The Zen Circus – live at Rock en Roma – 2019 – Recorded July 5, 2019 – RAI Radio 2 –
An old favorite since the My Space days, The Zen Circus at a recent Rock en Roma Festival, recorded on July 5, 2019 by RAI-Radio 2 in Rome.
Acclaimed by the people who keep their ears firmly planted on the ground, listening for the universal and the interesting, have considered The Zen Circus one of the best things to come out of Italy in decades. They are absolutely right. Founded in 1994 by Andrea Appino and Marcello Bruzzi in Pisa. As of 2019, in addition to founding member, lead singer, guitarist and harmonica player Appino, The Zen Circus consists of Massimiliano “Ufo” Schiavelli (bass guitar and backing vocals), Karim Qqru (drums and backing vocals), and Francesco “Il Maestro” Pellegrini (guitar, backing vocals).
After releasing the self-produced album About Thieves, Farmers, Tramps and Policemen in 1998 as The Zen, the band changed its name to Zen Circus, a mashup between the titles of the albums Zen Arcade and Metal Circus by American rock band Hüsker Dü.
In 2009, the band released their sixth album titled Andate tutti affanculo (Unhip / Storm), which contained songs sung entirely in Italian. Andate tutti affanculo was acclaimed as one of the best albums of the year, and appeared on the cover of September’s monthly musical The Wild Bunch. The album also took part in the song “Nada Blanks”. Appino, UFOs and Qqru collaborated with the singer Tuscany in the recording of his last solo album. UFO and Qqru also participated in the 2009 project “Il paese è reale” designed by Manuel Agnelli of Afterhours, which involved their unreleased track “Gente di merda” included in the compilation” Afterhours presents: “The Country is Real (19 artists for a better country?).” At the 2010 Italian Independent Music Awards, Zen Circus won the award for “Best Tour”, due to their 110 tour dates. On 2 March 2011, the band loaded a documentary by Annapaola Martin on their YouTube channel celebrating the 10 years of the Zen Circus. The documentary announced to fans the band’s decision to re-release their first four albums. Villa Inferno and Vita e opinioni di Nello Scarpellini, gentiluomo were re-released by La Tempesta Records, while Doctor Seduction and Visited by the Ghost of Blind Willie Lemon Juice Namington IV were re-released by Black Candy Records. On 11 October 2011, the band released the album Nati per subire. After a week, the album rose to number 31 on sales ranking official FIMI.
The Zen Circus performed live in Florence on 14 April 2012, during their “Busking Tour”. The Busking Tour ran from 16 March 2012 to 5 May 2012, during which the band played acoustic versions of their songs. On 21 April 2012, the band released Metal Arcade Vol 1, the first of four punk rock EPs.
Not as over-bearing as usual, this gig from the Rock en Roma Festival 2019, is liberally peppered with chatty Italian announcers. They generally have something to say between numbers and run dangerously close to stepping all over intros. But they are not as distracting as they often are.
In any event, hit the Play button and dive into a little Zen Circus for the next almost-hour.
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