BIOGRAPHY

Hi, I'm one of the Orbians and I want to tell you our story. It's a great tale about love and friendship and it's a story about love for music, nothing else.

Only love can give you the strength to pursue your dream with such constance and perseverance that allow you to rise above family and work troubles, to win over the time that passes even when you know that your work doesn't fall into any kind of discographic product and hardly allows you to pay the expense of what you do.

Many times Tiziano fell asleep during the rehearsals, sitting on the seat, instrument in his hands. That's because he was exhausted from a day of work spent outdoor.
Just like Arnaldo, who arrived fasted and in his business suit because of meeting with a customer finished at 9.00 p.m. However, every Thuesday the Orobians are all there.

It's a tale about friendship too because the band rose up from a group of friends, and nobody worried about the different levels of preparation. The ones who joined the group later became friends too.

The funniest thing about our concerts it's the journey one the van. The day after our show we immediately spend our entire fee hanging out all together by an eating house. Basically, it's a trip.

Here it is our biography:

Bergamo is a beautiful and hard-working city in the north of Italy.

It's well-known for some aspects: the ancient part of the city is so pretty that they usually take there school children for a play-day, then there's the strange and guttural accent of its inhabitants who mostly eat yellow mush (they call it "Bramata Bergamasca") they even eat it for breakfast in the morning - on the other hand, people from Genoa eat white pizza with cappuccino for breakfast - And finally, this very same people are the ones who built up a great part of northern Italy post Second World War.

But that's not all.

Lately, this area has become district of Jamaican music. A lot of popular music bands come from those places (a bit like motors from Modena, Bologna and Romagna). Who knows what Alps have to do with Caribbean but let's not forget that Lee Scratch Perry lives in Switzerland and let people take pictures of him as he walks backwards on snow?

1997: Seven friends who play winds -some came from the village band, others from established bands in Europe- decide to do something like "Skatalites", just to have fun. A little while later, they find drums and double bass but they did not the guitar. Friends start to pass the word and the rumour arrives in Milan.

Thanks to Dj ClaudioAudio -who was to become "group fan n.1"- the rumour reaches a friend: Arnaldo. He was just looking for a Jamaican project.

He was told: "Milan-Bergamo its 100km round, just for the tryout" and to it he replied "I couldn't care less, at least I'm playing "the Guns of Navarone" before dying. Plus, I like the name. It has geographic origins, like many Jamaicans bands: Ethiopians, Jamaicans, and Abyssinians".

The group from Bergamo and the man from Milan met each other in an all-nighter in December. The first tryout was arranged some days later.

First rehearsal: five winds, a guitar and a double-bass.

We started with "Man in the street" "The Guns..." "Phoenix City". It seemed real.

The winds, pumped, fumed, clattered like a flaming locomotive. Bass, guitar and drums feed the pulsation throwing coal in the firebox as much as possible. The train of Orobians was finally leaving. It was leaving straight to Kingston and nobody could stop it. It was thrilling!

The pianist was the only one missing. Some straining and we found Mirko. He was a true musician; he had studied classical music and jazz and was interested in finding out the Caribbean rhythms.

From this moment on, things evolved fast. In the circle people started to talk a lot of this instrumental band who had this really powerful sound. From the first concerts everybody could see the potential.

There was some change at the drums when Omar left for Nepal. Bunny (from the band Arpioni) took his place. He really had a perfect style for our group. We recorded a demo in the rehearsals venue with the help of Beppe Venturi, our friend who worked as sound engineer. What came out of it made us realize that this thing was working.

Riccardo "stove's pipe" -a terrific baritone sax- passed the demo to Gridalo Forte. Gridalo Forte was his record company when he was with the Arpioni and they immediately asked us to record some material for complete album.

We joined the recording session without having completed the arrangement on some tracks yet. On the other hand the studio was great. This place was the former dubbing studio of Piero Umiliani (the one who composed the song "Mah-nà mah-nà") in Rome. It was entirely wood made and it had a fantastic sound. The album was going to be recorded live, just like a 60's orchestra. That was because we had little time, but we also liked the idea. We knew that our technical skills were not terrific but that was not important.

As soon as the album was released Marko left the group to join the Arpioni. They were on a tour across Europe with Tonino Carotone and also with "The Godfather" Laurel Aitkin.

Ennio took his place. He came from Arpioni too, and was known as "The Jackie Mitoo of Malpensata". Since he had sold his instruments, he had to buy them again and he chose the organ with the best sound: the cheapest one.

He was a breath of fresh air for us and even told us that when he was young, he exchanged his whole original Tex Willer collection for a "forbidden oriental experience". We nominated him minister and guru of our band. The "Ravasianesim" became our religion.

The album was doing well, the first 1500 copies went immediately sold out and we needed a reprint.

We have been number 1 on the chart of the most important independent Italian radio (Popolare Network) Network) for six weeks, and they even wanted our band to perform for the New Year's Eve concert as an alternative to the philharmonic orchestra of Vienna broadcasted by public television.

We did many concerts in Italy and on abroad, we opened Manu Chao concert in front of thousand of people and finally, a dream came true when we performed together with the Skatalites. They even complimented us: Doreen Sheffer expressed the desire to come back and record an album with us! All of this was amazing.

Meanwhile, the Italian public television asked us the permission to use some of our songs for its shows. "Indagine" immediately became the opening theme of "Caterpillar", a very famous show which aired on evenings. We still do the opening theme of "Verba Volant", another show of the public television which airs every morning and reruns every night.

Actually we did feel the lack of a singer.

Until that moment, we never wanted to have a singer in our band. We found that our instrumental sound was original and that Italian singers often didn't have and English pronunciation believable. Particularly, since they don't have to learn how to play an instrument and usually they don't even know how to use their voice they tend to be pesky and act as divas.

