Monday, July 20, 2009

Goran Bregovic and his Orchestra for Weddings and Funerals, Tarvisio 19/07/2009

Well, now I know what it must be like to frequent gypsy gatherings after having taken in a rather entertaining Bregovic concert! Bregovic, born in Sarajevo of Serbian mother and Croatian father (no doubt a highly volatile mix in that part of the world!), rolled into the northern town of Tarvisio (located near the Austrian and Slovenian borders. This was also thanks to the local “No Borders Festival”, appropriately named now that these three borders basically no longer exist thanks to EU efforts), began playing music, mostly the rock kind, when he was 16.

He eventually went on to sell 6 million albums with his group White Button. Thanks to his ever-growing popularity, he would soon become the darling of Yugoslav fans. At the end of the 1980s, Bregovic fulfils a dream and writes the soundtrack for the film of his friend, the film director Emir Kusturica (I recommend the film-documentary he did on Maradona`s life), “The Time of the Gypsies”. With mayhem on the horizon in Yugoslavia, the two eventually move to Paris. To add to his mixed origins, Bregovic is also married to a Muslim woman, and no doubt this has also affected his musical choices and tastes.

Bregovic also came to promote his latest album “Alkohol”. There were perhaps 2,000 people on hand to watch his 9-member group which also included two women on vocals clad in traditional Balkan clothing. The show actually got underway with his band members emerging from the audience. And more than one person in the audience was also dancing along to his music, no doubt from his neck of the woods as these same people knew the words to his songs (all pics by M. Rimati).

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