Fave5 with Romano Nervoso
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 print issue of Quench Magazine.
New Jersey gave us Bruce Springsteen, Liverpool had The Beatles, and La Louvière, Belgium, will always have Romano Nervoso.
As both the band and stage name of La Louvière native Giacomo Panarisi, Romano Nervoso has been heading down more musical pathways than the moniker “Godfather of Spaghetti Rock” would suggest. Created in 2009 after Panarisi realised that he was more suited to being a frontman than a drummer, Romano Nervoso has released five albums of sweaty garage-rock occasionally dipped in Ennio Morricone western twang, horror movie references and Italian lyrics, classic punk wrestling with glam. That’s just the entry point description for the ever-evolving all-star unit, who tightened up on the hard rock velocity for 2020’s The Return of the Rocking Dead.
They’ve picked up some high profile fans in the process, including Canadian hard rocker Danko Jones and French legend Johnny Hallyday, who handpicked the band for a string of dates in 2012. Panarisi hasn’t let the pandemic kill his creative drive; he’s been recording solo material under the name Giac Taylor, playing all of the instruments and singing on soon-to-be-released albums First of All, Fuck You; Jesus Loves You But I Don’t; and Dead Man’s Shoes. Once venues start booking again, he’ll have a lot of new songs to present to the public.
When that happens, you might see him perform at one of his five favourite clubs in Belgium:
“There aren’t a lot of places in Brussels left for rock ‘n’ roll, but I really like going to Magasin 4. It’s a really punk and heavy metal kind of place, and the beer is cheap. The people you meet there are the type that enjoy live music and weird music, so there’s no like hipsters or YouTubers or anybody like that, just real people.”
“There’s a venue in Charleroi called Rockerill, and it used to be a metal factory. They wanted to destroy it but some friends stepped up to save it, saying “we’re going to take care of it and do things with it.” They started without money, and step by step built it into what it is today. One floor is live music, and the second floor is like electro-rap and stuff like that. You have all kinds of people going there, it’s always packed. There’s no fights there, it’s like Woodstock, very chill. On my third record there’s even a song called Thursday Night Fever (At the Rockerill), because it’s like, I work on weekends so Thursday night for me is when I go out for the night and break everything.”
“Another good place in Charleroi is Eden, which holds something like 300 people. I’ve played there a lot as well. It’s a little bit classier and expensive of a venue because it’s brand new. Sometimes the small, sweaty venues are the best; that’s where I saw Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.”
“I like Centre Culturel René Magritte in Lessines because there’s programming for everyone from seven to 777 years old, from bluegrass to blues rock. It’s financed by the government, and there’s always somebody that I want to see play there at least twice a month. They have a festival once a year called Roots and Roses that is the best; I saw Rocket From the Crypt there, and it was amazing.”
“Number five on the list for me would be La Botanique which is again in Brussels. The venue is really beautiful, it looks like a big garden with a greenhouse, and there are like five spaces to play in there. I saw the Arctic Monkeys there when they were unknown, playing to 50 people, and I saw my favorite Rocket From the Crypt show there as well. They’re one of those venues that gives small bands a chance to play, and I really appreciate that.”
Click here to watch videos of Romano Nervoso performing
Photo Credit: Mehdy Nasser