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Kemmuna Airways is 25 / Lord Adder 4 China / Malta Death Fest update #1

Malta's biggest selling album is 25

Joe Demicoli and Augusto Cardinali released their album Kemmuna Airways 25 years ago, marking a significant milestone in their careers and the local music scene. According to Demicoli, approximately 50,000 original cassettes were sold in the first year, excluding the pirate copies. The album featured 12 parody songs about Maltese life in the late 1990s, including the self-titled track. In the song "Sejjaħli Ċittadin," Demicoli sings about various issues such as poor roads, high energy bills, inefficient hospitals, and shopkeepers who evade taxes. One of the lines humorously compares the mayor's well-maintained road to a pristine marble surface while contrasting it with Demicoli's own road, which resembles the aftermath of the Vietnam War.

Cardinali recalls the album being immensely popular, stating that almost every family in Malta and Gozo had a CD or cassette, with many of them being pirate copies. The duo gained widespread recognition through their performances on television, radio, and live shows, having visited numerous venues across Malta and Gozo. They also garnered attention among Malta's emigrant communities in Australia and Canada, where they performed their songs.

Demicoli fondly remembers the warm reception they received from audiences during their stage performances. People would laugh, cheer, and applaud while attentively listening to the lyrics. The duo's shows in Australia and Canada were particularly memorable. The Maltese Herald, an Australian newspaper catering to the Maltese community, published two articles praising their concerts in those countries. The reports highlighted the positive response from the audience, noting that even those who would usually be scandalized by slightly vulgar jokes were laughing out loud and praising the duo.

When plans were made to distribute the Kemmuna Airways cassette in Australia, it was discovered that many Maltese immigrants there already had a copy, sent to them by their families back in Malta. The duo toured Australia, capitalizing on the album's popularity within Malta's emigrant community. This success came after Demicoli and Cardinali made regular appearances on the television program ‘Għidli Xi Jmiss’, where they performed and presented a new track every week. Demicoli would write the lyrics for the songs, while Cardinali adapted the music and produced them. Eventually, these tracks formed the basis of the Kemmuna Airways album, which was hailed as the "album of the summer" in an article published by KullĦadd newspaper.

“Apart from the original song "Sejjaħli Ċittadin," which had its own music, the tracks on the album were based on popular songs, with the title track "Kemmuna Airways" utilizing the music from Typically Tropical's hit "Barbados"”, the duo discussed when asked about the songs' arrangements. “However, some of the lyrics had been written by Joe prior to their collaboration”. During the 1997 Għaxaq carnival, Demicoli parodied several songs by Maltese rock singer Freddie Portelli and other artists, including Enzo Guzman. One of these parodies, titled "Freddie u Eddie," satirized the leaders of the political parties MLP and PN and eventually made its way onto the album.

Looking back on the album's success after 25 years, Cardinali reflects on the challenges that fame brought, including a loss of privacy, physical exhaustion, and stress from frequent shows. He acknowledges the need to be mindful of behavior and words during performances and interviews, maintaining a good rapport with the public, even in situations that were not suitable. Nevertheless, he considers it a glorious time that he can never forget, emphasizing the magical feeling of performing for a passionate crowd and the strong friendship between him and Demicoli.

According to Cardinali, the key to their success was the politically neutral nature of the songs' lyrics, which made them universally appealing. Although the songs were primarily aimed at a mature audience, children also memorized them. Cardinali believes that the lyrics were subtly crafted, avoiding direct vulgarity. Even today, as Kemmuna Airways celebrates its 25th anniversary, people still frequently mention the album for various reasons, as Demicoli points out. The album's success can be attributed to a combination of humorous songs, extensive TV exposure, the chemistry between Demicoli and Cardinali, their energetic stage presence, and impeccable timing.

Lord Adder to play China in September

As announced by Mark Spiteri at the end of their gig at The Garage on Saturday 24th June, Lord Adder are going to hit the rock scene in China this year at the biggest open-air metal festival in the country, the Midi Festival. congratulates Lord Adder for yet another milestone in their career.

Malta Death Fest's first bands announcements

Malta Death Fest announced the first three bands for this year’s comeback of the festival set for the 6th 7th and 8th October 2023. The first edition was staged at V-Gen in Paceville between the 8th and the 10th September 2011 and focused seven local death metal bands, namely Miasmic Corrosion, Ktinodia, Thy Legion, Abysmal Torment, Beheaded and Lithomancy.

The second edition took place from the 20th to the 22nd September 2012, again at V-Gen and was hosted by Ed Veter, while the third edition was held at Chateau Buskett on the 6th and 7th September 2014.

This year’s edition is the fourth one and it will be making a return after nine years and promises to be a rager. Venue for this comeback is The Garage in Zebbug and the first three bands has been revealed.

The first local band announced is Bound To Prevail. Formed in 2014 the band’s current lineup is made up of Alan ‘Zazzu’ Briffa on vocals, Mark Farrugia Sant’Angelo on drums with Jean Vella and Keith Fenech on guitars, and Kevin Mifsud on bass. On July 1st, 2016 the band released a self-titled demo featuring two songs, followed by their debut EP titled ‘Omen Of Iniquity’ on 25th August 2017.

Bound To Prevail are set to hit the stage on Friday 6th October

One of this year’s headliners are Czech outfit Gutalax who shall perform on Saturday.

Gutalax, formed in the Spring of 2009 by four Czech musicians. In September of the same year, they recorded seven tracks for their debut album, which was a split release with the Italian band Cannibe. Subsequently, in January 2011, they unveiled their first independent album, "Shit Beast," which was released by the Czech label Bizarre Leprous. In early 2014, they followed up with their second album, titled "Shit Happens," which later saw a 2015 release through the German label Rotten Roll Rex. In 2017, Gutalax collaborated with Spasm, another Czech Goregrind band, on a Split recording.

The members of Gutalax categorize their music as "Gore 'n' Roll," an amalgamation of Gore and Porngrind genres infused with a generous dose of humor. Their lyrical themes typically revolve around scatological subjects, often delving into topics like coprophagy.

The third band announced is Putrefied Corpse, a Dutch band formed in 2013 by Arjan Van Loon on bass, Gerben Mol drums, Björn van Toorn vocals, Martin Meijer and Arno Ket on guitars. On the 19th March 2019 the band released their debut full-length album titled ‘Left To Rot’

More news to follow…….

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