Rokarja AST

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Rokarja AST was an organization formed in the early 1980s to encourage and support various cultural initiatives, most prominently, a music commune housed in the former British Army barracks located on the Tigne' promontory in Sliema and supervised by Philip Pace.

The first band to occupy a rehearsal room (or rather, transform an ex-ammunition depot) was punk outfit Abstrass, followed very quickly by hard rock band Acid.

The bands forming part of the AST community were given the opportunity to perform live regularly at the former St. Luke's Chapel situated on the edge of the barracks, which was renamed Ċentru Ħin Ħieles (Free Time Centre), and other venues within the barracks, especially a stretch of land large enough to host outdoor concerts overlooking Marsamxett Harbour.

The AST community played a vital role in the Maltese music scene and spawned a great number of the bands that were active at the time. S

Some of the bands that were resident at Rokarja AST at some point or other include:

Rokarja poster for heavy metal night in May 1983
Rokarja poster for Atlam & Davy Jones gig in 1983


30 Year Reunion

On Saturday 31 March 2012, after several weeks of planning through the Rokarja Facebook group, a number of former band members, roadies, relatives and friends met for a social get together at the Black Pearl in Ta' Xbiex. The event was coordinated by Philip Pace, Mark Mallia, Joe Paris, Sonya Tanti, and Paul Spiteri. Michael Bugeja and Michelle Sullivan provided playlists throughout the evening, while 12th Ode (including some former Rokarja musicians) played a live set, consisting mainly of classic rock covers.

After this event, Philip Pace and Mark Mallia were interviewed by Noel Mifsud on his One Radio show Rock Moods, on Thursday 12 April 2012. During this interview they revealed that a second reunion event would take place on Monday 30 April 2012 at a venue still to be announced. Colourblind were named as the band that would be appearing live at this event, while other free and open jamming session were also being encouraged.

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