GHAXAQ FESTIVAL: HOT AUGUST NIGHTS
The current heatwave may drain the energy levels of most people but not, it seems, of the team behind the Ghaxaq Music Festival, who have been working relentlessly as the start of the 2015 edition draws closer. In similar fashion to last year's edition, the festival will be a 3-day affair, kicking off this Wednesday with a line-up that brings together an interesting mix of genres and sounds. The opening night will feature Infinite Loop, certainly one of Malta’s top upcoming rock acts, who are tasked with warming up the crowd for performances by The Rifffs and The Nakara Project.
The Rifffs are not only Malta's top Ska band but also one of the top bands to ever emerge from the Maltese music scene. They've come a long way from the days of their 1981 Dance music for the 80’s depression single, a song that remains a firm crowd favourite to this day, and the band has successfully infiltrated both the European and British Ska scene thanks to its vibrant live performances and two solid albums, 2009's Moonstomp and last year's Can't stop the people.
The Nakara Project, on the other hand, is a brand new act founded earlier this year by dance music pioneer DJ Ruby. An amalgamation of five notorious independent artists, the project seeks to blend a distinctive electronic world music sound with art and stunning original live visual productions. The group includes drummer Melchior Busuttil, bassist Liam Spiteri, Odessa Green on vocals and DJ Ruby, along with artist Mark Mallia, who creates a fresh canvas art work from start to finish on stage throughout the performance. It's also worth mentioning that the project features different guests for each ensemble, ensuring no two shows are ever the same.
On Thursday then, rock band Eversity, another of the more recent arrivals on the local scene will open for Versatile Brass. The brass ensemble will be performing a 3-hour show featuring top local artists, including DJ Fusion, with the ensemble engaging in interactive music exchanges with top hits from the likes of Pitbull, Ne-Yo, LMFAO, Black-EYed Peas and David Guetta. Versatile Brass features a group of professional musicians with a respectable track record that stretches from several local and international concerts and performing with the world-class tenor Joseph Calleja and Italian legend Riccardo Cocciante. Versatile Brass's vast repertoire ranges from classic to pop music by way of jazz, swing, blues, Latin, funk, rock 'n roll and their innovative DJ Brass crossover.
The final night, Friday, will open with a set from Xarulu', one of the top acoustic duos on the island. The headlining act will be none other than Italian Dire Straits, cited as the world’s best Dire Straits tribute show and endorsed by Mark Knopfler himself. The band has played in every kind of venue in many different countries at every level; from clubs to theatres and festivals, their dedicated performances rated as second only to the original Dire Straits.
Entrance to the Ghaxaq Music Festival is free, but the public is urged to give a donation, not only to support future productions of the event, but especially because this year the festival is supporting the Inspire foundation. Further to official volunteers collecyting donations throughout the festival's duration, a dedicated SMS number for donations is also being set up. For more information, click here.