Scene of a particular day, 30 April 2004: I'm on the car of Gino De Angelis, bass player of the Family Shakers, and we are just going to Bologna for a gig with the band, and the day after we will move to the Elba island for a second show. His car-stereo is spreading a sequence of soul compilations, demo tapes by bands in which Gino played in the past (his curriculum is remarkable), and everything else that is filling the dashboard drawer of his brand new car, including a cassette tape of the other band that he's a member of: The Marcus Pepper Love Revue.
His presentation sounds like: "You know, recently I began playing with another band; wanna hear some? They're going to issue an album, and they have a mother-tongue female singer that comes from England." Obviously I approve the proposal, so we start listening to the draft version of the upcoming first album of the band, which plays an elegant soul across 60's and 70's.
While I'm enjoying the vocal performances of the female soloist, Gino tells me that the band is facing a particular period due to various lineup problems; meanwhile I think: "It wouldn't be bad for me to sing this stuff!"
Some weeks later, just in a weak period when I'm almost convinced to give up my musical passion, Gino comes to tell me that the Love Revue is looking for a male vocalist. We organize immediately a meeting with one of the band's founders, and after a few days I'm having rehearsals with them.
It seems that the two male vocalists of the band went out of the team one after the other (in different ways), and due to this change the band is moving to a lineup with two solo vocalists, and two backing female vocalists that have just been selected; having already scheduled three gigs after a few months of inactivity, the Love Revue wants to restart with the 50% of new members (including Gino) in comparison with the lineup who recorded the album (which will be officially released the day of the first upcoming show with the new team).
Till winter of 2004 and then in 2005 the band's activity proceeds with no big news, until Arnaldo Ferrari Nasi reveals to be strongly dissatisfied with some aspects of the band's situation in general, up to the point of not feeling himself committed to the project anymore. Therefore, after a frantic consultation between the members of the band, Giancarlo Di Fiore (another Family Shaker) is asked to replace one of the band's founders; Giancarlo especially loves the Love Revue's repertoire, and doesn't hesitate to accept the challenge.
At the time of my joining, the Marcus Pepper Love Revue includes: Marco Pepe alias Marcus Pepper on keyboards and backing vocals; Arnaldo Ferrari Nasi a.k.a. "The Earl" on guitar; Stefano "ConcoBeach" Faini on drums (a real serial drummer who plays in seven bands, all active!); Gino De Angelis on bass; Maria De Vecchi (who accidentally attended with me a seminar in 2003) and Claudia Serra on backing vocals; Samantha Burgess (the"tigress of Sheffield") is the main female vocalist; and finally there's me. At the end of March 2005 "The Earl" is replaced by Giancarlo Di Fiore on guitar.
On 20 May 2005 the band plays live without Samantha for the first time, abandoning the old name to celebrate the beginning of a new cycle. And the story goes on...
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