By Bong Forouzan
PMUK’s gift: 12 Bands of Christmas
“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…. A partridge on a pear tree” so goes this popular ol’time song originally created as coded messages for the persecuted Christians (according to the historical records of Catechism) during the pre-Christian era.
Pinoy Musikero sa UK (PMUK) did better than just a partridge. PMUK, managed by Port Mallilin, Dennis the Menace, Jun Pateo and Norbz Gayanilo rolled-out big time… On the first day to Christmas twelve (12) days countdown, PMUK pulled together twelve (12) homegrown Pinoy bands in the United Kingdom for a Jingle Rocking Bell extravaganza, a Christmas concert ‘bash’ held at the popular ‘water-hole’ at pulutan, musician niche and social-sosyalan hub – BarFM – in Shepherds Bush, London.
Nine (9) all-men bands and three (3) bands with lady vocalists came up on the stage on their scheduled time slots to sing popular cover songs and some original compositions.They were:
OOBERFUSE – an electronica band from Woolwich, London with a lady vocalist, Cherrie Anderson. The only Filipino-British band in the concert, Cherry (a Filipina) with British colleagues Hal St John and producer Roland Faber. For this Christmas bash Ooberfuse sang their collaborated pop version song of Freddie Aguilar’s “Anak,” and their original compositions “Call My Name,” a song about vocations for the UK National Vocations Drive; and “Angels Cry,” a Haiyan Christmas lullaby. It also worthy to note that Ooberfuse have under their belt following credits – "Heart's Cry," original composition for the youth anthem of the Pope's visit in the UK; "Faith in You" and "Unshakeable," winning songs at World Youth Day global song contest in Madrid; "Rescue," original song composition for anti-human trafficking song for a UK charity; "Free Asia Bibi," campaigning for the release of Asia Bibi; and "Vanish the Night," a collaboration song with the only known survivor of North Korea's death camp. Ooberfuse is a band to watch-out for, hoping soon to grace the world’s music charts.
SIDE PROJECTS – the ‘dark horse’ of the homegrown Pinoy bands in UK. SideProjects is led by lead vocalist/founder-producer, Port Malilin. Their music is truly punk-rock coupled with a highly electrified-energetic performance. SP belted out “Hold Back” and “Pepe.”
KIZBOXRYE – former Ekis Band sang “Lay down beside me” and “If I could I would.”
MUSIKA SILANGAN – band representing Eastern side of London along with the night’s semi-shy emcee, Jeremy Esperisanti, as member vocalist. They sang cover songs “City of Angels” and “Everything About You.”
D’ SPS – a family band made up of the Sanchez and Sotto families, led by mom and dad, Chrish and Chris, respectively. D’SPS sang cover songs “Tell Me Why” and Beatle’s “Come Together”. The band is also a cover band for Side Projects. D’SPS participated at the NoyPi Music Festival and at the First Filipino Band Festival in 2009 during the “Hataw sa Tag-Araw” first Barrio Fiesta in Sussex organised by the Worthing Filipino Community.
OFF LIMITS – from Norwich, the oldest existing and largest Pinoy group band in UK. OffLimits also has a female vocalist. They sang “Pare Ko”, rap song “Tumagay Ka” and In Your Hands.”
SALUNGGUHIT – a five-man band with vocalist Orly. They sang Tagalog/Taglish OPMs like “Pwede ba kitang Makilala”, “Buhay Musikero,” “Weather lang naman” and their own lyrics to Tagalog version of “Price Tag”. For their first appearance at Bar-FM, Salungguhit Band got the audience singing along and swaying on their feet.
SKYLOVE – keeps new wave genra in their music and featured in this ‘Jingle’ bash evening ripping sounds of Norbz Gayalino’s lead guitar. They also sang Osbourne’s (??) “Flying High Again.”
CROSSWIND – the coolest six-man band with their tattooed vocalist, sang original compositions “Sorry Doesn’t Matter” and “Speak.”
DROP D – came out with OPM cover songs “Kahit Maputi na Buhok Mo”, “Sumayaw Sumunod” and ol’time Eric Clapton’s love song “Wonderful Tonight” and which got the audience swooning.
PARADOX – last of the band with a lady vocalist sang original composition “Tibay.”
NUGROOVZ – Bar FM’s houseband tied the night’s dancing till closing bar.
Additional Christmas treat were intermission ‘sides’ from three (3) other solo artists namely – thirteen (13) years old Joanna Pauleen Lecero, finalist in the Open Mike Teen Star competition (June 2014), who sang “Last Christmas”, Mehgan Trainor’s “All about that Bass” and Nicki Minaj’s “Va va Boom”; ciello player Doddie Victorino, a Bicentennial Scholarship Fund awardee at Birmingham Conservatoire and former member of the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra, gave a soothing break (to the ears) with his music rendition of Gary V’s medley and Twilight theme song “Thousand Years”; lastly Joel Miranda, winner of Mega-World’s Mega Voice UK competition brought in Christmas spirit with his song renditions of “Pasko Na Naman”, “Gabing Payapa” and “Kumukutitap.”
In introducing “Tumagay ka” OffLimits said “Habang tumatagay gumaganda ang pagkanta.” Yeaaay to that and [I] add, over two (2) light San Mig this avid Yoyoy Villame fan found herself head-butting the air to the beat of bashing cymbals, beaten drums, ripping electric guitars, scaling keyboards and over-cresendo vocals… hikkss hikkss… then realised…. [I] too has a rock-iiinnngg heart!
For those who missed this fantastic Christmas treat/gift… Don’t fret… pencil-in your diary – March 2015 PMUK’s Battle of the Bands.// ends