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Mirage is a Maltese rock group that was active from 1977 to 1987 and reunited in 2011.

The band was formed by four teenage students at St Aloysius College in Birkirkara, initially calling themselves Brainstorm. They were particularly fond of progressive rock groups like the British band Yes and the Canadian trio Rush. The original line-up consisted of Robert Longo on guitar, Jon Vella Zarb on bass, Denis Vella on keyboards, and Joe Zammit on drums.

Mirage live at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in May 1982.

In 1982 they released a cassette album titled For Absent Friends recorded at Rodo Studios in Ħaż-Żabbar. In May 1982 the band staged a grand concert at the Republic Hall of the Mediterranean Conference Centre. At this time Mirage had also invested in what was one of Malta's most advanced P.A. sound systems, which they made available for hire to other bands throughout the rest of the decade, when Jon Vella Zarb and Denis Vella formed The Sound System Co. Ltd. to offer such services professionally.

Over the next two years after 1982, the band saw a couple of line up changes, with Twanny "Najju" Muscat the then-former drummer from The Rifffs (who went into a twenty year hiatus) replacing Joe Zammit who joined Fog instead, and Mike Spiteri added to the line-up to take the role of lead singer. This formation released a 45 rpm double A-side single recorded at Smash Studios in Fgura. The songs on the single, In An Empty House and Factory Girls featured a less progressive rock sound and verged towards popular synth pop prevalent throughout the 1980s. Videos for both songs were also recorded. That same year, the band went on to win the Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija with a song called Kompjuter written specifically for Mirage by composer Ray Agius and lyricist Alfred C. Sant. A recording of the song was made at Smash Studios for the album of the song contest.

By the end of 1986, Mirage had a different drummer and lead singer in Laurence Baldacchino and Mario Ellul respectively. This final line-up released Garage Technology, the band's second cassette album in 1987. This was the first recording made at Robert Longo's Padded Cell Studio in Gwardamangia, where Mirage had their rehearsal garage. To promote the release of the album they toured various venues in the Maltese islands. This series of gigs was called The Thin Line Tour.

Mirage split up in 1987 but the final line-up and Mike Spiteri reunited for a one off-gig in May 2002 during the 50th anniversary celebrations for Kinnie.

In 2011 the band reunited once more with new members and is now active once again on the local scene.

In 2019 Mirage was one of the opening acts for the Dream Catcher concert in Valletta.

The current lineup includes Robert Longo on guitar, Andrew Vella Zarb on guitar and vocals, Denis Vella on keyboards, Jon Vella Zarb on bass and vocals, Michael Vella Zarb on drums and vocals.


See also

Category:Mirage Photos

External links