Dominic Ambrose Blogblot

of words: narrative, film and non-fiction

Sanremo, 2007

Friday, March 9, 2007

Five nights of San Remo! AAARRRRRRRGH!!!

Only the Italians could imagine spreading a song contest over five nights, twenty hours of prime time television. Sometimes the chattering banter, clumsy joking, and boorish comedians were hard to take, sometimes the maudlin tributes and egomaniacal living legends were hard to swallow, and sometimes the singing was absolutely abyssmal. I really thought it was hopeless, but I saved it all anyway on my TV machine for later recording onto DVD. Later, when I selected only the stuff I liked for recording, I ran out of room on my 4 hour DVD: to my profound surprise, there were more than four hours of really good music in that tacky carnival! It is a shame that no one at San Remo has ever heard the expression “Less is more”, because if people were able to access the good stuff without having to sit through hours of loudmouth Michelle, pot bellied buffoonish comics and disoriented anglophone guests, they might better appreciate what a great show San Remo can be.


Pippo Baudo hosted, as usual. But he is not just the host, but also the artistic director, and thus to some great extent responsible for the character, and quality of the music presented. At first I was thinking that it is time for Pippo to say goodbye and make leave the stage for someone with a new vision for San Remo, after all, the formula is really wearing thin in spots. It is a well-known fact that a large segment of the Italian population enjoys San Remo more as a butt of jokes than as a straightforward entertainment, and the various defensive comments made by Pippo and Al Bano and others during the course of the show demonstrated that a certain bunker mentality has set in. But when I listened again to Pippo’s little speech about looking this year for younger talent with a new voice, and how it is San Remo’s mission to present an alternative way for popular music, apart from the Anglo-American style which is omnipresent everywhere else, I began to really see things in a different way. If this was Pippo’s final year, as the rumors seemed to be saying, then it will be a chance to go in a new direction, but also a moment of real danger, when San Remo can lose its unique appeal, and simply fall in with the mediocre mainstream of Euro-pop music culture. As always, it will be a great spectacle, at least!

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May 4, 2009 - Posted by | music, performances | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Original post by dominicambrose […]

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