Music of the rock

Music critic Michael Bugeja’s radio foray brings Maltese rock to the fore with Rockna

Maltese rock bands and songs will be the focus of a brand new radio show that will start on Radio 101 this Friday. The wittily-titled Rockna… ‘our rock’, or playing on the ubiquitous rokna of Maltese TV? – is a two-hour show  broadcast between 7pm and 9pm and hosted by Times music chronicler Michael Bugeja.

The show will feature in-depth interviews with Maltese bands and artists, news from the local scene and a playlist that seeks to give an extensive overview of Maltese rock releases to date. The guest band for this Friday’s first edition of Rockna is Eve Ransom.

“While acknowledging that there are various radio shows focusing on Maltese music, which is always a good thing of course, none of them are actually dedicated to the local rock scene,” Bugeja told MaltaToday.

“Having been interested and very involved in the local scene since the 1980s, I was offered the opportunity to host this radio show by Radio 101 station manager Charles Saliba. It wasn’t really a question of feeling the need for such a show, but a matter of filling a gap that had been empty for way too long.”

Bugeja said he’s delighted that the Maltese music scene has evolved into an impressively prolific source of quality music. “That said, there is always room for improvement and I wish to stress the fact that not any or every song submitted is guaranteed a place on the playlist simply because it is by a Maltese artist; Rockna is about highlighting the music that has helped the local scene develop and grow, so quality is an inherent factor.”

Bugeja has some favourites he will showcase on the progamme. Tigné veterans know him as part of the Subverts collective, but Bugeja says each band featured will be on the merits of its musical output. “That’s why we’ve set up a Facebook page – we want to know which Maltese rock songs and bands the public is interested in and of course, any interested rock bands are welcome to email me.”

Bugeja also said he’s been working hard to find some vintage recordings but these have proved quite difficult to get hold of. “So if anyone reading this used to play in a band in the 1960s/70s and has decent recordings, please get in touch.”