Jailhouse rock for local folk-pop | Brikkuni

Having released their sophomore album a few months ago, local folk-pop act Brikkuni will be performing their annual summer concert in an unconventional venue.

Brikkuni launching their second album, Trabokk, at City Theatre, Valletta last February. Photo by Karl Camilleri.
Brikkuni launching their second album, Trabokk, at City Theatre, Valletta last February. Photo by Karl Camilleri.

Tonight at 20:00, the eight-piece will take to the old prison yard at Corradino Hill, Paola, in a decision that Brikkuni front man Mario Vella said arose from "necessity and convenience".

Given how Trabokk is a quieter, more reflective album when compared to their 2008 debut, Kuntrabanda!, there is bound to be a difference in the audience's reaction to their less loud, chaotic songs... not to mention that the different song-writing decisions that characterise the new album may have netted a different fan base for the band.

However, Vella believes that Brikkuni's audience was always wide-ranging.

"I think we furthered our reach with Trabokk. Sceptics who initially pegged us as a one-trick-pony, a fad of sorts, may have had to reconsider in view of Trabokk's multifaceted songs... which is nice, since preaching to the converted doesn't rate high on our agenda."

And how do the new songs directly bear on the live performance?

According to Vella, "they complicate the set list and stretch us considerably as performers.

"Down-tempo songs are much more demanding. In fact, our shortcomings tend to be at their most glaringly obvious during such numbers. On a personal note, I feel it useless to ponder this question as I believe such songs are compulsory. Transmitting only one kind of vibe, playing around with the same emotion is pretty boring and ultimately, manipulative".

The band has also been actively involved in campaigning for better conditions for local musicians over the past few months. In particular, Vella co-founded a Facebook pressure group entitled DOQQ to highlight and confront the issue of musicians having to fork out ridiculous guarantees to secure venues.

Though Vella claims that local musicians are still plagued by problems, he also says that the situation has been improving.

"We were lucky enough to team up with popular comedy troupe Zoo recently. Aside from being fantastically honest people they seem to have everything in order. The group made life a bit easier for us but the problems are still there: logistics, infrastructure, human resources - you name it, you have it. The Culture Ministry is certainly doing it's bit far from the public eye... but more needs to be done. And sooner, rather than later."

Brikkuni will be supported by Teletubi on the night. Tickets at €8.50 can be booked online through: www.biljetti.com.