The Red Electrick Experience

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Red Electrick ~ Vine Lady Album Launch - Tattingers, Rabat 24/09/2010 (Dean Muscat)

Over the past two years Red Electrick have risen from relative obscurity to being one of the hottest bands on the island. With four consecutive number 1 singles on local radio charts and countless gigs at home and overseas, Red Electrick's brand of rock music appears to be resonating with everyone in their wake. This special event at Tattingers nightclub in Rabat marks the release of the band's debut album Vine Lady, and as frontman Matthew James Borg explains is "the most important thing we have done in our lives."

Before the show there is an unmistakable feeling of subdued suspense among the band. Each of the five musicians seems to be torn between the necessity of staying focused on their upcoming performance and the desire to greet their friends and fans. Consequently they spend the almost entire duration of opening-act Dolls for Idols' set moving between the backstage area, where they try to quiet their minds and get in the zone, and the merchandise-booth, rowdy with the hustle and bustle of the entering crowd; hence rendering their backstage meditations quite futile.

However as their time draws nearer, all five musicians finally gather backstage. Huddled in a circle they psyche themselves up, the adrenaline running through their system apparent in their movements. The expectant crowd start to syllabically chant out the band's name; "RED-E-LEC-TRICK!" With the final glow of Matt's cigarette and a fiery introduction from friend of the band Paul Borg Bonaci, Red Electrick individually take the stage, tearing into album title-track Vine Lady.

Any pre-gig anxieties melt away seconds into the band's set. Bassist Ivan Borg, wearing his mandatory flat cap, locks into groove with drummer Raphael Tonna. The two guitarists, beanie-clad Jonas Delicata and shaggy-haired Peter Borg, let the high-octane riffs rip. There's an air of confidence about the band that is usually attributed to acts twice their age, and they occupy the stage with flair and purpose. After their second song of the night and latest single to hit local airwaves Jail Bail, there's a glint of a satisfied smile on the face of Matthew James Borg. "This is a good feeling, a really good feeling," he exclaims. The crowd also seem to be experiencing this very same "good feeling," especially those right in front of the stage who have been jumping and singing non-stop with an astonishing devotion.

During the final weeks leading up to the album release, Red Electrick announced that one of their new tracks would feature a guest singer, leading to a flurry of speculation on the band's Facebook page. Tonight it’s finally revealed that it is Ray Mercieca, lead vocalist of veteran local ska band The Riffs, who guests on new number It's a Shame. To the delight of many he also joins the band for a (no pun intended) electrifying live rendition of aforementioned track that reaches a cacophonous climax. Other new tracks Dimensions and Pick Up the Phone continue to add further musical inflections to the band's already reasonably eclectic rock sound.

Quite bizarrely for a band called Red Electrick, their onstage electricity cuts out during the percussive intro to the band's encore Who the Heck is REK!?, forcing Raphael to give an impromptu acoustic drum solo. Remarkably the band still somehow manages to keep the crowd rocking until the problem is solved. Matt shouts out the infectious hook "Do the robot!" and the band launches back into the song and finish off all guns firing. As soon as they come off stage they hurriedly open a celebratory bottle of beer each, no time to rest they shoot off to the merchandise booth to sign copies of their album for waiting fans.

The night has been a success for Red Electrick and you only have to look at their faces to understand how grateful they are to be able to finally share the fruits of two long years of labour with friends. They are one of those privileged bands that have a certain something (dare we call it X-factor?). Whenever the five of them are together - be it rocking on stage or casually hanging out - they emanate an irresistible chemistry that makes you want to be part of the Red Electrick experience. Thankfully for those partaking, the experience has only really just begun.