Article published on May 25, 2014
Article published on May 25, 2014

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

There was an air of ex­cite­ment dur­ing the con­cert that took place at Piola Libri on Friday, May 16, where the Ital­ian com­mu­nity in Brus­sels gath­ered to at­tend it.

In a cap­i­tal city such as Brus­sels the chance of find­ing restau­rants from dif­fer­ent culi­nary cul­tures is ex­tremely im­por­tant, but to be able to cre­ate a place rem­i­nis­cent of “Italy” is quite un­com­mon. Well known by the Ital­ians and cher­ished by peo­ple from all na­tion­al­i­ties, Piola Libri now counts on a group of loyal cus­tomers.

Wine, Art, Books, Taste, these are four words that de­scribe this lit­tle slice of heaven. In­deed, Piola Libri is a book­shop and a wine bar all in one place. In short, it is a mul­ti­cul­tural space where every­one can find their own hap­pi­ness in any of the events that take place here. 

Each week there is some­thing truly fas­ci­nat­ing wait­ing to be dis­cov­ered: book pre­sen­ta­tions, con­certs, ap­pe­tiz­ers, dj’s, lec­tures, de­bates, writer’s work­shops, and many more sur­prises. 

Al­though one ar­du­ously at­tempts to re­main in its in­ter­na­tional am­biance, one is still aware that most of the peo­ple at Piola Libri are Ital­ians! The con­cert that took place on Fri­day night, May 16, at 1930hs is a case in point, when the Ital­ian band named “Orso” played for its anx­ious crowd with­out the need to trans­late their songs in dif­fer­ent lan­guages.

By 1900hs the place was al­ready crowded, lured by the ap­pe­tiz­ers à la “mi­lanaise” that awaited in­side. Every table was oc­cu­pied, and even when the band kindly asked those left stand­ing to sit on a mat that was placed in front of the stage, many peo­ple still strug­gled to find a space avail­able.

To break the ice the band began with the song « I nos­tri de­cenni », their first eu­ro­pean con­cert. They sang in Ital­ian, how­ever they did not hes­i­tate to add a few words in French with an amus­ing stereo­typed ac­cent (for ex­am­ple, plac­ing all the ac­cents on the last syl­la­ble). The voice, the gui­tar, the bass, the cajon, the vi­o­lin, the melo­dica, and the choirs, all of these trans­port us to an « Italy of small things » that is also rep­re­sented by other Ital­ian un­der­ground groups such as Le Luci della cen­trale elet­trica, Dente, Brunori Sas, Lo stato so­ciale. Groups that can now be de­scribed as part of a new wave of au­thors songs.

Groups that, through their music, make us feel, if only for a mo­ment, like we are back home.  The re­sult is a won­der­ful blend of nos­tal­gia and pride. Halfway through the con­cert, Orso changes gears with a mix from Cover that ends with an­other part of a « song that no coun­try will ever own » (Mat­tia Barro), namely « Rotta per casa di Dio », from the 883, a group that Ital­ians were not able to ig­nore dur­ing their youth. 

En­er­getic, al­ter­na­tive and melan­cholic all at once, Orso has pro­vided us with two hours of sim­plic­ity, prov­ing us that it is not all that dif­fi­cult to pro­vide great en­ter­tain­ment when there is music and, of course, great mu­si­cians such as them be­hind it. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: TOM­MASO SPINELLI, GAIA D’AR­RIGO, MAT­TIA BARRO, GIULIO SCARANO. We thank the band Orso for com­ing all the way to Brusels, and Piola Libri for al­low­ing us this op­por­tu­nity.

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