Davide Van De Sfroos
is a folk
group singing in the lombard dialect
", spoken on the shores of the lake of Como
and easily understandable by most natives of northern Italy
The band was started when Davide Bernasconi - who was leading a post-punk band called Potage in Como, met in Verona the musician Alessandro Gioia. They started a band that used folk, rock, reggae, ska sounds on original songs witten by Davide. "Van De Sfroos" literally means "they do it in a tricky way", but it seems to look like a Dutch surname, so the name was born.
They started enjoying a tremendous but quite local notoriety from the beginning of the 90s. They were well known in Como, Varese, Lecco and nearby areas, and almost nowhere else.
Their first CD was called "Manicomi" (i.e. Lunatic asylum) and was released in 1995. No big money, no TV. They started touring around and people was going to their concerts by word of mouth. It was quite underground, and thrilling. You know, people in nortern Italy do not usually use their own dialect anymore, so it was quite an emotion for many - mostly young - to sing along in a language that was almost going to be extinct.
Their second CD was called "Breva e Tivan" (from the names of two winds on the Como lake, as the fishermen called them) and was released in 1999. It sold over 35.ooo copies - not bad for a local underground group.
In 1999 during the "Premio Tenco" award Davide won the "Best Emerging Author" prize.
In 2001 they won "Best independent artist" on "Rock targato Italia".
In 2002, they had a one-hour special on national television that made quite a rumour - it does not happen often for independent artists.
A lot of people in northern Italy - and not only the ones voting right-wing movements like Umberto Bossi's Lega Nord - love Davide because it's a way to express their pride in their land and in their language. This has no political meaning in itself. In some interviews Davide says he does not care much about politics and that his songs are just a way to tell stories that would otherwise be lost.
Most biographical information taken from artist's site