CCTV Allstars
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CCTV Allstars

Prague, Hlavní Mesto Praha, Czech Republic | SELF

Prague, Hlavní Mesto Praha, Czech Republic | SELF
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Music

Press


"A Skimmering SKA Brew"

"I was a street musician, and suddenly I've got a band," is how CCTV founder, guitarist and songwriter Eddie Allen describes his group's quick evolution from small-club jam sessions in 2008 to an intensive tour and gig schedule in 2009. CCTV's organic growth has gone from improv jams at the now-defunct Sofit bar and the (still very much alive) Latin Art Café to steady gigs at Cross Club, Chapeau Rouge, XT3 and beyond, with tour dates in Austria through Germany and the United Kingdom.

Being one of the hardest-working music acts to come out of the local expat scene in recent years has certainly helped spread the the group's popularity. But, along with an enthusiastic work ethic, it's CCTV's open approach to synthesizing metal, hip-hop, folk, ska and reggae into a rock gumbo with a serious jazz edge that keeps audiences coming back for more.

Manning CCTV's lyrics and songwriting, Allen balances an open approach when it comes to the extended instrumental breaks that shape the band's unique stage sound. "I'm never going to say, 'This is how we are going to play it, like this, this and this,' " Allen says. "It's good to give space and room, especially when I'm playing with musicians who are very, very good and have the experience of many bands."

The experience helping blast the aural power of CCTV includes Czech trombonist Štepán Janoušek, who is a veteran of ska aces Green Smatroll and Milan Svoboda's big band; Philadelphia trumpet player Tom Levecchia; Swedish rock bassist Ulf Gjerdingen; and Mexico City drummer Omar Rojas, who since 2005 has backed a range of local acts, from hip-hop powerhouse Cherryhill to the world-beat Yellow Sisters.

While this expert lineup has proved its ability to generate excitement onstage, CCTV doesn't neglect the lyrics, which Allen says are inspired by "traveling, and back to basics, and playing a lot." The mix attracts a mobile generation of both Czechs and expats who have found themselves at Prague's Central European crossroads.

With CCTV's debut CD Just a Word (2009, independent release) selling well at shows, the band is back in the studio, working on a new release that promises to take their ongoing influences from dance, classical, folk, reggae, Latin American music and ska into a hard-rocking realm Allen says "is going to be really out there."

The gig at Lucerna Music Bar next week offers a perfect chance to see and hear how far this group from Prague's expat matrix can take it. Sharing the bill are two other local acts with energetic horn sections. The aptly named Christmas Brass Band has yet to disclose anything about its music. But there's no mystery about the headliner. Since 2006, the Prague Ska Conspiracy has been a familiar name to concertgoers, especially at regional festivals, for their rock 'n'roll meets rocksteady style.

As for CCTV, at their gigs this year, they've shown what Allen means when he says, "Keep it fresh; that's the idea." - Prague Post


Discography

CCTV Allstars - Just a Word 2008

Photos

Bio

CCTV Allstars are an international band that is based in Prague and has been playing together since the winter of 2008. Since that time, the band has played many shows and festivals around the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, and Belgium. The group has also been interviewed by PragueTV, The Prague Post, Radio 1 (CZ), Radiowave.cz, and Stroud FM (UK).

The bands diverse members and musical influences is how CCTV Allstars strive to create full rhythm music. “…along with an enthusiastic work ethic, it's CCTV's open approach to synthesizing metal, hip-hop, folk, ska and reggae into a rock gumbo with a serious jazz edge that keeps audiences coming back for more” (Prague Post 2010).

The band is currently touring around the Czech Republic and Europe, and plans to record a new album at the beginning of 2011. Also, another U.K. tour is in the works for early 2011. For sure, CCTV Allstars will be promising an exciting show wherever they are playing.