Romano Drom Dishes Up Groovy Gypsy Parties

Another story from my Budapest Times contibutions, this one a short preview of a Gypsy band.  I was prompted to dig out this story when I saw this post on Facebook about an upcoming gig at Budapest’s Gödör Klub, which was one of my favorite hangouts when I lived there. The video was shot in the Gödör Klub park, and at 1:02 you can see the pond which forms the roof of the club, with a glass bottom that lets you see through the pond into the club, or out of it, depending on where you are standing.

The park surrounding the club is a wonderful oasis in the centre of Budapest, and in the summertime the club puts on outdoor events. The public comes and sits on the surrounding lawns and deep, wide staircase leading down to the underground club – constructed in the hole that was originally dug for the new National Theatre, which was then cited next to the Palace of Arts, next to the Lágymányos Bridge!  I also wrote an article about that political, cultural and architectural saga

VILÁGVELEJE, who produced the video, produce live events and manage some Hungarian artists.  They are a great resource for Hungarian music and culture. 

Although outdated, I’m posting the story as a cultural reference point. 


Alison Boston

Romano Drom promises to throw a Christmas party that you can bring the kids to.  Starting at 8:00PM Sunday, December 19 (2004) on the a38 this much sought after traditional Gypsy band will be hosting a party featuring ‘something for children’ and of course, plenty of singing and dancing in the Oláh way – well, for at least part of the evening.

Founded by Gojma (Antal Kovacs) and his son, Anti (Antal Kovacs, Jr.) Romano Drom mixes guitars, percussion, double bass, accordion, and vocals in the romani language along with plenty of dance – and now and then they throw in a deejay just to keep abreast with the times.

Anti – who sings and plays guitar – arranges and composes all Romano Drom’s songs using Tsollar, Lovar, Beash and Romanian melodies mixed with his passion for jazz, Spanish and Arabic music.  The result is a distinct and personal, yet traditional Roma sound.  His father, who accompanies on spoons, is noted for his spirited dancing and Oláh way of singing.

The group’s sound is filled out with Joco (József Balogh) on guitar and Csika (Zsigmond Rafael), on the aluminium can – and no, the result is not tinny!  Csika – who has been friends with Anti since they were children – also uses an Oláh specialty called the vocal bass and performs the wooden stick dance.

Guest appearances usually feature Zoli (Zoltán Orosz) on accordion and Laci (László Molnár) on double bass, but Romano Drom hasn’t yet announced exactly who will be playing with them for this party.  Chances are we’ll hear some deejays mixing things up.  Afterall, the party is on the a38 and it is billed as an all-nighter, and of the four CDs Romano Drom has put out, perhaps the coolest is the Romano Trip Remix, featuring some of Budapest’s trendy deejays.

This Christmas party brings Romano Drom home after a year of touring which has seen them play on stages from Finland to Israel.  It’s their last scheduled European concert before heading off for another six months of touring which starts in Montreal, Canada in February, and culminates in Finland in July.

Taste their music here.  That remix CD is definitely in the crease.

The a38 is the big concert boat moored on the Buda side of the Danube next to the Petőfi Bridge.  Phone: 1 464 3946

Tickets: HUF 1000 at the door.

Romano Drom Myspace

Budapest (Hungary): the Danube and the Petőfi ...
Petőfi Bridge with the a38 Concert Boat moored on the left. A great venue! Image by Marc Ryckaert via Wikipedia

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