Roberto is a super talented singer/songwriter and double bass player. His songs are eccentric and full of laughs, accompanied with a good tune and great playing skills of course!
From growing up in his hometown of Milan to moving to Perth, we chat about it all, plus, we get all the details on his upcoming gig at Perth Theatre - we'll see you there!
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I have secret skills and a “double life” (a very normal and respectful one might I add!). If this came to light, it would reveal lot's of surprising things about me - all good of course!
What is at the top of your bucket list?
When I arrived in the UK, I lived in Birmingham for one year. I had only £20 and I went out to the supermarket, where I proceeded to spend the whole lot on a big red bucket. I figured I could do lots of things with that bucket, but in truth I never used it. My wife Lara would testify to the truth of that. As a
result, I’m not keen on bucket lists… I suppose working with Danny Thompson is the classic dream-come- true situation: I would have put that on a bucket list, but now I’m doing it. Apart from him, most of my absolute musical idols are dead, so I’m in no rush to join them for a jam.
What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
As a young lad in Milan, I have had one horrific summer job before the end of my schooling. My dad was keen for me to work in an office instead of this music malarkey, so he met someone in a bar (after a few drinks) and ‘signed me up’ for work as a receptionist in a private clinic nearby… He had not understood that the clinic specialised in a “pioneering” surgical procedure, which would make very modest men gain delusions of grandeur… I had to answer the phone to the most bizarre requests from the most bizarre
characters, and trying to keep a straight face was hard as a young boy!
A few times it wasn’t such a laugh and there were a few disgruntled customers. A couple of times the place was even threatened with make-
shift explosives on the door step, which was not unusual in Milan at the time, so nobody got too worried, but it made me late for my tea...
I love it when a bunch of new people stumble into one of my gigs without knowing what to expect.
Who or what inspires you?
My wife Lara and my daughter Ruby are everything to me, so I guess they are THE inspiration. Professionally my biggest inspiration is the memory of my dad. He was a plumber and could not play a note, but he was the most eccentric and happy person on the planet. He had all sorts of absurd theories, the worst jokes ever and was always at the nonsense. BUT, my mum and I never spent a second doubting how much he adored us. That’s a great model to live up to, I think.
Tell us about the day you’d love to live again?
My wedding day to Lara was the best day of my life. What a party! To be honest every day I spend with Lara and Ruby is a day I’d love to live again.
I had never really thought about it before you asked this question, but I guess I would love to have an extra day with my dad too.
What’s the best part about your job?
I love it when a bunch of new people stumble into one of my gigs without knowing what to expect. Is it jazz? Is it a singer/songwriter?... sometimes they may look pretty grumpy too… they sit down, I clock them
and cross my toes in hope it works..(it mostly works…but only mostly!)
My sidekick and guitar genius Owen Nicholson and I will settle in the groove of a song, we try to make the music very good, then the words come and they are a little “wacky” so the people are not sure if it’s ok to laugh. It’s excruciating - for them and for me - but then they see the people around them - some of which have seen us before - and they let the laughter out!
When a new bunch relaxes and “gets it”: they laugh, groove, sing along and at the end come to tell me they had a brilliant night. Then I see them again the next time I play in their town. All of that is the best part of my job.
Complete this sentence; the best things in life are….
Made in Italy…ok, in Scotland too...
Roberto is playing a gig with his fantastic side-kick Owen Nicholson at Perth Theatre on Monday 24th September. Find out more and book tickets here >>>
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