We listened to thousands of tapes. And an occasional CD - that was early nineties Poland, after all! Some had still marks from previous recordings, where something new and fresh had been recorded over it. We listened to thousands of tapes and filled a couple of school notebooks with names of bands we were interested in. That's when I heard that voice for the first time. It came from a cassette with a note: "we are called Hey, and we come from Szczecin". We loved their sound, the ambiance of the music, but the only downside was that the lyrics were in English. We wanted more bands to sing in Polish, but we decided to gamble with Hey. We invited them to play on the Main Stage.
Hey was meant to perform after Dum Dum, who were from Szczecin too. I announced the band and as I was just chilling out by the stage for 40 minutes, when I heard a heated exchange between the artists and the audience. A couple of f**k offs (coming from both sides) later, the band stormed off the stage. I rushed backstage to try to salvage the concert, and I saw Hey - they were ready, but absolutely shaken and stressed out. Kasia Nosowska was holding on to the railings for dear life and looked at me with fear in her eyes. I had to calm them down, and just casually inform them that that's it, they can take the stage now. I was acting all cool and composed, when I remembered that these freaked-out kids sing in English. So, we would have another argument on our hands...
I forced the vocalist onto the stage, then I herded the rest of the band. They looked like deer caught in headlights. I calmly introduced this new band, and I eveb remember how I told the audience that they were going to be singing in English. With my stomach in my throat, I walked off the stage... Then I heard that voice - unfogettable, hypnotizing, the voice from the tape. Once you hear it, you won't be able to forget it. The came the applause: thundering applause and even more cheers. They played encore. I saw the band descend the steps. Still freaking out, but this time amazed by the welcome.
Hey made its debut at Woodstock Festival Poland in 2004, as one of the stars and headliners. The audience knew the lyrics to their songs. Twelve years later Kasia and her band returned to Woodstock stage. And let me tell you, it felt like a queen's homecoming. The audience welcomed Hey with amazing respect and love, and Kasia's manner, reminiscent of this nervous and shy girl I saw clutching the bannisters so many years ago, was ever so sweet. You could just tell how 'cosy' the atmosphere was - with thousands of people in attendance, no less!