These awards do not pertain to any radio or TV station and thus can purse a very independent route. In the absence of any national, government-backed awards, the MMAs can provide the right substitute.

The MMAs have been around since 1994, the brainchild of one Noel Magri. Then, he was also helped by Manwel Borg who passed away last summer. Manwel was very supportive, hard-working and efficient. Besides, he contributed in no small way to the local broadcasting scene, thanks to his several interviews with many Italian pop music talents. He was also behind Antonello Venditti’s five-star performance at Ta’ Qali in 2001. Yet, I found it really odd that there was no mention of this much-respected broadcaster at the awards. Besides, I think that it is about time that we consider sexism in our media. I have had enough of adverts featuring almost bare bottoms on billboards posted at some of our main roads. Now, we had the MMAs opening with two bikini-clad girls cavorting all the way to, and onstage. Give us a break! This opening was more indicative of a gentleman’s club than a music award presentation. I was quite late for these awards and had to cover this event on TV last Thursday. Very well cast, the TV production was good though it also hinted at the rather bad sound that there was during the live set.

Niki Gravino was the star of the show. He and his band, The Vile Bodies won five awards, including the Best Appearance. Niki’s looks are reminiscent of the New Romance which flourished in London back in the early 80s. Glam rock was quite influential on that movement then. Niki’s music a mixture of glam and minimalism has been complemented by his looks which are at times extravagant but are also indicative of a trend that could soon be revived-at least in London. Ira Losco won a couple of awards, including best album for Fortune Teller. Ira has crowned her success within the last five years with this album release. Nonetheless, she has to start re-thinking her musical directions now. Winter Moods won best band category and the legends’ award. They recalled and thanked the audience for their support especially for the Waterfront Project which attracted 9000 people, the biggest ever for any Maltese local band. Christabelle came of age with a victory at the best hip-hop/ rhythm and blues category and the highly-promising Airport Impressions won the best newcomer award. Their rendition of Wake Up was arguably the best onstage performance that night.

There were also appearances from Tenisha, (who won the best dance production award), Indigo and Deepest Blue, who were special guests but did not move too much ground.

Surprisingly, Chasing Pandora walked out empty-handed, and this was perhaps the biggest disappointment of that night.

Mary Spiteri was given the Lifetime Achievement Award and took the occasion to thank three men, namely her late father, her brother and the man 'she loved so much' for all their help behind her success.

The MMAs closed with a party night, where noise, more noise and absolute noise was created by the DJs, and this sounded bad since the MMAs are aimed at people of various different ages and different walks of life, with much different tastes in music

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