Thursday, November 27, 2008

An evening with a hero

Adelmo Fornaciari - better known as Zucchero - stopped off in Glasgow last night. It was an event no Scottish Italian could miss. So, of course, I was there.

My first memory of hearing his music was when his hit "Con Le Mani" was used on some television advert in the late 1980s (I think). I was immediately hooked by its beat. It started me searching out his back catalogue and following his career. From the great Oro, Incenso e Birra (Gold Frankincense and Beer) and beyond.

Anyway, the Loch Lomond Suite in Glasgow's SECC was the intimate venue for his only Scottish date. And it was among the most pleasant couple of musical hours I have ever spent. His voice is holding up well despite the fact that he is now in his 50s. There were some good rocking numbers and a few more gentle-paced songs too. Personal highlights were "Diamante", "Per colpa di chi" and "Diavolo in Me".

The dialogue with the audience was minimal. "It's better to speak in good Italian than bad English," he explained. "Many British acts come to Italy and we don't understand them." That was the sum total of his chat for the night.

It was just a good, old-fashioned gig with high class musicians and a singer who knew how to get the best out of his songs. It was all over too soon but not before the voice of Luciano Pavarotti echoed through the hall on the haunting Miserere. An emotional and powerful package. Grazie mille, Zucchero.