Tag Archive: Cesena


I Am Not Your Negro directed by Raoul Peck (USA, 2016)
i_am_not_your_negro

The story of Black men and women in America is not a pretty one. This is an understatement. From slavery and segregation to the present day struggle to convince diehard bigots that their lives matter, the story is dominated by violence and oppression.

This sobering documentary may focus mainly on events from the past but it is no abstract history lesson.

The film is based on James Baldwin’s ‘Remember This House’, his uncompleted memoirs about Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers; three prominent civil rights activists who were all assassinated in the 1960s before they reached 40. Continue reading

rockinThe sight and sound of 1000 (or as near as dammit) musicians and singers joyously reproducing some of Rock’n’Roll’s finest moments is a memory that still cheers me to this day. This was the mother of all tribute bands.

What an evening it was on Sunday, 24th July 2016 for the provincial city of Cesena in Emilia-Romagna. Rain had threatened to dampen the event but the God of rock intervened to ensure it stayed dry.

The packed soccer stadium were not denied the pure pleasure of witnessing what the banners billed as the ‘Greatest Rock Band On Earth’.

The hyperbole was more than justified for a unique spectacle first dreamed up by local boy done good Fabbio Zaffagnini and directed with an extrovert flourish by Marco Sabiu.

In the summer of 2015 the massed ranks had played one song – Foo Fighters’ Learn To Fly – which succeeded in achieving the objective of getting Dave Grohl’s band to play a one-off gig in Cesena.

The crowd-funded follow-up project was to play a full stadium concert and its overwhelming success was proof that a combination of big dreams and collective team work can be steered towards positive goals.

cd-coverToday sees the release of CD recorded at the show and endorsed with the affirmative slogans – NO MORE CONFLICTS- PLAY ROCK’N’ROLL – STICK TOGETHER.

A full length video would probably have captured the occasion for posterity more effectively but film of the performance of Smells Like Teen Spirit gives a good flavor and the music alone works surprisingly well in putting across the raw energy and infectious enthusiasm of what was a wondrous spectacle.

Verdena live at Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena – 8th September 2016

verdena1If I had been hipper to the local music scene when I arrived in Italy over 20 years ago I would have been able to follow Verdena from their inception as Nirvana wannabes to the distinctive individuals I witnessed at this stunning open air concert.

My belated appreciation of this excellent band from Bergamo is a good motive for shaking the complacent attitude that goes with smug slogan T-shirt slogans like : ‘I may be old but I got to see all the cool bands’.

I have my daughter to thank for ‘discovering’ this cool band existing right now playing songs from current releases not running through a familiar back catalogue from way back when. Continue reading

ROCKIN’ 1000 – THAT’S LIVE : Orogel Stadium, Cesena, Italy 24th July 2016

arockin4Talkin’ ’bout a revolution?

Well, if you define a revolution as a popular uprising for the common good of the people, then that is exactly what we witnessed last night at a soccer stadium in Cesena in a unique event organized by Rockin’1000.

This time last year Cesena rocked the world with a one-off mass performance of ‘Learn To Fly’.

The stirring video of this went viral and brought tears to the eyes of Dave Grohl. It achieved the goal of getting The Foo Fighters to play in this small provincial town in Emilia-Romagna (Population 97,000) .

This is the video:

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For those about to rock. How the stadium looked before the start of the show.

This year, the aim was to kick ass worldwide once again and play, not just one song, but a full concert.

As before this was the brainchild/wild dream of Fabio Zaffagnini a modest spokesman for the project who is always at pains to point out that this a team mission that could not succeed without others having the same level of passion, creativity, madness and belief in miracles.
Continue reading

Alice_biblio“In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die: Ever drifting down the stream, Lingering in the golden gleam. Life, what is it but a dream?”

La Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena  are celebrating the 150th anniversary of  Alice In Wonderland with a small exhibition (curated by Giulia Quintabà & Maria Luisa Pieri).

This consists of book illustrations from a range of editions of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s timeless classic,  together with photographs, objects and brief biographical information.

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One of the illustrations for the Treviso Comic Book festival

34 designs are by artists in collaboration with the Treviso Comic Book Festival and these are far preferable to the sappy Disney style illustrations  in some of the books on display.

These do not top the original drawings by Sir John Tenniel (1820-1914) which are still the ones that best stand the test of time.

The surrealism and wonderful strangeness of Lewis Carroll’s work means that it’s a work that never really goes out of fashion and remains as popular with adults as with children. Continue reading

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