Of Skimmed, Clandestines & much Shh’ing

So there was no Gideon and there was no Shark, but the usual suspects were ready to party and party they did. Yesterday’s Hairyamp gig proved that, while we do love it when foreign acts visit our shores, they are no longer a necessary ingredient. The right local bands deliver just as well, thank you very much.
I’m afraid I have no pix from the night as, for once I decided to let my blogging duties go hang and just enjoy the show. The show kicked off with the lads from Clandestines. These guys’ stage presence gets better and better with every performance. I was a bit miffed at the usual local habit of showing up too bloody late for everything. It sucks for any opening act when you have people sauntering in after midnight. From an organizational point of view it’s impossible to start a three-band gig after midnight so pretty please folks… Get a frigging watch.
Not that this cramped Clandestines’ style one bit. The lads were so obviously having a good time on stage that it was pretty infectious. 
Oh, and Daniel…that thing with the guitar? Now that’s just plain showing off…and the crowd just loved every second :)
Good things happen when two people who are already comfortable and familiar with each other’s music style decide to experiment with a new project. The Shh are a perfect example. There is the story behind the name in their interview on this blog, if you haven’t seen it already. 
The Shh’s music reminds me of leisurely drives along an empty coast road, or relaxed impromptu BBQs. I appreciate this style more in the context of a chilled, social evening than in a club… I know, because I’ve Soundclouded them to death in exactly these situations. There, you may add that to your list Mr Oxford Dictionary, thank you. Still, whatever the circumstances, a performance by Alison Galea and Ian Schranz is always a treat.
The night ended on a definite high with Skimmed. Vocalist Alexandra Aquilina’s energy, her on-stage persona (she alternates sensual with aggressive to devastating effect) and that voice never fail to work up the crowd. Alexandra’s vocal range really left its mark during Isabelle, which I suspect is going to become my favorite Skimmed track.
One last word – yesterday was one of those nights when I really wished we were back to being ok with the smoking indoors thing. And this, from a non-smoker. Mike Bugeja’s sets were brilliant. Why go outside for a smoke when you can hit the dance floor instead, dammit?



  1. jean says:

    Very right so re people turning up late. Its an absolute nightmare for us and every promoter we have discussed this issue with. The Alternative Obessions guys are actually hiring a bus to pick up people and take them to V-gen at 8pm next Saturday. The people that come early suffer for the people that come late . We’ve discussed the thought of having 4 bands rather than 3 every night for Nil By Mouth but we’d have to start at 9pm sharp than……………last night at 11 the place was still empty

  2. Sylvan says:

    Just last week, there were three bands who were supposed to play at V-Gen…I turned up at 10.30pm, fully knowing that I’d be one of the first (indeed I was the 11th, including the barmen) and neither band had started yet (they were supposed to kick-off at 9.30am but I knew that if I turned up at that time, they would still doing sound check!).

    Am I sorry I didn’t pay entrance fee and instead headed home where a bottle of wine and a bed were awaiting me? Of course I bloody am! I parked god knows where for nothing. Aside from the fact that I love the local live act, but I also have a pretty tight personal schedule. Making it impossible for me to attend as much as I want to. Sorry, but I don’t feel like staying till 4am EACH AND EVERY SINGLE TIME to watch good local or foreign acts simply because people decide to turn up late. I’d rather not turn up at all!

    Abroad, they stick to the schedule and if you paid full entrance and the last act is half thru the set, then it’s your fault for not making it on time. And next time you’ll definitely turn up on time. We should start doing that instead – u tara kemm jibdew jigu aktar fil-hin in-nies. Xejn xejn naqra inkorragament lil promoters biex jaghmlu aktar events u nies bhali biex jergghu jibdew jattendu! U bhali hawn hafna mhux hazin.

    • Simon (Hairy Amp) says:

      Sylvan, I’m with you here! As are many others! Being part of Hairyamp (or not) it always pains us that people turn up almost in the small hours…..it’s a problem however that exists not only in this scene, it also stretches into other local genres. The Dance kids may have it sorted however!! It’s a high card every promoter has to deal with….Ironically, the nng crowd or other local big sharks have it sorted too…their mostly non-music lovers turn up on time. Maybe (their crowd) they realized that it’s better to be early. But of course we are talking about two different worlds here, their staff probably outnumbers our very own scene, so people tend to realize and avoid queues and the headache of having to wait in line. And maybe that’s also why “our” crowd tends to be lenient, because queues are small anyway and mostly inexistent. However bless the handful that have been with us through every gig and turn up on time. To the others, well we forgive you any way, but it’s just nasty on others that don’t want to back home late. For that, (though we can not be held fully responsible), we apologize to people like you. Believe me, when you’re at the venue from 5pm and knowing you’ll be back home at 5am the following day isn’t exactly enticing. But we do it anyway. In Hairy Amp 2/3rds of us have wives and kids, so we do like heading back as early as possible, but we have to (since we’re at the mercy of the crowd mostly) go with the flow. Unfortunately!

      I (we) have been to endless gigs locally and people just turn up late. Period. Perhaps, more so when the event is in PV. It’s just an infection that won’t subside really. On the other hand, it feels rather nasty putting on a band to an empty house, but that’s the reality. But as you said, some might have tight schedules and can’t be bothered to wait…..We don’t blame you for leaving, not showing up etc…. And yes abroad, they stick to schedule and also because punters are aware that no concessions are made. Also, because people mostly have to travel. If you miss your train or bus back home say in London, you’re screwed. So I would say that even distances play a role. Here, our fortune of having an island the size of a pint acts in fact against us. I tend to believe that one would say “Ah, I’ll be there in no time”, then traffic, then parking spaces. I mean it’s a recurring problem and people just seem to shrug it off. But it’s the reality, and we, along with bands and you have to deal with it.

      Abroad either you’re on time or you’ll miss the gig. What people don’t realize (not everyone of course) is the hard work and head scratching that goes into organizing an event. Logistically PV is not favourable due to Parking Space and what have you….but JP (V-Gen) is perhaps the only club owner putting in any real effort (for us promoters & bands) to have a place and space to express and organize. Believe me, we loose money almost every time. It’s a labour of love more then anything and again it shocks us to see people turning up late. Even the ones with Advance Tickets! But it’s beyond our control. I for one (also through habit) always turn up an hour before. Even abroad!

      One minor correction however, sound checks are (unless a technical fault draws it’s ugly head) always intended to be complete by 8pm. That gives an hour and half leeway.

      That said, we are all ears for suggestions and we sincerely hope to see you around again.

      Drop me a line if there’s any suggestion that you feel might improve the situation, seriously.

  3. Gail (Stuart Murdoch's potential future wifey) says:

    It was a good one indeed. Shall I post pics of my blisters? Ok ok….gees just asking!

  4. Mike says:

    Spot on review Ramona! Cheers for the mention, but it’s worth pointing out that mine were only the intro and in-between band sets, Hairy Amp’s own Zickler was in charge of keeping you frenzied the rest of the night :-)

    • Ah I missed Ian’s set cos I had some work on sat morning, so left right after skimmed finished. No doubt they were great sets by all :)