We loved everything about Jena. Everything. All the elements came together for a true Fosforo spectacular — and on Cez-One’s Birthday no less!. After dropping off the guys to start setting up at the Cafe Wagner, Freddy and I darted off to a radio station to do an interview and promote the show. When we got there, Steve, the DJ and host, was already well into playing fantastic cuts — everything from classic Fugees remixes to Buju Banton anthems. He played five songs off the Fosforo CD and interviewed me in English. We also gave away CDs to people who called in to the show.
Jena is a big college town, and the Cafe Wagner is a sort of student-run coop near to some of the main campuses. The guys who run the place were super cool to us, hooking us up with the righteous vegetarian fare. In the basement was a band room where we would be sleeping, stocked with a fridge full of Czech Budweiser — that’s the original Budweiser, for those who don’t know. They say Czech beer is the best, and man that is no lie. As we rested in the room, we could hear a hardcore punk band practicing next door.
Pretty soon it was time to play; the room had filled up real nice. There were a lot of dreads and the smell of herb was wafting through the air. Something told me this was gonna be good. The soundman, Benjamin, had taken great care to get our sound right and had set up nice, simple lighting on stage. Sure enough, people rushed the stage soon as we started and did not stop dancing for two and half hours. We gave it everything we had and earned ourselves a double encore. When we got off stage it was time to start celebrating Cez-One’s b-day in earnest. First DJ Rote Rude kept people moving with rare and classic ska and rock steady gems. A few more Czech Buds and a tenderly rolled spliff and we were feeling well nice! Steve from the radio station took over on the turntables and started dropping the mad mad ragga jungle joints. It was four in the morning, and although the crowd had thinned, the real dancers had remained, and the vibe was still live. One of the dancers came up to me and said, “man, we have crazy drum n’ bass parties in Jena… I mean crazy, man.. ” No doubt!
In the morning we were treated to a royal German breakfast, and as we didn’t have far to drive, we were able to while away the afternoon in the chill haunts of the Cafe Wagner.