The clandestine (ahem) gig

“Guerrilla gig: A type of concert performed in a non-traditional setting or arranged in an unusual fashion. Associated with punk rock, indie rock and noise rock bands.”


This kind of event is definitely thin on the ground in Malta. It used to be the norm in the good, old days of Tigne back in the ’80s, but nowadays it’s all about getting all the frills right before daring to open your mouth in front of a mic. Not that I’m complaining – the standard of gigs by Maltese bands is continuously rising and let’s all raise a can of beer to that.

But sometimes, just sometimes, it’s fun for bands – and their fans – to let their hair down. Nothing like an unlicensed (and free) open space in a long-abandoned building, broken glass and heavens know what else crunching under your feet, to make it truly rock’n’roll.

And rock’n’roll it was, yesterday night at Clandestines’ (who were joined by emerging band The Kid Knees) guerilla gig in one of the rooms of  a derelict building practically on the coast. Kudos to Clandestines because nowadays (as far as I’m aware and do correct me if I’m wrong) they are the only established band to bother with this sort of gig. This was their second guerilla gig – the first one had taken place at someone’s house months ago. This second one was even edgier. Way to go guys.

Finding the actual spot wasn’t as easy as predicted due to a barricaded road, but thanks to some very efficient online networking and human sign-posting everyone made it on time. I have a thing for abandoned buildings and the place captured my imagination immediately. Dim lighting, candles, fjakkoli and graffiti (it’s not vandalism when it’s pretty and when the building is seriously abandoned) completed the awesomeness.

The decently-sized crowd that showed up was punctual(ish) for once. And mostly sensibly attired, though I did spot at least 1 pair of stilettos somewhere. Still, those who showed up were pretty obviously totally into the spirit of the thing and up to have fun, which means that as soon as The Kid Knees kicked off there wasn’t the usual wait before the crowd warmed up. It was rock’n’roll all the way.


This was the first time I was hearing The Kid Knees live and it would hardly be fair to judge their music or their performance at this sort of gig, so I am really looking forward to hearing them at a proper location. From what I saw yesterday they have the verve, the sound and the ability to keep a crowd moshing so… bring it on.

Clandestines were their usual fun, loud, cheeky selves. More moshing, more shouting, more spontaneous crowd interaction, which is what guerilla gigs are all about after all. The gig ended with both bands – and some of their friends – taking over the ‘stage’ in a hilarious mesh-up.

10 on 10 for fun, spontaneity and for making it happen. More!