Somewhere in the back of my mind there was this faint idea to try and meet with them in Italy, whenever the next time I would go there would be, but as things were so quiet, I sort of forgot about it.
And then something unexpected happened. A few weeks before leaving I received an email with an invitation to listen to the band's new album, 'Undici'. That was a cue to try and reach out. I did and received an invitation to come by. It turned out the band is from Tuscany and that was on route to our final destination further south. So we booked a spot at a campsite in Montecatini Terme and started our holiday there, with an appointment to meet Bongley Dead on Wednesday evening, in their studio in Ponte Buggianese.
That Wednesday evening we left our campsite and followed the Tom Tom directions. We drove over ever smaller backroads until we had to be close to the studio. What followed was an evening not to forget. We met, talked and became friends fast.
The band played songs from 'Undici' and a few older ones. I was impressed with the ease they all play. All are great instrumentalists, with years of playing music behind them. Simone is a powerful drummer, without having to exert himself. It seems like it just happens, while this extremely powerful sound comes from his drumkit. Bass player Federico has the same ease of playing. Holding back at some points and playing melodic runs in the next. A huge foundation under all else.
Singer and guitarist Marcelo is responsible for all the melodies we heard. He writes beautiful songs that deserve to be heard by a lot more people. He's a good singer and strong guitar player who fills all the holes the rhythm section leaves him. The story of his guitars was interesting as well. 100% custom made by a guitarist from another band, see Simone's t-shirt. Looking nothing like any guitar I ever saw before.
After the practice we all played songs for each other. Marcello played a song from another project he was working on with Simone. Cecilia played two songs from her own record and Karen and I played some songs we cover with our band Sweetwood.
Some alcoholic beverages later, it was time to say goodbye to our Italian friends. Thank you for your hospitality and friendship and I hope to meet again.
(All pictures by) Wo.
You find the music of Bongley Dead on Soundcloud: