The Night Goes Blue

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The band of St. Joseph – ‘tal-Miskina’ starts its procession around the streets of Hamrun. Notice the British military-style uniforms of the musicians. 
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Most of the musicians play with the band as volunteers, but they are taught to play their instruments by the band-club for free so its a mutually dependent relationship. On the procession the musicians are generally accompanied by their close families and friends.
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This is the embellished facade of the St. Joseph band club, on the main street of the town, the main street also named St. Joseph High Street, a tribute to the patron saint that never was.
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Close to midnight the band returns to the band-club to play the last few anthems accompanied now by a rowdy, passionate crowd of revellers – and a cordon of police. 
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Notice how the main celebrants are all facing in the same direction: they are facing the rival band-club a few hundred metres down the road. They sing their anthems in defiance of their rivals and some of the anthems are direct taunts. To prevent any excess bravado police block the route to the other band-club.
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They start young! Even children join in the revelry, held up on brothers’ and neighbours’ shoulders. Despite their youth they know all the words to all the anthems and sing with undiminished fervour. Notice behind them the main church of the town – dedicated of course to San Gejtanu, and the people using its stairs like a terraced arena.

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