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One Step Beyond

Show notes for the 347th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

The RifffsStart the Revolution
It looks like the long awaited second album from Malta’s longest serving ska band is coming together nicely. This new song is one that’s among those recorded for the follow-up to Moonstomp, which only materialized 30 years after the band originally came together. I’m pretty sure that this second album is only months (hopefully not years) away.

Melbourne Ska OrchestraThe Diplomat
Since this week’s MMI podcast features two other ska songs, I though it would be most appropriate to include the new single from the Nicky Bomba’s Melbourne Ska Orchestra. This band has appeared in this series a number of times before, but I really like this track because its title gives me the opportunity to wish three people I’ve known for many years all the very best on their appointment to the diplomatic offices in Paris, London, and Brussels: that’s Vince Camilleri, Norman Hamilton, and Ray Azzopardi.

nosnow/noalpsCherry Tree
This band stands out as one of the few in Malta who have recognized how to make the best of the tracks on the albums they release. Far too many times, excellent album tracks are lost on the die-hard fans who care enough to acquire the full album and listen to it more than once. Releasing a promotional video is certainly one way to draw attention to track after track from any particular album. This works well for nosnow/noalps.

Brikkuni – Ċikku ċ-Ċinkwina
I was slightly taken aback by the fact that the video for this song is billed as “unofficial” even though it features an appearance by the band, which looks rather official. I’m not sure what any of this really means, but then again this is Brikkuni, whose front man is a stickler for detail and fine points. He is also very outspoken, sometime with noticeable effect, such as the current debacle with the MCCA and the administrators of the new open-air theatre on the site of the Royal Opera House ruins in Valletta, who are demanding a €2,000 rental fee for the band to give a concert there. Vella and Brikkuni have withdrawn their plans to stage their gig there and in the process raised a broader dialogue of cultural management in Malta and the wider concerns relating to the financial value (and I don’t mean worth here) of artists and entertainers.

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