admin On marzo - 2 - 2011

Alberto Camerini – New Age Club (TV) 26.02.11

The revival wave of the 80s in these years is hitting Italy with unusual power. Actually, you can go to an alternative squat crowded with left-activists, anarchists, punks, rockers and all sort of people dancing Kobra by Donatella Rettore or La Notte Vola by Lorella Cuccarini. For this reason, it’s not surprising that singers who had their golden age during those years and then went into the anonymity are now back to sing their bad taste electronic songs to young audiences like they did to their parents. And probably the economic factor is not secondary.

Alberto Camerini appears to be one of those singers. He found the success with easy-pop hits such as Rock’n’Roll Robot and Tanz Bambolina, creating around his songs and his public appearances the character of the electronic harlequin, a sort of cyberpunk clown making fun of society with his silly but meaningful rhymes. What not so many people know is that behind that clown there was a real songwriter who experimented rock, ska, reggae, electronic, punk, progressive and had a long and complex career impossible to resume in just a few lines. By the way, the hope for the concert of tonight at the New Age Club of Roncade (Treviso) was to see a good and honest exhibition of an artist who lives well the comparison with the success of the past years. Sadly, it was not the case.

The night started with the exhibition of the Porfirio Rubirosa and their theatrical 60s-inspired funny show. The histrionic and charismatic singer started the concert with a clear quotation from Andy Kaufman, reading to the audience several pages of “The Great Gatsby” and (when some people started complaining) turning on a recorded version of a reading from the same book. After that the “real” concert started, with a nice mixture of good-to-dance songs and funny sketches. Many people seemed to be enjoying the performance, and honestly it was hard not to move while sipping a beer in front of the stage. The concert ended with the distribution to the audience of autographed bananas, concluding in a good and appropriate way an entertaining and amusing show from the start to the end.

Less amusing was to see an old man in his 60s, dressed with a tiny, red t-shirt that didn’t hide his stomach at all, hitting off the way he used to be, singing old songs in a very (bad) karaoke mood. Karaoke because there was no band with Alberto Camerini on the stage, just a little audio player playing music-only tracks. The result was, in my personal view, pretty sad and ridiculous. Perhaps the vast majority of the people came to this concert just to listen to some nice and funny songs and to have a dance, and surely those people had a nice night out. But honestly, there are not so many things to save about the exhibition as such. Nice songs such as Serenella, Maccheroni Elettronici, Computer Capriccio were not enough to save the show and I had to drink some more beer, close my eyes and impose myself to think about some old videos to imagine being in a concert that was worth to go. In addiction, Camerini didn’t sing the songs which are (to me) the best of his career, that are the ones of the late 70s (before being the clown of the 80s), heavily influenced by the typical sound of the Milan progressive scene. I am referring to the first albums such as “Cenerentola e il Pane Quotidiano” and “Gelato Metropolitano”, two great works undervalued by the public and apparently by the same Camerini. Suffice it to say that when someone in front of the stage started yelling “CENERENTOLA!!!” (one very nice song from his debut) Alberto replied sharply: «This is impossible, you are a provoker». Perhaps that person was a provoker, but with this “concert” Camerini showed not only that he is no longer an artist, but that he is the parody not even funny of what he used to be and try to be again. The sad attempt of an elderly man living in past memories to take as much fame crumbs as he can before retiring.

by Marco Dalla Stella


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