The summer music calendar in Malta tends to see a lot of tribute bands – including hark-backs a good 20-30 years with the likes of Kiss and Queen cover bands.
But, if you want the real local music scene, you won’t do much better than Brikkuni. They give value of money and have something to offer both local music aficionados and foreigners in search of an alternative in Malta this summer.
Brikkuni is an original Maltese band that’s sometimes overlooked by the mainstream media here, but which nevertheless deserves attention. On Friday 31 July, the band is playing their one and only summer gig at the Buskett Roadhouse. To mark the event, I got touch with the front man and songwriter of the band, Mario Vella, to see what his gang is up to.
What’s the idea behind this concert?
“The idea is to have a blast playing, while giving local music enthusiasts a great night out. Buskett Roadhouse has great ambience and is quite a way off from traditional venues here, which makes it all the more attractive to us lot.”
Apart from tracks off “Kuntrabanda” (the band’s album released late in 2008), should we expect anything new?
“We’re in the process of learning to perform our new number, which is quite a task since it’s a pretty ambitious composition. It’s entitled ‘Il-Gallinar Tas-Sultan’ and it’s a track we are very proud of. We have also finally nailed ‘L-Uffiċċju’ live. It’s a song that is quite close to our heart; however, we weren’t quite satisfied with the way we performed it in January’s gig at MITP.”
Since the songs are all in Maltese, is this concert for locals only?
“Music doesn’t really require a translator. We’ve had quite a number of foreigners turning up in past events and language didn’t seem to deter their spirit. I am sure they’d enjoy it”.
What has been the response to your album and concerts so far?
“Overwhelmingly good considering our DIY approach to things and relative low profile. However, I can’t stress enough the importance of attendances at such events. People turning up at concerts and buying CDs provides the only form of income for bands who harbor notions of complete creative freedom and productivity like we do, provided they truly enjoy what we have to offer”.
Meanwhile, what are Brikkuni’s plans for the future?
“An album is in the pipeline for 2010. We hope to release it by November next year. We’ve enough songs to choose from. It’s the arrangements that often prove time consuming since we meet very little. In fact, it’s already a small miracle we managed to sail this ship this far.”
Brikkuni at the Buskett Roundhouse
Ticket: Euro 7 or Euro 11 (the latter includes a copy of their album “Kuntrabanda” on CD)
More info, see: Brikkuni on MySpace
See also, our post on unique and contemporary Maltese music.
Photo: Oliver DeGabriele