The band of Asti is back from their first overseas concert after about forty years from the foundation. In fact in 2012 April 29 took to the stage of City Club of Tokyo on the occasion of the second edition of the Italian Progressive Festival, playing to an enthusiastic audience in a theater filled to capacity. A quick note: the first festival was held last November with the participation of PFM, Arti & Mestieri, Osanna, Goblin, The Trip and Il Balletto di Bronzo.
The cast of the second edition of the festival, which was divided between 27, 28, April 29, in addition to Locanda delle Fate, also included The Pooh, Le Orme and New Trolls UT. While the Pooh have played all three nights as a headliner, other groups have worked in for three nights' opening. Thus, the Locanda is fated to close the event on April 29, the date already sold out from several months despite the relatively high ticket price (14,800 yen, equivalent to about 140 €). The whole event was organized by the Milan agency Di & Di (which led to Iaia de Capitani and her husband Franz Cioccio, well known drummer of PFM).
Club Città is considered the temple of music of the Japanese capital: the building, a sort of hangar can accommodate a thousand seats, is equipped with the best in terms of sound equipment and lighting.
The line up of the band is composed by the 4 founders Oscar Mazzoglio on keyboards, Giorgio Gardino on drums, Luciano Boero on bass guitar and Leonardo Sasso on vocals, to which were added in the reunion of 2010 Maurizio Muha at the piano and keyboards and Max Brignolo on guitar.
The Japanese market is the most receptive to prog music in general and especially to the Italian one: " Forse le lucciole non si amano più" (Maybe the fireflies do not love each other anymore), the first album of the Locanda delle Fate, published in '77, has sold over 100,000 copies and many rankings of the country of the rising sun put it in first place in terms of consensus.
For the piedmontese band's concert in Tokyo Piedmont was another opportunity to promote their latest album "The missing fireflies", released last March 2012.
The concert lasted for 70 ', according to the following schedule:
- A volte un istante di quiete
- Forse le lucciole non si amano più
- Profumo di colla bianca
- Sogno di Estunno
- Non chiudere a chiave le stelle
- Cercando un nuovo confine
- Sequenza circolare/ La giostra
- Vendesi saggezza.
The audience, thrilled, honored the Locanda delle Fate in the final with a long standing ovation. The love of the public towards the group was also witnessed by the fact that all the merchandising Locanda (several hundred items, including CDs, LPs, T-shirts) literally went like hot cakes, running out during the first hour of 'opening the gates.
A review by ‘Melonia’ (English translation by Yoshiko Kase)
I visited the concert venue, Club Citta Kawasaki on April 29, on the third day of the Italian Progressive Rock Festival.
The Japan tour of Locanda delle Fate. I thought I MUST go to this gig, whatever happens to me; even I had to crawl on my knees. They are such a precious band for me.
I spent my thirty years along with the album jacket of Locanda delle Fate, pictured with a wondering firefly fairy in a beautiful blue beach at night. I have been listening to this melody and music for years. So I decided to bring the album jacket to the concert. I was the guy who was overjoyed at the right end, swinging the album jacket.
The performance of Locanda delle Fate was fantastic! Leonardo Sasso’s voice sounded exactly the same as it was in 1977. This was what I wanted! Without Leonardo’s voice, the music would not be that of Locanda delle Fate, however perfect the performance would be. I was actually concerned that the big Leonardo might not be able to visit Japan due to some injuries such as breaking his leg or so. I had in mind cancellation of Banco’s Japan tour due to Jacomo’s leg injury some years ago.
Nevertheless, apart from my concern, it was Alberto Radius who was not able to visit Japan this time due to his cardiac bypass surgery. As a fan, we should all consider his age, and not to ask too much.
Now, Locanda delle Fate is on stage.
I was already deeply overwhelmed by the opening number ‘A volte un instante di quiete’. The familiar melody made me so emotional. When Leonardo appeared on stage with the second number, I lost all my senses. I burst into tears. Leonardo deeply bowed with his palms of hand folded, as if he was praying for the souls of the big earthquake and tsunami victims. He started to sing.
Oh, the melody was deep and full of emotion. Leonardo’s great vocals were so enriched and well matured with the passage of time. Illusion and fantastic beauty permeated the venue. As the song title ‘Forse le lucciole non si amano più’ says, a sad but beautiful tale had begun.
The band consisted of six members. Double keyboards were the same as in the ‘70s, but there was only one guitar player this time. No one played the flute, and the keyboard played the flute part. The drummer wore a headband with the rising sun and characters of ‘Japan’. You can tell they like Japan.
The band played the numbers of their first album with slight changes in the order than that of the album. ‘Crescendo’ and ‘Vendesi saggezza’ were played in between, and they presented the audience with their entire repertoire.
The music of Locanda delle Fate is characterized by frequent rhythm changes and very complicated composition; sometimes the rhythm changes more than ten times. I could image their rigorous rehearsals in order to play such music perfectly at the live concert. Locanda delle Fate was PERFECT. Their music is unique in terms of dramatic changes between serenity and motion, also with changing emotions.
I should say that these structural esthetics are the conclusion of progressive rock. Locanda delle Fate completely reproduced their first album for the Japanese audience, out of their love for Japan, at least I hoped so.
‘Forse le lucciole non si amano più’ sold 100,000 copies only in Japan. Masashi Kitamura, who wrote the liner notes in the Polydor version released in mid 19980s described as below:
“Among the Japanese prog society in general, only a very small number of fans knew about Locanda delle Fate, or heard their music, I suppose; rather, it is appropriate to say they were hardly known. Locanda delle Fate had low presence in Japan and the rest of the world, let alone their home country Italy. Only few people knew their name and their reputation was spread by word of mouth among the fans. I should say they have been present in the prog rock scene as the representative of a ‘band of illusion’, which I found quite unlucky.”
I may say that the Japanese prog rock scene and their fans contributed in spreading Locada delle Fate’s fame to the prog society, and nurtured up to a legend. Nonetheless, the eternal artistic value is of course one of the essentiality.
So, tonight was a miracle. The full album that was released in 1977, was almost being forgotten by the music scene. The album was released in this country in the Far East in the 1980s, and thirty years have passed since.
I had the slightest dream that the original line up could visit Japan, and performed the premium symphonic rock ‘Forse le lucciole non si amano pi?’ I hadn’t thought about this, even at the previous Italian Progressive Rock Festival in Japan in 2010. After all, a fragile dream in spring popped up as a reality in front of me.
I was happy to observe many young Japanese prog fans at the venue. They are aware of the great music of Locanda delle Fate, and came over to the concert. I would strongly recommend the band to the younger generation. I’d like them to know that the most beautiful music existed in Italy, and now being played in Japan. I wish they would deliver this message to the next generation. I was convinced that the live concert tonight would be another legend in Japan.
I was very happy to live up to this age that I could experience this concert tonight.
My sincere thanks go to Locanda delle Fate.