change came a bit late for us. It was extremely hard to be successful a socialistic country clearly ruled by capitalistic relations. But when we crossed the Iron Curtain, I think we were interesting for them as they knew where we came from. But we did not give up! I can assure you that the band has never been in such a good form and condition as today, not even 30 years ago. We have a permanent challenge: as long as the Rolling Stones remain on stage, we shall not give up either! The Rolling Stones also had a concert in Budapest. Did you go there? – Yes. It was in 1995 and it was a great experience for me, I could not even imagine it before. I think that nothing can beat the performance of the Rolling Stones in Budapest. I promised to myself that after this concert I will never go to a rock concert any more, no matter who comes to Budapest. I still keep to it. How many albums have you sold for the past years? – I can tell you exact figures. Gammapolis is on the top of the albums in Hungarian language with 625 thousand pieces sold. In 1987 we got an award for 5 million albums sold from the company Hungaroton, now this number has amounted to about 7 million pieces sold. From the worldwide aspect the most successful album was the English version of the album Időrabló (Time Thief) with 2 million pieces sold. Totally there are about 15 million albums of the band Omega and of course it does not contain the counterfeit copies and the albums issued in the former Soviet Union, as we cannot even estimate their number. What are the chances of rock music nowadays: – In my opinion the second half of the last century was the most successful era of this music genre. Some decades passed and it is slowly becoming a classical music genre. But if the “old mammoths” die out, we do not expect its really successful continuation, as up to now there is no real continuation of the Italian opera from 200 years ago or of the Hungarian operetta from 100 years ago. I say it despite the fact that even nowadays there are many excellent rock bands but if rock wants to conquer it also requires an atmosphere, which is not really characteristic for today’s world. Photogallery

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