Absolutely Live is the newly released cd by the Livornese ukulele band Sinfonico Honolulu which looks like being the sound for this coming summer!
The album was recorded during an enthusiastically received concert at the Teatro C in Livorno, in March 2011. Seven ukuleles, one guitar and one great voice combine to bring us an appealing collection of British and American pop and rock classics.
The album kicks off in 1970 with a powerful rendition of Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World, and then steps back to the Sixties for four tracks, including a snappy version of Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots are Made for Walking. Then it’s back and forth across the decades, from the Beatles (especially good the upbeat arrangement of Eleanor Rigby by Daniele Catalucci and Alessandro Rossini ) to the Cure and Depeche Mode (Enjoy the Silence - better than the original) , and from Supergrass to The Rolling Stones and Lou Reed.
The arrangements are fresh and surprising, the familiar covers feeling like a gathering of good friends you haven’t seen for a while, bringing unexpected news! It’s the sound for summer parties and letting your hair down.
The friendly , between-track banter reflects the band’s convivial rapport and a laid-back but professional attitude to music making. It is clear from the start that these guys know what they’re about - they are all accomplished musicians with years of experience: Steve Sperguenzie’s intoxicating voice, like a glass of full-bodied Tuscan red (on the subject of parties!), the polished guitar skills of Daniele Catalucci (Virgiana Miller), and the slick ukulele sounds of Filippo Ceverini ‘leader of the band’, Giovanni Guarnieri, Francesco Damiani (Take on Me), Gianluca Milanese, Alessandro Rossini, and Luca Carotenuto (Space Oddity).
The high points on the Absolutely Live album are the band’s interpretation of the Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil, Lou Reed’s Satellite of Love, the unexpectedly uplifting intro to Aha’s Take on Me, and Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence. The album goes out with a bang on Hey Ya (Andre 3000), and the sing-along Have you Ever Seen the Rain. Steve excels on all these tracks, accompanied by his fellow musicians’ harmonious backing vocals and exhilarating guitar and ukulele riffs and solos.
It’s good, it’s fun, and it’s an ABSOLUTELY essential summer album!
The cd is available from:
BLACK CANDY STORE Via Caduti Di Cefalonia 74 (Novoli), Florence
Catch up with the Sinfonico Honolulu live this summer - they look just as good as they sound!:
29 June Bocca di Magra (LA SPEZIA )
2 July Fortezza Livorno
12 July San Vincenzo
13 July Festival Livorno
29 July Lavagna
5 August Il Cardellino, Castiglioncello