• ALBERT FENECH
    e/mail – salina46af@gmail.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jerome.fenech
    My Blog: https://myreachingout.wixsite.com/myblog.

    MalDia Old heritage watchtower at Selmun and a pop concert

     Old heritage watchtower at Selmun and a pop concert

    Right ho – so yes, there is an age gap, a great age gap
    and I now stand (or sit) at the end of one extreme in the
    music world.
    My late father loved classical music, opera and light
    classical. On Sunday mornings, aged four and my
    brother aged barely two, we sat and listened to an old
    gramophone (remember the one featured on past His
    Master’s Voice labels?) as he cooked Sunday lunch and
    put on large 78 discs and played Mozart, Verdi and
    Beethoven.

    MalDia Summer spectacular

    Summer spectacular

    When dear dad was in a “lighter” mood it was Bing
    Crosby, Doris Day and Edmundo Ros and his Latin
    American rumba orchestra.
    All these ingrained a musical love in me that I still carry
    today.
    Later, as a growing teen, Bill Hayley and his Rock ‘n Roll

    MalDia Many thousands swooned screamed and swayed at the annual Isle of MTV Concert

    Many thousands swooned screamed and swayed at the annual Isle of MTV Concert

    entered my world (classed by dad as “rubbish” and “the
    end of decent music”) and later still Chubby Checker
    with his “Twist” and undoubtedly Elvis, Cliff Richard,
    Roy Orbison and a host of others.
    My musical journey saw its sunset with The Beatles and
    The Rolling Stones in the 60s and like dad, the rest was
    a virtual disintegration of music as far as I am
    concerned.
    Am I therefore qualified to write this piece?
    The situation is this; buoyed by wonderful summer
    weather (that is if you like being roasted alive by blazing
    sunshine – but apparently many people do) and starry
    summer nights, Malta’s Ministry for Tourism has
    embarked on a committed musical path to make Malta
    one of the most attractive concert venues in the
    Mediterranean – and it seems to be working a treat.

    MalDia Iisle of MTV

    Iisle of MTV

    This is what I am writing about and NOT the music.
    A number of outdoor evening concerts have been drawn
    to Malta and with them thousands of young tourists
    from throughout Europe have flocked to Malta to enjoy a
    summer break, holiday and attend various concerts.
    Of these only two struck my fancy.

    MalDia Not really my cup of tea

    Not really my cup of tea

    One was the first-ever performance outside Britain by
    the BBC Concert Orchestra which regularly performs on
    BBC Radio 2 and 3.
    Their open air concert on the Floriana Granaries,
    compered by the much-admired actor Charles Dance
    was to say the least spectacular and attracted many
    thousands.
    The 70-piece orchestra was conducted by Richard
    Balcombe and performed classic film scores from Out of
    Africa and The Magnificent Seven as well as some of
    today’s most popular film songs from films such as The
    Greatest Showman. Bohemian Rhapsody, Frozen and
    Mary Poppins Returns.
    There was also music from films made in Malta and the
    whole show was rounded off with a spectacular
    fireworks finale to the main theme from Star Wars.
    Guest vocalists included Louise Dearman (Wicked),
    Hannah Waddingham (Game of Thrones) and Bradley
    Jaden (Les Misérables).
    Incidentally, the show was free of charge on a first-
    come, first-served basis.MalDia
    The other has to be the annual concert given by Malta’s
    world-famous tenor Joseph Calleja last Saturday, this
    time round accompanied by the much-loved blind Italian
    singer Andrea Bocelli.
    The rest of the concerts did not mean much to me but
    scores of thousands of youngsters begged to differ!
    Controversy did its rounds too. Surely enough, the
    concerts attract publicity and they attract thousands of
    visiting followers and fans to listen to rap, hip-hop and
    what have you. However, among the thousands there is
    always a percentage of drunks, drug traffickers and
    druggees and Malta Police had a hectic time rounding
    some of them up.

    MalDia Lost n Found attracted youths to Malta

    Lost n Found attracted youths to Malta

    Residents in various localities complained bitterly of
    rowdy, urinating and vomiting youths at all hours of the
    days and nights. Standards of dress, or perhaps more
    accurately lack of dress, particularly by young women
    eager to show off their physical talents in the summer
    weather and let everybody see their tattoos, also came
    under heavy criticism.
    The first to set the scene in early summer was the Lost
    ‘n Found Concert stretching over a long weekend in
    various localities and estimated to have drawn 10,000
    visitors just for the concerts and the music.
    Naturally, cash tills jingled merrily in bars and
    restaurants, hotels and apartments were packed and
    taxi drivers worked 24/7 and the airlines were kept
    happy too.

    MalDia Getting into the swing of things

    Getting into the swing of things

    The Isle of MTV Concert has become a regular annual
    fixture too, held on the Floriana Granaries and estimated
    to have attracted 50,000 followers (mainly Maltese) with
    much screaming, swooning and fainting. With the day-
    time temperatures registering close on 40 degrees, the
    stifling heat was apparently no deterrent.
    Setting the scene and responsible for all the swooning
    and screaming were guys like DJ Martin Garrix, Bebe
    Rexha, Ava Max (who apparently is a female Yank of
    Albanian descent) and Wiley.
    I had never heard of them before and do not particularly
    want to hear of them again but, as I said, the age gap is
    a gulf!

    MalDia More to my liking

    MalDia More to my liking

    Amidst all this, former Oasis star Liam Gallagher
    breezed in to give his own concert on the Granaries,
    once more in conjunction with the Malta Tourism
    Authority and once more entry was free of charge.

    MalDia Summer Daze and haze

    Summer Daze and haze

    To cap it all, around the 15th ofAugust (a PublicHoliday
    and the Feast of The Assumption) there were two further
    evening concerts, including Summer Daze, once more
    attracting bumper attendances and once more keeping
    the Police busy with drugs traffickers and druggees.
    The Martinez Brothers kicked off proceedings on 11th
    August with a performance in partnership with well-
    known Malta clubbing brand GRINGOS.

    MalDia The Joseph Calleja concert

    The Joseph Calleja concert

    However, the main events took place over 14th and 15th
    August at the Ta Qali National Park with “underground
    legends” in the form of Paul Kalkbrenner, Loco Dice,
    Green Velvet, BBC Radio 1’s Monki and local favourite
    Carl Bee all performing on the first evening.
    On the second evening it was David Guetta, Tyga,
    James Arthur, Danny Howard, Alle Farben, Tenishia and
    a number of local artists.
    And what exactly are “underground legends”?
    Search me; not my cup of tea naturally, but it takes all
    sorts.
    I wonder what Mozart, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra
    would have made of it all?
    ALBERT FENECH
    __________________
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    MALTESE SAYING
    “The oil will always surface in the water”
    This indicates that sooner or later, finally the truth will
    emerge and be known. As oil will always surface on
    water, at some point or other the truth of a situation
    will become known.
    _________________ _______________
    MalDia