Biglietto per l'Inferno (the name means Ticket to Hell) come from Lecco. They started their activity in 1972 and, until their split up at the end of 1975, they had been a terrific band on stage. Their shows were full of energy and musical talent but during their Halcyon Days they had the chance to release only one album, the excellent eponymous one. Biglietto per l’Inferno’s second album was recorded in 1974 but, on account of the financial troubles of their label (Trident), it was left unrefined and unreleased until 1992 when Mellow Records published the old masters. Finally it was re-mastered and re-released in 2004 by “La Vetraia-BTF” with the supervision of the band. The original sound quality and production was very far from perfect and it was quite difficult to fix it up after almost 30 years, but they tried hard…
In 2007 on the initiative of original members Giuseppe “Pilly” Cossa (piano, accordion) and Mauro Gnecchi (drums, percussion) a new project called Biglietto per l’Inferno.folk was formed for some live performances featuring the old repertoire of the band and in 2009 a new album featuring new arrangements of the historic pieces was released on the independent label BTF, “Tra l’assurdo e la ragione” (Between absurd and reason). The present line up features also Enrico Fagnoni (bass), Ranieri “Ragno” Fumagalli (flutes, ocarinas, hornpipes), Carlo Redi (mandolin, violin) Renata Tomasella (flutes, ocarinas) and Franco Giaffreda (electric and acoustic guitar). The original vocalist Claudio Canali retired long time ago from mundane life and today he’s a monk of the Order of Saint Benedict, so lead vocals are now provided by a female singer, Mariolina Sala. Anyway the old singer gave his blessing to the new project and Brother Claudio appears as a special guest on two tracks of the album. Another original member of the band, Giuseppe “Baffo” Banfi, features as producer and helped the band during the recording sessions
Well, in my opinion, this new project is absolutely good. The new arrangements feature folk influences but respect the spirit of the old compositions. Mazurkas and tarantellas, jigs and reels are in some way blended with hard rock and the result is a well crafted and balanced mix of fresh sounds and vintage suggestions. As in the past, the concerts are still the strength of the band and their performances attract many people, so old and young enthusiastic fans are pushing the band to go on and on since the new project is not a boring unplugged version of the old band but a lively act still able to stir emotions. The title track of the new album, an old piece that was never recorded before, is a funny kind of nursery rhyme full of energy and joyful madness that in some way depict the good vibrations of the new line up, especially on stage... “Between absurd and reason there’s just a soap-bubble / Your shadow and desire are going to clash...”
By the way, former bassist of Biglietto per l’Inferno Fauto Branchini is not taking part to the new project but he has not given up music and is working on a rock opera under the name Fausto Branchini – Biglietto per l’Inferno (Facebook).
Biglietto per l'Inferno.folk: Tra l'assurdo e la ragione (2009). Other opinions:
Paul Fowler: The return of Biglietto per L'inferno, or should I say Biglietto Per L'inferno.folk is most welcome and despite the lack of new material they've turned out an excellent album. I hope we can expect more from this great band in the future with an album of totally new material. Welcome back! (Read the complete review HERE)