Bravata header2

bravi bravata and the south they all ignore!

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.

 

Bravata: the masthead of Bravata's Facebook page.

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!”

 

Bravata: the soundboard at Sudestudio where Bravata recorded their single.

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

 

The picture sleeve for the single Bravata / The South They All Ignore.

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.

 

The A-side of the single Bravata / The South They All Ignore.

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.

Bra­vata – They don’t play music like this on the radio no more! Click To Tweet

Publicity photo of Bravata posing in a garage in Lecce.

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.

 


FOOTNOTES:

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.”

 

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