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Cliff D'Ugo: A Trailblazer in Malta's Music Scene

Cliff D'Ugo, a familiar figure in the local music scene, gained prominence as a member of The Boys alongside Marc Storace and Enzo Gusman, before later joining The Country Brothers. Unfortunately, Cliff passed away on Friday, February 16, with news of his death shared on Facebook by his niece, the actress Becky D'Ugo.

Cliff D'Ugo, born on November 29, 1949, in Sliema, was among the numerous siblings in the musically inclined D'Ugo family, actively participating in singing and playing music.

Cliff embarked on his musical journey with The Renegades, a group that frequently performed during intermissions at dances in Sliema while The Graduates ‘headlined’, back in the 1960s. Like many musicians of his era, Cliff held a deep admiration for The Beatles.

In 1967, Cliff was enlisted by The Boys to serve as their guitarist and backing vocalist. Between 1968 and 1969, alongside lead singer Enzo Guzman and later Marc storace, Anthony Farrugia on bass, Godwin Borg on drums and vocals, and Joey Chircop on organs and vocals. He contributed guitar and vocals to their debut original song, "Our Love Is Still There," recorded at Msida. However, as The Boys shifted their musical style to hard rock in the early 1970s and adopted the name Cinnamon Hades (with Marc Storace on vocals who joined The Boys in 1969), Cliff decided to part ways and pursue collaborations with other musicians and bands.

Following his departure from The Boys, Cliff went on to establish Contact, a band that showcased his talents both in the UK and at various venues across Malta. Subsequently, he lent his vocals to performances alongside his brothers in the Country Bros band and engaged in duo performances with his late brother Colin, who passed away a few years ago.

Around 2000 original Boys bassist Tony Farrugia was joined by Godwin Borg on drums together with Cliff on guitar and Joey Chircop on Keyboards and put down some music at Temple Studios.

Production was handled by Joe Chircop and Howard Keith, who also guested on keyboards. Other guests were David Vella and Jesmond Baldacchino, both on drums. Vocal duties were shared between Godwin, Cliff, Tony, and Joey. Cliff sung lead vocals on ‘Warda Fil-Gnien’, ‘Gawra Sbejha’ and ‘Kemm Xtaqt Li Nghidlek’ and harmony on the other tracks.

The album titled 'It's About Time' was released in 2001. All five members consider this collection as a celebration of 60’s music which is forever popular with all generations and as they penned on the cd’s linear notes: “they reunited after four decades from various paths in life to satisfy all music lovers everywhere with their unique cover versions and original songs. So many meetings, rehearsals, and studio [was] arranged to fit in all [of] their daily commitments which sometimes hindered this production” but was finally achieved.

In recent years, Cliff has been active as a DJ and Karaoke entertainer.

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