On 22th September, the Magyar Atom plays in the Müpa. This will be the first concert for all members together, although everyone played here in other formations already.
Magyar Atom (‘Hungarian Atom’) is a group formed by former orchestral members of the Hobo Blues Band, and their first concert happened at the Gastroblues Festival in 1994. The concert (and fundraising for a nuclear reactor) influenced their name choice. They initially only played Jimi Hendrix songs, later joined by blues rock and rhythm & blues classics, so their repertoire now consists of songs by Little Richard, Janis Joplin, J.J. Cale, Eric Clapton, Otis Redding and Blind Faith.
“Every gig brings back my youth. That time when I didn’t have to think about what solo, what song I should write. When I played the Hendrix songs with all my heart”
– summarised Tibor Tátrai what it has meant for him to play in Magyar Atom.
The band has had the same members since its launch: Tibor Tátrai, János Rudolf Tóth, János Solti and Tamás Zsoldos. Their name is already a guarantee for quality for the Hungarian audience.
Tibor Tátrai has been member of various bands in the last 50 years, including Tűzkerék, Syrius, Generál, Hobo Blues Band, Új Skorpió, or the Latin Duo founded with Antal Gábor Szűcs. He is also the leader of his own Tátrai Band.
Singer and other guitarist of the band is János Rudolf Tóth who has been a member of the early rock-beat band Bergendy before joining Hobo (musician László Földes – editor’s not) in his band. He also published a solo album with the title Trendetlen, featuring his kids.
János Solti started his career in the Generál, then joining the internationally known LGT after the original drummer József Laux fled for the West. Later he also ended up in the Hobo Blues Band and the Tátrai Band, but we can also hear him as contributor on the albums of Gábor Presser, Zorán, or Gyula Deák Bill Gyula.
Bass guitarist Tamás Zsoldos is mostly famous for Barbaro, but he also played in a recent formation of LGT, and of course the Hobo Blues Band, alongside folk group Kormorán and more Hungarian bands led by Gyula Deák Bill and Ferenc Demjén.
János Rudolf Tóth said about Magyar Atom some years ago:
“I guess Jamie Winchester explained in the best way what an experience band is. We play the song as lived experiences, we never rehearse but there is a song with a title and a rough framework, and we just start to play. And it’s really like a child waiting for a Christmas present, excited about what they will find. All Atom gigs are such things for me.”
Their music, mostly based on covers and unconditional improvisation, is best to enjoy live, so they have never made a studio album but released two recorded concerts. One was the Jimi Hendrix memorial concert and the other a concert from the Budapest City Park from 2003.
Magyar Atom has been an inevitable part of Hungarian club scene for the last decades, but lately they have less and less gigs. So this Müpa concert will be a true specialty.
Article: László Sallai
Translation: Zsófia Hacsek