A Thousand Fuegos
The entrance of the Prater amusement park, where we meet with A Thousand Fuegos, is one of Vienna’s recent architectural eyesores. However, once you’ve passed the fake house facades – intended to give you a Las-Vegas-style feeling of entering a glamorous hell of amusement – the park unfolds its particular charm, especially on a grey day in February, when there is not much going on. The Fuegos walk past abandoned roller coasters, deserted funhouses and finally stop at a brightly lit carousel for children. As soon as Fuegos mastermind Matthias Peyker and his band collective start into their stirring songs the lonesome mood of the park gets blown away by the compelling lo-fi-appeal, the vocal harmonies and the uplifting always-a-bit-improvised approach inherent in this music. A few years ago Vienna-based bands such as A Thousand Fuegos, the regrettably broken up Go Die Big City! and (watch out for her in the Fuegos videos as well!) started recording in the DIY-style, helping out in each other’s band, and – via the newly founded labels Fettkakao and Seayou – inspired the Austrian indie music scene with some of the most exciting music this country has seen for a while.
Prater is with 60 square kilometres Vienna’s largest park comprising expansive meadows and forests and the touristy well-known amusement park Wurstelprater or Volksprater. Beyond the Riesenrad (Ferris Wheel), one of Vienna’s symbols and the main attraction of the funfair, Prater has much more to offer. What was previously a royal hunting ground, serves as a recreation area for the public since 1766. A straight and wide avenue – Prater Hauptallee – runs through the woodland park with several ponds as remains of former side branches of the Danube. While the south of the park is calm with less people around, the Praterstern situated northwest is a much louder and rougher mixture of transport connection hub and nightly clubbing in direct neighbourhood to a red light and drug dealing area.