Goran Bregović and his Wedding AND Funeral orchestra Present ‘40 Years of Bijelo Dugme Live’

Goran Bregović and his Wedding AND Funeral orchestra Present ‘40 Years of Bijelo Dugme Live’

4 ½ stars. “A wild, magic night…among the best concerts I’ve heard.” – SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

“The audience went off like Firecrackers” – THE AUSTRALIAN

Balkan rock star Goran Bregović and his Wedding and Funeral Orchestra are making a very welcome return to Australia, bringing back their Gypsy-fuelled brilliance to our shores this November, this time with 2 legendary vocalists from Goran’s original band, Bijelo Dugme.

Bijelo Dugme (trans. The White Button) was a Yugoslav rock band, based in Sarajevo, widely considered to have been the most popular band ever to exist in the former Yugoslavia and one of the most important acts of the Yugoslav rock scene.

Officially formed in 1974, the band’s debut album “Kad bi bio bijelo dugme”, released the same year, brought them nationwide popularity with its Balkan folk-influenced rock sound. The band’s future releases featuring a similar sound maintained their huge popularity, described by the media as “Dugmemania”, and the band’s work, especially their symphonic ballads with poetic lyrics, was also widely praised by the critics.

In 1989, the band broke up and Bregović continued his career as a film music composer – cooperating mostly with Emir Kusturica who during the 1990s became one of the most internationally known modern composers from the Balkans. On numerous occasions, Bregović stated that he would not reunite Bijelo Dugme.

However, in 2005, Bijelo Dugme indeed reunited, with Goran Bregović on guitar, Željko Bebek, Mladen Vojičić Tifa and Alen Islamović on vocals. The reunion saw huge media attention in all the former Yugoslav republics and the band performed three concerts only: in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zagreb, Croatia and in Belgrade, Serbia.

Now Bregović is marking 40 years since the formation of Bijelo Dugme and the release of their debut album with a series of international concerts with his popular Wedding and Funeral Orchestra, featuring Alen Islamović and Mladen Vojičić Tifa sharing vocals. To date they have performed across Europe and North America, and are now bringing the show for the first time to Australia with 3 huge dates announced!
Friday 3rd November: Astor Theatre, Perth
Saturday 4th November: ICC , Sydney
Monday 6th November (Cup Eve): Festival Hall, Melbourne
MORE ABOUT Goran Bregović

Goran Bregović describes himself simply as contemporary composer. Why then does his “contemporary” sound different from music of other contemporary composers? Because Goran is from the Balkans. And in the Balkans “contemporary” is different.

What does his orchestra for Weddings and Funerals composed of a gypsy brass band, traditional Bulgarian polyphonies, an electric guitar, traditional percussion, strings and Orthodox Church male singers, read on Bregovic’s score sheets? Echoes from Jewish and Gypsy weddings, chants from Orthodox and Catholic Church, Muslim invocations.

His music comes from that terrible frontier where for centuries Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Muslims made war and lived together. Music that our soul recognises instinctively and the body greets with an irresistible urge to dance.

Born in Sarajevo of a Serbian mother and a Croatian father. After a few years of (very unenthusiastic) music studies at the conservatory (violin), Goran formed his first group “The White Button” at the age of sixteen. Composer and guitar player (“I chose the guitar because guitar players always have most success with girls”), he admits his immoderate love for rock n’ roll. “In those times, Rock had a capital role in our lives. It was the only way we could make our voice heard, and publicly express our discontent without risking jail (or just about)…”

Studies of philosophy and sociology would most certainly have landed him teacher of Marxist thought, had the gigantic success of his first record not decided otherwise. What followed was fifteen years with his group “The White Button”, marked by marathon-tours and endless sessions of autographing in which Goran plays a youth idol in Eastern countries until he’s sick and tired of it.

At the end of the eighties Bregović took time away from this permanent hustle-bustle to compose music for Kusturica’s “Times of the Gypsies”, and to make his childhood dream come true: to live in a small house on an island in the Adriatic. The War in Yugoslavia shatters this, and many other dreams, and Goran has to abandon everything to find exile in Paris. Which became the starting point for roaming the world with his music that has made him an honorary citizen of Buenos Aires, Tirana and Athens and an honorary Doctor of Music from Sheffield University, UK.

Bregović continues to lead a fully engaged artistic life that shows no sign of slowing – composer, traditional musician, rock star, recipient of the Chevalier des Arts medal from the French Ministry of Culture and a continual champion of wonderfully creative, exuberant and joyous music that is celebrated the world over, breaking cultural barriers and bringing people together.

Goran Bregović and his Wedding AND Funeral orchestra Present ‘40 Years of Bijelo Dugme Live’

Filed Under: 100% ROCK News

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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