Consisting of songwriters Charles J. Attard and Frank Buhagiar along with percussionist Eugene Bajada and bass player Marvic Vella, Divine Sinners hail from the island of Gozo. Divine Sinners always did it themselves – writing, playing, singing and producing their own material. Never really caring for the rules of the game, they recorded three CDs of original songs in a studio before even playing their first live gig.
Divine Sinners came into being when Charles was at a loss what music to use for a stage comedy he wrote and was also directing, so he asked a friend to order a copy of Anton Karas’ soundtrack CD of Carol Reed’s masterpiece, “The Third Man”. When four days before the play’s performance, it was discovered that no one ordered the CD, Charles simply took matters into his own hands and wrote a funny little ditty himself and asked his friend Frank to sing it.
Since the song was better received than the play itself, Charles and Frank decided to keep meeting up, co-writing and playing their own songs. It was round this time that they started going into a local Gozitan studio where they ended up recording their original material. The albums "Laringitis" (2005), "Nowadays" (2007) and "Piece o’ Cake" (2009) were recorded around this time. These albums can be acquired by contacting them on their facebook page.
Divine Sinners (the name is inspired by Dante’s La Divina Commedia which neither Charles nor Frank have actually read) started doing live gigs as an acoustic duo during the summer of 2009, playing the obligatory cover versions along with their original compositions. The Divine Sinners sound is something which they like to describe as “folk-punk” blending the charming soothing sounds of traditional folk blues music along with the raw aggressive DIY simplicity of punk rock and grunge channeling it through pop thus creating their own unique sound.
In December 2009, they launched their youtube channel on the internet. Done on a whim, they uploaded their original Christmas tune “Another Lonely Christmas” set to a funny video. Filmed during a December evening of wine drinking with friends at Frank’s own garage (the wine drunk was actually made by Frank himself), “Another Lonely Christmas” is a funny cheap little music video set in a bar where a mad bouncer seems intent on kicking everyone out of the bar, most of the time for no reason at all! While the video might be funny, the song described (not without a pinch of salt) the pain of spending a Christmas all depressed and alone. A surreal moment in Divine Sinners’ gigs is when sometimes this song is requested and played no matter what time of year it is. A Rock Night in August 2010 ended with a whole nightclub singing “Yeah, Hooray, it’s Christmas time”‘‘‘. November 2010 saw the addition of Eugene Bajada on percussion while Marvic Vella joined them on bass guitar in 2011. Eugene (aka the Cajon of Chaos) is well known around Gozo for his unique playing on a cajon built by himself and also as the founder of the Gozo Drum Tribe which is a local drumming community based in Gozo. With his mop-top hair and left-handed bass playing, Marvic is the “Paul McCartney” of the band. Now a quartet, the Divine Sinners sound is finally full. Filmed in a barn and starring special guest, Crescent the Goat, "Cactus Rose" is the first video of Divine Sinners as a foursome.
In 2011, Divine Sinners were asked by stage director George Mizzi to write original songs for the Gozo Creative Theatre production of Frank Wedekind’s controversial teen coming of age tale Spring's Awakening. Songs such as "Growing Up is Such a Drag", "Doctor, Doctor", "Bye, Bye, Napoleon" and "Spanking the Monkey" were written for this production which was staged on 26th and 27th November 2011. Spanking the Monkey has become a regular number at Divine Sinners gigs which is frequently requested by fans during their shows.
Thanks to Steve Farrugia, then lead singer of local band Dry Connections, Divine Sinners took part in the Martial Arts Vrs Rock Bands in Aid of Puttinu Cares on 29th January 2012. Steve joined the Sinners for a live rendition of Another Lonely Christmas during this show.
The video to their original song “Such a Lucky Dame” was launched on YouTube on 24th March 2012. Unlike the others thus far, this was a surreal dance video which paid tribute to actresses of the Hollywood “Golden Age” and also paid homage to Luis Bunuel and SalvadorDalì’s “Un Chien Andalou”. On 23rd April 2012, Divine Sinners were guests on Martin Sapiano’s "The Big Show" on Radio 101.
18th May 2012 saw Divine Sinners as guests in Michael Bugeja’s radio show "Rockna" and the following day 19th May 2012, they performed a live set as part of the "Lejliet Lapsi, Notte Gozitana". Divine Sinners played their TV debut on "DJ Vision with Alfie Fabri" on One TV in August 2012.
In order to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the first Maltese musical CD compilation, "Watching the Music", Michael Bugeja released the compilation ROCKNA Live & Unplugged with the Divine Sinners live unplugged performance of "Cactus Rose" being one of those included in this 13 track compilation.
Divine Sinners took part in "NYE in the City" at Independence Square, Victoria Gozo following Winter Moods. 2013 would also start with the Divine Sinners song "Bipolar Overdrive" being voted "Top Online Release 2012" in the "Muzika Mod Iehor ma’ Toni Sant" poll. This was followed by Divine Sinners being guests on "The Cottonera Rock Show with Lito" where they were the first band to play live on that show. The original songs "The Light in Your Window" and "Miss Julie (Perhaps)" were performed live for the first time on radio during this show.
11th March 2013 saw for the first time the release of a Divine Sinners song in Maltese entitled "Jekk Tfakkarni Ismek" with music by Frank Buhagiar and lyrics by Charles J. Attard. Another side project was the "Gozo Drum Tribe" release of the song "Sansales" masterminded by Divine Sinners percussionist Eugene Bajada.
The fund raising event – ‘Charity,’ in aid of missionary work undertaken by the Official Voluntary Office Malta, Jesus is Thy Neighbour Movement and Father Joe Camilleri for projects in Guatemala was organized by GUG – Full Moon – Why Not? Official Voluntary Office Malta, Youth for Mission and Jesus is Thy Neighbour Movement. This event took place on 23rd August 2013 at the Ramla Fields, Gozo and featured MAE, Beyond Return, Charlene Rae and Band, The Run, Inside Plan, Ire Flow and Divine Sinners.
On 5th October 2013, Divine Sinners took part in Notte Bianca, Valletta by performing at the St. James Cavalier Theatre as part of the Notte Bianca activities entitled "Band' Ohra" in which 32 bands performed on 5 different stages around Valletta. The Divine Sinners performance consisted of a 40 minute set of all original songs.
At the time being, Divine Sinners are working on their fourth studio album which since a long time coming and with lots of material written and already half of it readily recorded, promises to be an epic one.
It seems like we might hear more in the future from the group named after an Italian epic poem none of them has ever read.
Divine Sinners would like to thank the following for their help & support - Mary Doris Attard, Monica Attard, Maria Bajada, Michael Bajada, Michael Bugeja, Margret Buhagiar, Alfie Fabri, Lito Malta, Toni Sant, Martin Sapiano & Jon Lukas Woodenman.
Muzika Mod Iehor ma' Toni Sant podcasts featuring Divine Sinners
- Podcast 325 (05/01/13) featuring Bipolar Overdrive as winner of Top Online Release 2012
- Notes on podcast 325
- Podcast 330 (16/02/13) featuring Sansales by Gozo Drum Tribe with Eugene Bajada of Divine Sinners
- Notes on podcast 330
Woodenman's Jukebox featuring Divine Sinners
- Local Bands Saving Alexis and Divine Sinners Appearing at Notte Bianca (Gozo News, 4th October 2013)