Sunday, November 3, 2013

Frizzi 2 Fulci Concert Review

By: Mark Chester

So to Union Chapel on the 31st of October, on a cold wet Autumnal Islington evening we went. A church by day, which in the evening is given over to very special artists, to perform in gothic splendor. Such luminaries as Mexican singer Sixto Rodriguez subject of the Oscar winning documentary Searching For Sugar Man have performed to an intimate audience here. So it is fitting for Halloween this year amidst its perfect surroundings 62 year old Italian Maestro Fabio Frizzi brings his brand of classic cult-status fistful of soundtracks to an adoring mostly young hipster audience, many dressed accordingly as Zombies or cult horror figures.
We arrived at 6:30 p.m. late, as the sound check and meet and greet with Frizzi started at 6:00 p.m. sharp. We quickly got our wristbands and were escorted thru to the sound check. As soon as we walked in Frizzi was gesticulating wildly and all appeared to be organized chaos. All of a sudden through this 5 piece ensemble string section and band we were treated to a stirring version of “Movin On”, the main theme to Lucio Fulcis late dedication to the Italo-Western “Four of The Apocalypse” (I Quattro Dell Apocalisse) starring Tomas Milian.

Once the audience was seated, a total of maybe 700 strong we were treated to all the classics. The Audience was a good one responding to each cue with boisterous applause, especially when the cold electronic morbid sounds of Fulcis Zombie master class “Zombie Flesh-Eaters” floated up to greet the promontories and gothic arches, the sound of decaying flesh itself, a perfect juxta-position of heaven and hell.

There were dedications too, with Frizzi chatting easily to the audience between cues, remembering friends gone, such as the wonderful Guilliano Gemma who sadly died recently after an automobile accident in Rome, a giant of the Italo Western genre. We were also rewarded with a wonderful, magical tribute to Maestro Nino Rota as Frizzi, ensemble and band played the main theme to Fellinis masterpiece “Armacord”, instantly transforming the audience to the style panache and joi de vivre of Rome. A huge video screen treated us to gory close-ups of Fulci’s genius, interspersed with clips from Italian gothic westerns, and lurid glossy Giallos with haunting live vocals from the small choir and main female soprano Giulietta Zanardi with heavy base parts and electrifying guitar. I couldn't help thinking of the wonderful new film “Berberian Sound Studio” as I sat in on this, it felt like we were scoring the theme ourselves in the editing studio such was the immersive experience. The immaculate production led to an unforgettable experience this Halloween with the Maestro at his best, receiving a well-deserved standing ovation after a blistering version of the main theme from Fulci’s “The Beyond”, and a superb choral piece from a new film which sent the audience into raptures.

Genuinely humbled by the ecstatic response I feel it won’t be the last time we see Maestro Frizzi, and it would be nice to think he could take his unique take on horror and classic Italian celluloid with moving us by his wonderful, grisly comical and inventive approach and taking it overseas to the masses to enjoy as I believe his fan base is much bigger than this very unassuming, gentle and affable man believes. A true musical genius Frizzi once again played a flawless performance in a flawless setting.

“The Union Chapel was the perfect starting point for F2F project. And the audience who shared with me and my musicians this incredible opportunity, was the ideal audience. Thank you all, one by one, for the enthusiasm and support that has made this event unique. We will meet again soon.” - Fabbio Frizzi 
Thanks to Death Waltz Recording Co., a London based record label, focusing on classic and contemporary horror soundtracks on Vinyl for sponsoring this cracking event.
Death Waltz Recordings Co. website link:

1 comment:

  1. Fabio posted a link to this review on his Facebook page.