One day came up the name of Ugo, still one former Arpioni.

Before the rehearsal he told us "I'm 35 and I realized that in my life there are some things that I want to do. One of these is singing Ska."

He sang amazingly and became part of the group.

On November 2002, the new album was almost ready and we chose to record a demo to submit to our record company and let them hear our new sound.

Richi, who worked for the production of Gridalo Forte choose a great study in Bergamo, with a valuable phonic, Dario Ravelli.

We were very satisfied with what came out of it, so much that we decided to make it a special edition part of a real Orobians' album. The "yellow disc" did not follow the mainstream market but arrived in Europe, America, Philippians, Japan and Thailand.

In 2000 Orobians had already became a cultural association non profit which aimed to spread the Jamaican Music. Anyway, not always we were on agreement on what artistic direction take. Little by little, was rising among us some strain.

We didn't even know how to consider us. Were we a professional band or an amateur band? How much time could this all take to man who was committed to other jobs till Saturday afternoon?

To sum up, Arnaldo preferred to take care of his own project - The Marcus Pepper Love Revue - that was recording a CD, while Tommy moved to Scotland. All of this happened while we were about to start the recording session for the third album.

Two old friends of us, Simone and Matteo, took their place to the guitar and to the double bass respectively.

On 2004 was released "Jamaican-Italian" connection and it was another success. The production was Gridalo Forte Records of Rome and this time too we cared about graphic and recordings. On the other hand, Davide gave us a really clear tip, he told us to "Do whatever you want".

We did really have a good sound and we kept on doing many concerts. In France at the end of the first tour we even got called back from the very organizers.

However, after all of these commitments, the old issues came back. This caused us to loose energy and efficiency and our activity was slowed down a bit.

After a little while Ugo gave up and Richi dedicated himself to the Bogarose, a fantastic Latin Funk band.

This was not one of our best moments and in the spring of 2005 we almost ended it all.

The marriage of Ugo was celebrated in Umbria, since he had moved there.

It was clear that Orobians would've gone there and besides the ceremony, the lunch the party there would've been a concert!

Walter, our double bass, was working on a new project with Assalti Frontali so he was not there. We decided to have Arnaldo to play the electric bass.

It was so much fun!

When Tiziano, who was also a Dj, put up Funky Kingston and Monkey Man, Arnaldo went crazy! Shaking and screaming like an orang he dragged everyone along in an unchained jungle dance. He even ate tree fields like monkeys while people looked at him appalled.

Then we all swimmed in the pool Erik, who had been a professional diver showed us a really good triple header. But he did it in the 30 cm deep children pool and he broke his nose.

The day after, in the restaurant, we looked at each other and we realized that old times were back.

We wanted to come back at work, and since we didn't have a double bass we decided to introduce steadily the electric double bass. This way we would've played the three Jamaican styles.

Accio (trumpet) and Roby (trombone) decided to quit, we closed a chapter and we opened a new one with the arrival of Luca and Stefano. Luca was the new singer, talented and enthusiastic while Stefano was a 20 years old boy who played sax amazingly. A little while later joined us Fabio, who played the contralto sax. We established a deadline.

We created a completely new repertory made of new songs, the electronic double bass took the place of the double bass so the sound became heavier and more rhythmic. We also wanted to explore new Jamaican genres like Rock steady, Lovers, Rockers but also Dub and Dancehall and even if they all had electronic sounds that we didn't have, we arranged the sound with a bit more of roots. Finally, we started to promote original pieces composed by band members. Thos pieces, along with the live repertory, would've been part of a possible new album. It took 3 years to do all of this. It has been almost as a brand new beginning for us but we did it.

Meanwhile, Orobians had their 10th birthday and Mad Butcher Records- our dear friend since forever- wanted to celebrate the event with this compilation that sums up the best of our previous works:

I have to say that we're glad this happened.

Even if we're not a major band we have a little group of fan that love us and follow us all around the world. Plus, we know it; everyone in the family likes our music, especially the ladies!

About the 2009 a new round of substitutions. Usual reasons: work, family. But for the Orobians another psychodrama .

But once again the the strength of passion (and despair) has prevailed and won: the introduction of the second guitar and the fifth string for the electric bass for a reggae-rockers sound like few powerful; maintenance of the four horn section for a original roots sound and to continue to do one of the best Ska around.

Roberto first came to piano and organ, the son of a music maestro and maestro himself. Arnaldo returned to the guitar in tandem with Simon Jr. (a young old friend). The bass was caught by a man with family, Gabriele, because only a man with a family can play reggae. Finally went to Beppe alto saxophone, playing with the same heat with which makes the engines roar in the garage where he works.

New team, new project.

From the second half of 2010 they began working in the group's fifth album, which will be recorded in May 2011 and published in November of that year.

"Slave to the riddim": a concept dedicated to the 80s. Ten songs that for various reasons have been i the pop charts in a period between 1980 and 1989, revisited with a great commitment and artistic originality. The same title is the jamaicanization of "Slave to the Rhythm" by Grace Jones, one of the most representative and popular pieces of that decade.

The "Panther" does not appear, because in the '80s she herself was out with two beautiful albums recorded and produced by Sly & Robbie in Jamaica, but other great artists of that period are to represent the one and the other side of the ocean, like Prince or Michael Jackson, for the Usa and The Cure and Eurhytmics, for England. Without forgetting the far Australia with Men at work and our Italy with Franco Battiato.

Really, really funny.

Today Orobians are making concerts featuring the new job, but be assured, in the group have already begun discussions for the "next thing".

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