Hunters Palace is a group that revolves around a couple of musicians from Malta. It has was never a solid fixed entity and musicians have come and gone from time to time. Its core membership has always comprised two people, Peter Sant and Alex Vella Gera, but over the years others have contributed to the band's sound, including Adolf Formosa, Nathan Howe and Vinicius Duarte. Initially an indie-folk outfit with a tendency to lay on some psychedelic improvisational grooves from time to time, the band evolved into a power trio playing abrasive free rock.
In 2003, Hunters Palace's first release, "Idle Times", was greeted with a welcome smile as well as bemusement, in the local alternative music scene. One track, Salt Water, managed to squeeze itself into some discerning DJs playlists but other tracks did not go down as well, and are best described in the words of Chuck Zak reviewing the CD for e-zine Delusions of Adequacy as "just kinda tapping me on the shoulder and singing at me for four-and-a-half minutes. Please, stop."
In the wake of "Idle Times" and the handful of gigs the duo performed to its few loyal followers, Maltese singer songwriter Adolf Formosa, who had already collaborated with Peter Sant the previous year, was invited to join, not on guitar however, but on drums. His presence soon made itself felt, not least in a live setting, where his unusual Christmas tree fronds used as drumsticks attracted some attention.
All through the first months of 2004 the trio went to work on new songs which finally saw the light of day in September of that year as the "It's Cold Outside EP", a release which was well received by admirers of the band particularly for its excellent home production and participation of guest musicians on some tracks, like Alan Vella (ex-Lumiere), Oliver Degabriele and Ian Schranz (The Beangrowers). The CD had a very limited release but it received a rave review by Woody Aki. <citation needed>
Among the tracks worthy of note on the EP are "Mr Uncertain" and "Looking for a Love", a meandering post-rock piece which seemed to suggest the band's new direction. However, by the time the EP was released Hunters Palace was already disbanding. Adolf had parted company with the other two some months earlier, while Peter was busy packing his things to head to London. A final low-key gig at Misfits in Paceville drew the curtain on this shortlived outfit.
Things did not end there though. In London Peter was soon making music again, still under the name Hunters Palace. This was an entirely different kettle of fish however. The shortest of all line ups (another guitar duo, this time Peter with lapsteel guitarist Nathan Howe) there was only one miniscule EP release and a few gigs in and around London art galleries and bars.
In the meantime, still based in Malta, Alex Vella Gera and Adolf Formosa reunited to form a guitar duo, treeears, whose main aim was improvisation, rather than composition and performance.
Some years passed and in June 2008 Hunters Palace reformed, this time with new member Vinicius Duarte, a self taught drummer who introduced a much needed propulsive element to the Hunters Palace ethos. This new and improved Hunters Palace soon released an eponymous EP with a gig at the sadly defunct Warehouse 8 venue in Marsa.
In February 2011 the group released a 10" single entitled "Tal-Metall".
Idle Times (2003)
It's Cold Outside (2004)
London Session (2008)
Hunters Palace (2008)
Tal-Metall 10" single (2011)