Legendary musician John Butler crashed Nicky Bomba’s gig for a brief-yet-powerful reunion at Zion last night. Yes, that John Butler! The multi-award winning front man of The John Butler Trio, and genius behind the impeccable and stupefying instrumental track “Ocean”, teamed back up with Bomba to share some love with his Maltese fans – and they did not disappoint.
The humble Nicky Bomba informed Lovin’ Malta during our interview earlier this week that there would be very special guests joining the world-renowned reggae-ska artist on stage at Zion. It’s safe to say that no one down at St Thomas Bay could have imagined what awaited them.
Butler is actually Nicky Bomba’s former bandmate and brother-in-law, and the two reconnected here in Malta to celebrate Nicky’s sister, Sandra’s 50th birthday. While holidaying together in Malta as family, Bomba revealed that the two would also be rehearsing for a one-month reunion tour through America.
Zion was truly blessed to catch one of those live rehearsals – in particular the extended version of their hit tune “Zebra”.
The massive crowd at Zion danced through the heat wave to reggae classics, and beloved originals from Nicky Bomba’s various musical projects: The Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Bomba, and Bustamento.
Beside Nicky, backing him through his funky vocals, and frequent spritu pront freestyles, were a plethora of musicians connected to our island in one way or another – pummeling their instruments into oblivion throughout a blissful three and-a-half hour set.
Here are just a few amongst the many who also joined Nicky Bomba on stage: Peter Paul and Antoine from Tribali, Borg Bonaci from Fakawi, Jogy Bo and Pupachile from Manatapu, Nicky’s siblings, Michael Caruana of Bustamento and Danielle Caruana (AKA “Mama Kin”) – and last, but far from least…Mr John Butler.
Despite being in the presence of modern musical legends, a primeval vibe transported the connected crowd-and-performers into a tribal mindset where drum beats and highly emotive vocals drowned out all perceptions of time. Natural exhaustion, for both the crowd and band, concluded the night.
Not a single frown was spotted on the way out the door.