This Italian band deserves a little bit of attention here. If you like prog-rock, do yourself a favour and listen to this band. Not so well-known outside of their homeland these days, but they had a bit of success abroad in the 70s. Nice little band!
Now for the celebration
By Pete Makowski
Apart from being the name for a first-class patissere in Northern Italy Premiata Forneria Marconi (or, as they`re better known, PFM) it is also the name for a first-class Italian band.
If you remember the launching of the Manticore label you`ll also remember they released a single by this quintet called “Celebration”. The band played a few venues to promote their product but never sunk their teeth into British venues and now they have returned with a tour and will continue where they left off promoting their first album and maybe their single if it is re-released.
I spoke to the band`s flautist, violinist, and vocalist Maura Pagini in the makeshift dressing room at City Poly prior to PFM`s performance there. “We have already written the material for our new album but we are not completely sure of it and will probably debut it in Italy where we`ll feel more confident. We`ll be playing most of our first album which probably hasn`t been heard by most of the people we`re playing to,” said Pagini.
Mauro was pleased with their performance at the Reading Festival although he seemed disgruntled at the time they were given. “We can`t play our best in so short a time because we like to warm up, normally in Italy we play up to three hours, at Reading we only had about forty-five minutes.”
The band are big money spinners in Italy and their Manticore release is actually the second album they`ve made (the first one is only available in Italy) and they are accustomed to playing large auditoriums. The individual musicians have been playing for countless years and have all studied music. Before PFM were formed they did session work and were featured on the majority of Italian hit records. They were “discovered” by another Manticorian Pete Sinfield who translated the lyrics of their album into English and produced their album.
“I think we`re beginning to master the language,” said Mauro, “we used to prefer singing in Italian, as it`s easier to sing from the heart in your own language. Our next album will have a few English tracks and a few Italian.”
The band`s music runs in the same vein as ELP and Yes, and Mauro thinks that this is the type of music which will be predominant in years to come. “We`re trying to express a new language, I think it has a lot to offer,” although he adds, “I have nothing against rock and roll, I love it, I used to play it, you know I used to be in a blues band playing bass and harmonica.”
Something which came as a surprise to the band was the entry of their album in the American charts at about 180, which isn`t bad for a band who haven`t had a sniff of the country. “We were astonished by this,” Mauro said, “it must have been by word of mouth, we hope to play there soon. With all these exciting things happening to us we are finding less time to play in Italy.” At this juncture Mauro was informed that the band were due to appear so I decided to take my seat in the Poly`s main hall.
The band`s performance was polished. I never had doubts of their musical proficiency but their presence and excitement on stage is something to be seen. Some of their numbers needed tightening up but I suppose nerves accounted for this. Each of the members Flavio Premoli – keyboards, vocals; Franco Mussida – guitar; Franz Di Cioccio – drums, the newly acquired Yan Patrick Djivas on bass and Mauro featured remarkable solos and definitely deserved the standing ovation they received.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Wings, Mott the Hoople, Roxy Music, Dave Mason, Smokey Robinson, Kiki Dee, Richie Havens, Back Door, Lance LeGault.
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