There was a food fair in the nearby village of Fara San Martino over the weekend notable not for its amiability, nor the excellence of the available food and drink, but for the rumour that had been spreading like wildfire that legendary American hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas were due to perform.
To be honest, this seemed unlikely. On a par with with finding Gordon Ramsay whipping up a quick bowl of pasta in our local eaterie or discovering an Italian interested in cricket.
Didn’t Sting wow them just a few weeks back at the Umbria Jazz Festival ? Hardly Woodstock, but there he was. In person. Singing.
Well…yes. True. But even so, The Black Eyed Peas ? From Los Angeles ? In a little village like Fara ?
Easy solution ! Take a look at The BEP’s website. Inconclusive. Not only were the band not playing Fara, according to the website throughout the whole of August they didn’t seem to be playing anywhere.
So check with the locals. “Are The Black Eyed Peas playing here this Saturday ?”
“Are they really ? Wow ! Fantastic !”
Saturday drew closer and sure enough, a stage, lights and a sound system appeared in Fara’s main square.
One thing we knew for sure is that the band hadn’t booked to stay with us. OK, we were full – but it’d have been nice to be asked. Then again, Taboo; will.i.am; Fergie; and apl.de.ap probably travel with entourages larger than Fara’s entire population and need correspondingly large hotels.
Only one way to find out for sure. Go along.
And the question I know you’re all asking is did The Black Eyed Peas really appear in Fara ?
No, they didn’t.
Or rather, they didn’t. But he did.
It’s like this…
Bounding onto the stage in Fara on Saturday night, were not four slick young Angelenos as sharp as a bucketful of razors and smooth as a bolt of silk oiled by an eel.
No. Emerging rather more sedately from the wings was a gentleman of a certain age called ‘Nduccio, who performs Abruzzo folk songs in the local dialect.
He went down a storm.
What’s that got to do with The Black Eyed Peas ?
Well…seems like ‘nduccio is a local slang word for…a black-eyed pea. Or as Wikipedia succinctly puts it, “a legume”.
Hence the confusion. Easy mistake to make. Legume. Hip hop band. Chinese whispers and everything…
So The Black Eyed Peas never got to play Fara. But a Black-Eyed Pea did.
Glad to have cleared up the confusion.
But all the way home, I couldn’t stop thinking about the end of that wonderful film The Commitments and wondering whether a tour bus full of impossibly cool American hip-hop artists was trundling along Abruzzo’s notoriously poorly-signposted roads looking for Fara San Martino.
Arriving, as did Wilson Pickett in The Commitments, when everyone had packed up and gone home.
If I stumble across them – you’ll be the first to know.