An Alternative Acoustic Sunday
Wednesday 29 August 2007 (Michael Bugeja - The Malta Independent)
Hot on the heels of the spirited three-band night held just two weeks ago at Poxx Bar - featuring Andre Camilleri, Beangrowers and Shostakovich’s Nightmare - Alternative Malta’s latest event, in collaboration with the University of Malta and the Kooperattiva Kulturali Universitarja (KKU) is another gem of a gig, this time featuring two foreign acts, The Burning Leaves and Pete Molinari, along with Maltese artist Carrie.
Citing the likes of Dylan, Leadbelly and Guthrie among his myriad influences, UK-based Pete Molinari – who incidentally, also happens to have strong Maltese family ties – actually sounds like none of them specifically. The reason he is continually compared to some artist or other is probably because he has absorbed elements from all of them into his own particular style. Of course, that’s not to say that his songs don’t spark any reminiscence, but the current wave of media attention coming his way is more likely due to the fact that with just his voice and one guitar, he manages to deliver such engaging songs. His preference not to jump any passing bandwagon seems to be paying off too, and sticking to his folk/ blues amalgam has garnered positive reviews from established music mags Mojo and NME. Pete Molinari’s debut album Walking Off The Map, produced by Billy Childish, has just been released on indie label Damaged Records.
The Burning Leaves are Indie Mae and Craig Lee-Williams, a young duo clearly enamoured of the brooding ethereal beauty that Mazzy Star gave us a decade and a half ago. Essentially uncomplicated, their music is transfixing and spooky, haunting in a fascinating kind of way that grabs the listener’s attention with its cinematic aura. Apparently inspired by everyday things that go on around them, The Burning Leaves translate their thoughts and feelings into songs that ooze an energy that trickles rather than bursts out of their music, applied in measured doses that lead towards an irresistible state of reverie. The as-yet unsigned duo recently toured with The Handsome Family, a legend in Gothic Americana circles, an experience that surely endorses the potential this UK duo possesses.
Last but not least, Maltese singer Carrie will be completing the line-up of this intriguing event. Inspired by Tori Amos, Radiohead and Regina Spektor amongst others, as she states openly on her website, Carrie has embraced the brittle aspect of her mentors’ work, applying it to her own original work. Her flowing style of composition, matched by her enduring voice and soaring melodies, gives Carrie an unmistakeable timbre that make her one of the island’s brighter prospects.