January 24, 2020

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Growing up, I always wanted to attend the illustrious Teatru Unplugged because, having been writing about the creme de la creme of the local music industry, I had heard positive remarks all round and last night, that dream came through as I attended the opening night of the sixteenth edition. t was as everyone had described it, with a line-up which was carefully thought out by the organiser, Jonathan Shaw and his team of dedicated personnel, including Marthese Portelli. From the witty remarks passed forth by Josef Bonello, to the emotional prayer read out to Nirvana Azzopardi, a founder of this superb event, it was truly an evening of breathtaking entertainment, an event which I had not seen in a very long time.

Each of the performers in the line-up had the opportunity to perform between three (3) to five (5) songs and there were several highlights in the choice of tracks, including more than one (1) by certain artists. Nevertheless, I have decided to focus on just one (1) track each in order to have a equal balance between all of the chosen acts who were careful and at times gutsy with their song selections. Having learned that Raquela did not submit to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, I was excited to watch her perform and she did not disappoint, performing a wonderful rendition of Sia’s Titanium, stripping it down completely and showcasing what is a vocal range beyond compare, one which is also focusing on a lower register, a trait which was somewhat lacking up until two to three years back.


Moving onto the next act, Stalko had garnered the attention of escflashmalta.com during the Malta Music Awards with their debut album Grandiloquence proving to be a hit amongst experts of the field and the general public. Their folk sound was very much appreciated and their stand out song was an original, one entitled Two. I was also impressed about the flow from one act to another, leading to the choice of Chris Grech as the next artist. As a semi-finalist in next years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Chris wanted to showcase his vocals in the best possible manner and he took his original song Never Walk Away to a brand new level, giving it a new lease of life and showing the public, how much it actually means to him to perform on the stage of the Manoel Theatre.


Keeping to the rock genre, Red Electrick decided to strip it back for most of their repertoire and whilst this might have been viewed as characteristic due to the unplugged feeling of the show, the public went absolutely crazy for their latest number #1 hit, The Runaway which was a breathe of fresh air, adding to the reasoning that unplugged can also be current. Despite not proving to be as I had hoped on the covers, Rachel Fabri won her place back into the stratosphere of incredible artistry last night as she performed an original song entitled Run to Me. She announced that it will be the lead single off an extended play release set for 2014. My advice would be to tweak the arrangement ever so slightly in order to be more comfortable performing the songs in the set-list.


At this point, the public were very much into the show and as a matter of fact, only got on their feet even more as The Crowns prepared an incredible selection of tracks, out of which the standout was surely Little Talks which featured guest vocalist; Cheryl Camilleri who had accompanied Scar on the stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest last year. The evenings’ final act was Gianluca, Malta’s entrant to the Eurovision Song Contest and of course, Tomorrow is still a firm favourite, with the young doctors’ charm and charisma oozing through the performance. It set-up the audience for a resounding fan-fare, a tribute to the late Nirvana Azzopardi a cover version of Let It Go proving to be the most effective. I cannot help but thank Jonathan Shaw and his dedicated team for a wonderful evening. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the local music industry.

Source: escflashmalta.com


Published in Local Music News

As always, the cultural calendar of the entertainment industry in Malta is full of activities, especially during the holidays and one of the events which will surely be garnering a massive audience is the Teatru Unplugged Concert which is being organised for the sixteenth year. The first time that the event took place was back in 1998, with Jonathan Shaw and Nirvana Azzopardi opting to create a showcase for local talent. Speaking to the media, Shaw stated that ‘the show must go on and through Teatru Unplugged we will keep Nirvana’s alive’.

Josef Bonello, a former host of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest will be the compère for this years’ edition of Teatru Unplugged which is also set to incorporate seven (7) artists across several genres including; Rock, Pop, and Classical. The audience will be entertained by the likes of Stalko presenting rich and delicate vocals; the rocking voice of Chris Grech, a former finalist of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and with the retro feel good vibe synonym with former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Gianluca. Red Electrick, known for their vibrant live performances and the pop/rock band The Crowns will also feature in this year’s edition. Two impeccable female vocalists and former finalists of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest; Rachel Fabri and Raquela are also part of the line-up.


escflashmalta.com invites all enthusiasts of the local music industry to attend Teatru Unplugged on the 6th, 7th, and the 8th December at the Teatru Manoel for a night of fun, music and great atmosphere. Tickets could be obtained from the official website at three different prices; €20, €15 and €10. As always, such an event would not be possible without the invaluable aid of the main sponsors GO. Nevertheless, special thanks go to the supporting sponsors The Point, Baileys, Johnnie Walker, BRND WGN and Camilleri Paris Mode. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the music industry.

Source: Press Release


Published in Local Music News

Mega Music Management and the Public Broadcasting Services perfectly coordinated the organation of the Malta Music Awards last night, following the extremely successful Malta Eurovision Song Contest that took place on Friday and Saturday seeing to the victory of Gianluca Bezzina and his entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat.  In reality, many believe that the awards that took place last night were professionally executed with main hosts; Keith Demicoli and Mandy Micallef Grimaud leading an impressive line-up of guest presenters. The Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre played the venue for the event, which did not offer real surprises in terms of award presentations. 

Headlining the event last night was nother than Australian/British artist, Peter Andre who has released eight studio albums, the last of which being Angels & Demons in 2012 which managed to sneak into the top twenty on the charts in the United Kingdom where he has gained notoriety following his failed marriage to reality television star, Katie Price.  The show had an astonishing line-up incorporating together; Stalko, Duo Blank, Niki Gravino, Planet Seed, Monroe, Ira Losco, Red Electrick, Hooligan, Ylenia Vella and the recent Malta Eurovision Song Contest winner, Gianluca Bezzina. The camera work was effective, the staging as seen throughout the weekend was stunning and the public will be able to view all of the awards his Saturday night on Television Malta, starting as from 20:45 CET.


It seems that the jury was somewhat quite intrigued with the talent in the past twelve months when one takes into account that the most awards that an act won, was just two in total with Red Electrick taking home Best Band and Best Song. Nevertheless, it seems that newcomers have a tendency to steal the spotlight and the Mumford and Sons feel around Stalko is quickly growing as their debut single, In a Hurry helped them win Best New Artists. The Best Album award was given to Tribali whilst the Best Solo Artist went towards female performer; Brooke who has in the past couple of months returned to the industry with singles Fairytale and Bingo. The Best Hip Hop / R'nB artist award was given to Hooligan who most recently released his third album entitled Trioriginali whilst the return of Ira Losco was also respected by a Best Video Award for her hit single 'What I'd Give'. 


The Best Upcoming Talent Award was given to Ylenia Vella, who just competed in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest whilst the Maltese Export Artist was ten year old Gaia Cauchi. Beheaded were awarded the award for Best Metal Band. Due to his presence in Malta, it was definitely expected when Peter Andre was recognised for his services to music and the crowd did seem extraordinarily excited in each of his performances. The Malta Music Awards, have become somewhat a tradition in the local music calender and therefore, it is rather imperative that their organisation continues in the years ahead because the scene is really contributing in a positive manner. We would like you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com during the year as we continue to cover all of the latest from the local music scene with regards to new releases, and events.

Source: Mega Music Management, Public Broadcasting Services

Published in Local Music News