Subverts

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Subverts was one of Malta's first alternative rock bands.

Based at the Rokarja AST former Tigne Barracks, they were active throughout most of the 1980s.

The original line was brought together by singer/guitarist Mike Bonnici and percussionist Sebastian Debono, who were eventually joined by guitarist John Borg, bassist Pierre Portelli (aka Pete Portelli), and drummer Charles Cutajar known as Chalkie.

On Friday 18 March 1983 they played a gig at the Tigne Chapel with Hangover.

By 1984 Chalkie's brother Alex Cutajar had joined the band on keyboards while Borg and Debono left the group.

The following year Pauline Pace joined the band as a backing singer, and after Mike Bonnici left the band in 1987 she replaced him as lead singer, while Robert Longo, formerly of Mirage, replaced Bonnici as guitarist. Two songs written by this formation – Break the Chains and Theatre of the Absurd – were recorded in 1989 by Longo and Pace. Over the years they managed to build a relatively large following, among whom was a group of loyal roadies and hangers-on who interacted on a social level even between the band's public appearances. Subverts were managed by Laurence Bonnici.

Subverts split up in 1988, following which brothers Alex and Chalkie got together with guitarist John Borg, bassist Kevin O'Neill and Michael Bugeja on vocals to form the band Something In Ash. This line-up only got to perform live in public once, as their rehearsal room was burgled, causing a major setback. Plans to reconvene were unfortunately cut short by the tragic work-related death of drummer Charles “Chalkie” Cutajar in December 1989 and the eventual demise of the entire Tigne Rokarja scene.


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