Kabát, from Teplice, still sell out stadiums 26 years after their first album.
No other band has won the Český slavík (Czech Nightingale) award nine times in the popular vote. Kabát (The Coat), who formed at the end of the Socialist era, capture the spirit of the post-revolution era through the lyrics of Milan Špalek. Whether it was an allegory about the mafia capitalism of the early nineties (Colorado), lyrics about working in a mine (Dole v dole) or about politics and business “being like an octopus” (Banditi di Praga), Kabát do a good job of expressing what most of the nation was talking about in the pubs.
The topics of their songs and their rock style are based on the times the five members of the band grew up in, i.e. in the Teplice of late normalisation. Teplice was renowned for its (of course, unofficial) punk, metal and hard rock scenes. A feeling of frustration in the once famous spa town which, by the way, was covered in increasingly more frequent smog throughout the Kabát members’ childhood and adolescence, would become deeply imprinted on the youth. Under the command of engineering planners, demolition experts would blow up entire quarters or even whole towns; so it is no wonder that some kind of social safety valve was necessary. This also often meant songs mainly based on vulgarities.
Their songs, many of which have become popular, continue to be played by all the radio stations. The band has sold approximately one and a quarter million records, it has regularly won listeners’ surveys, such as Český slavík, since 2003 and in 2014 they managed to attract 74,000 people to a concert in Vypich in Prague.