Wednesday, 7 November 2012

LOVELY FIREFLIES


From Rock Progressivo Italiano: an introduction to Italian Progressive Rock

Locanda delle Fate are a band from Asti that had been playing and listening to other prog band’s music for a long time before the release of a debut album with their own compositions. The original line-up featured Giorgio Gardino (drums, vibraphone), Luciano Boero (bass, Hammond), Ezio Vevey (electric and acoustic guitar, flute, vocals), Alberto Gaviglio (electric and acoustic guitar, vocals), Michele Conta (piano, electric piano, polymoog, harpsichord, clavinet, synthesizer), Oscar Mazzoglio (Hammond, piano, moog, polymoog, synthesizer) and Leonardo Sasso (vocals). “Forse le lucciole non si amano più” (Maybe the fireflies don’t love each other anymore) was released in 1977, when progressive rock was going out of fashion and wasn’t at all successful. It’s a real pity because this is a great album. You can find many influences here but all of them are blended together with a romantic, “original touch” and the result is very good. The mood is dreamy, the music and well balanced arrangements exalt the oneiric images created by the lyrics and vocals: the contrasts between illusions and disillusions and between dreams and reality are described in many poetical ways as in a kind of concept album. After all I think that the beautiful album cover describes its contents very well, probably better than all my words...

Locanda delle Fate 1977

The dreamy opener “A volte un istante di quiete” (Sometimes a quiet moment) is an excellent instrumental track that every now and then reminds me of BMS and Genesis and that shows the great musicianship of the members of the band.

The title track is about the contrast between dreams and reality and leads you into a world of quiet looking for the illusions and dreams that nobody wants anymore in a world of ephemeral shadows... “Dragged away by a stolen conscience / Dazzled by myths and legends / Our dreams are full of miracles / But when the light comes they are not enough for us anymore...”.


“Profumo di colla bianca” (Smell of white glue) is about a man who, after having found an old notebook and some old toys in the attic, longs for the dreams and illusions of his childhood... “A thousand glasses reflect the memories left by a child / I pick up a book of pictures faded by reality / Immense is the wish to close the doors on my age...”. Old and new ghosts are blurred while shadows rest in the dark attic among the leftovers of a lost time that light and dust embroider. Behind the walls the wind blows and carries away confused whispers...

“Cercando un nuovo confine” (Looking for a new border) is sweet and melancholic. It’s about a baby girl who flies to heaven leaving behind a world of dreams and reality, intertwined threads that she will never know... “You will never know love but your skin won’t get old / And you will remain a flower / A flower that the wind will never waste...”. No time to understand, no time to cry... Just a quick glance back at a planet of rocks where anxious people long for happiness. Time disappears and dreams seem as paintings hanging in the wind, all around there are new, sweet sounds... “You won’t have in your heart the hate hidden in castles and cities... You will follow the amazing acrobatics of your lighted mind / You will invent dances of words and new wonderful games / You will tell me new and old stories... Your thoughts like mirrors of other worlds will sweetly play notes you will silently listen to...”.


“Sogno di Estunno” (Dream of Summer/Autumn) is about another dream. The atmosphere is melancholic like a mild September rain pouring on the memories of a sparkling summer... “I look at my shadow while I’m walking / It glides on the rocks while the last summer rain tells me about the things I haven’t got... It’s strange, you know / The rain is falling on the lawn / The crickets are already singing / It’s strange, you know / Summer has a thousand colours / That I almost can’t see anymore / It’s strange, you know / To have such a great desire to run / And walking slowly not to waste the last moment of freedom...”.

“Non chiudere a chiave le stelle” (Don’t lock the stars up) is a wonderful short acoustic ballad. The acoustic guitar arpeggios and the harmony vocals are excellent. The lyrics are about a beautiful girl who wastes her time closed in her room, lost in her dreams... “If you hide the world from your eyes you don’t risk anything / But you will be alone / Your dreams are like locked stars / But they won’t be enough anymore / When the sun comes in...”.


“Vendesi saggezza” (Wisdom for sale) is a long, complex track. Soaring vocal lines fly over sweet melodic passages. Close your eyes and try to imagine open spaces beyond your window... Suddenly a butterfly enters your room and starts to talk about a love born among the flowers. Dreams flow but suddenly something happens and you realize that you can’t fly anymore... “There’s a burglar in the room / He doesn’t steal your silver or gold coins / But soundlessly he will snatch away from your flights your truer alibis / It’s not enough, please give me the flowers I haven’t got / I don’t want to explain anymore / You will be greater than Icarus / You will watch yourself flying...”.

On the CD edition there’s also a bonus track (“New York”). It’s a melodic piece but it is not at the same level as the other tracks... It doesn’t add anything to this beautiful album that I consider a little masterpiece.

Read about Locanda delle Fate's reunion HERE

More info about the band:
http://www.locandadellefate.com/
http://www.facebook.com/LocandaDelleFate