IF YOU’RE ON FACEBOOK, you’ve received requests from friends to “like” a page of theirs. These “likes” are the surest way to have your page “shared” and circulated on that social media platform. I receive a few each week, and I always have a look at these new pages—so it was that I discovered Bravata.
People launch these to display their photography, their hobby, their culinary creations, and of course their pets. The most common request I receive is to like a new page from a band.
Many of these bands are new, the musicians young, and Facebook is a free and easy way to promote themselves. I confess that I’m rarely engaged by the rock and pop music of the past few decades; I remain stuck in the Golden Age of Rock & Roll that is the ’50s and ’60s.
“They don’t play music like this on the radio no more!”
I also confess that one of the joys of advancing age is no longer caring that I’m not up on new things and new sounds—that I’m not remotely hip or with it.
So, when I’m invited to visit these sites, I normally just tick the Like button if I merely like the look of the page. If anything on the page hints at some kind of hate-related message in the music, I pass.
This is rare.
This is the header image at the top of Bravata’s Facebook page. To me, they looked young and, well, hung-over. But hung-over the way the Rolling Stones often looked hung-over for Gered Mankowitz in the photos he took of them in 1965.
Rimbaud or hung-over?
Recently, I received a request to like a page by a band called Bravata. I went to their Facebook page and immediately liked their header image: an arresting black and white photo of the trio looking like they wanted to look threatening—or at least Rimbaudianly depraved. That they also looked hung-over simply added to the effect! 1
Bravata had just released their first single so I thought, “What the hell—let’s listen to it!”
The side they band is promoting is Bravata, a fairly straight-ahead punk number. I’m not the world’s greatest punk fan, so it was merely okay for me: the band sounded good, especially the interplay between the two strummed guitars, but I rarely like punk singing and this didn’t change my mind.
Normally, I leave the page after a few seconds of not caring about a band’s record. For some reason, I decided to give the B-side a spin because of its odd title, The South They All Ignore.
Lo and behold, it wasn’t remotely punk! It sounded like something Marc Bolan/T. Rex might have cut in the early ’70s, with a touch of ’60s to it. So after a first hearing, I played it again! I liked it enough to post a link on my Facebook page, noting that “They don’t play music like this on the radio no more!”
Sudestudio on April 27, 2016, with Sergio Chiari watching as the final mixes on Bravata’s single are realized. The horizontal bar below the photo is a link to The South They All Ignore; tick the arrow on the left to play it, then sit back and enjoy it!
Baroque punk from Lecce
My comment caught the attention of the members of Bravata and I received a message from them and we exchanged a few emails. I suggested I write a piece on The South They All Ignore, because it’s the side that I think would attract the most listeners—especially old farts like myself. So we are here, and this article was done with Bravata’s cooperation.
Bravata is a three-person rock band:
Sergio “Piggy” Chiari: guitar, lead vocal
Annalisa “Doom” Vetrugno: bass, backing vocal
Clara “Tsunami” Romita: drums, backing vocal
They are from Lecce, a 2,000-year-old city in southern Italy. Because of the Baroque-like architecture found there, Lecce is often referred to as “The Florence of the South.”
Bravata describes their music as Baroque Punk, a reference to their hometown. Sergio explained:
“Baroque punk totally is a reference to Lecce. Baroque art is extreme, so are we. Lecce is a city steeped in Baroque history, which has undoubtedly influenced us as a band, subliminally or otherwise. Its omnipresence in all of our lives has contributed not only to our eclectic tastes, but also the way in which we reinterpret our inspirations and what we try to give back.” 2
This image on top is both Bravata’s logo/brand, and it’s also the picture sleeve for the single (see below).
The South They All Ignore
Their debut single on White Zoo Records is Bravata / The South The All Ignore, both sides were written by Sergio Chiari. It was recorded at Sudestudio in April 2016, produced by Stefano Manca and engineered by Danilo Silvestri. The single also features Francesco “Cagnin” Cagnazzo, who added guitar and backing vocals to Bravata, and guitar to The South They All Ignore.
It was released on October 31, 2016, as a seven-inch, 45 rpm single in a minuscule pressing of a few hundred copies. As most copies have already been sold, this could be a rather rare record in the near future.
This is Bravata’s single with Bravata as the featured-side and The South They All Ignore as the flip-side. It is a seven-inch single with a small hole for modern turntables.
A bit about “bravata”
When I went to Bravata’s Facebook page, I assumed that bravata was Italian, and had something to with the words bravo and brava. (And not the shoe.) Wikitionary defines bravata (Italian) as “mischief” or “braggadocio, or a braggart” or “bravado” as in a “false show of courage.”
Online Etymology defines bravo as an exclamation meaning “Well done!” They trace it to 1761, from the Italian bravo (“brave”). Prior to that, a bravo was a “desperado, or hired killer.” 3
I asked Sergio how he and his mates intended the word in their use of it as the name for their band. He replied:
“I guess swagger or bravado is the word. Basically, a show of courage, especially when unnecessary and dangerous, to make people admire you. I thought that sounds pretty outrageous and easy to remember.”
Don’t know how it goes over in their native Italy, but Bravata has a good, lusty ‘feel’ to this American.
FEATURED IMAGE: The black & white photo that I used as this article’s featured image may look baroque, but they were taken in a parking garage. Sergio explained: “We are a garage band for the moment. We also rehearse in a cold and damp garage, so it’s a realistic image of what the band is now.” Both it and the color photo above were taken by Antonio Leo. I opted for the black and white image because it made me think of the Rolling Stones’ DECEMBER’S CHILDREN album cover.
1 New adjective and adverb? Can we say that things affected by the writings and thoughts of Arthur Rimbaud are Rimbaudian? If so, then actions affected by or reflecting the writings and thoughts of Rimbaud would be Rimbaudianly?
2 Bravata also categorize themselves as New Wave, Dark, Gothic, Industrial, and Wave Italiano, so a lot of bases are covered there.
3 Online Etymology quotes Elson’s Music Dictionary (1905): “It is held by some philologists that as Bravo! is an exclamation its form should not change, but remain bravo under all circumstances. Nevertheless bravo is usually applied to a male, brava to a female artist, and bravi to two or more.”