|di Pamela Thomason|
Eclectic Italian singer and songwriter Vinicio Capossela live in London
I first heard of Vinicio Capossela when I was at Uni. He had just released his third album, Camera a Sud, and at first I had mixed feelings about him. I mean, the guy is a little crazy, there is no denying that. But my flatmate really liked him and she made me listen to him again and again. I can never thank her enough for that. Because after a few weeks I began to really appreciate him. The lyrics that in the beginning I could not understand started to sound like poetry to my ears. And his music, at times melancholic (but not in the Italian melodrama sort of way) and at times full of energy really grew on me. That’s when I realized that he is not crazy, he is a genius (or maybe these two are the same thing).
If you have never heard of this guy you should really check him out. I know he is not so famous abroad but in Italy he is larger than life. He has been in the music scene since 1990 and has released 9 studio albums, bagging a bunch of music awards in the process. They say he is the Italian Tom Waits but I agree up to a point. While he is certainly influenced by the great US singer and songwriter (he has cooperated with Tom Waits’ guitarist Marc Ribot) he has also drawn a lot from Italian folk music.
In this latest album, Rebetiko Gymnastas his influences extend to Greece as he reinterprets some of his most famous songs in Rebetiko, a Greek urban folk music (which, incidentally, I knew nothing about and he made me discover it – that’s why he’s so great!)
Capossela’s music is full of literary references so if literature is not your thing his lyrics can be a bit obscure. But this is part of their charm. His songs also tend to be very wordy, which is why no matter how often I listen to them I can never learn them by heart.
As well as being quite prolific in the studio he often goes on tour and, needless to say, I have seen him live several times both in London and in Italy. He always does some crazy stuff on stage, like changing hats, wearing weird costumes, even drinking wine. Every time it has been different from the other but he has always been a delight.
Vinicio Capossela is playing in London, at The Clapham Grand, on 10 November.
For the tickets, click here : http://www.tijevents.com/?gig=vinicio-capossela-13
Don’t miss it !
by Pamela Thomason
(C) ITALIANS OF LONDON 2015
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