Welcome the new group Shamrock

I do not know why these guys call themselves Shamrock. Is there anybody among them with ancestors in Ireland or who keeps a leprechaun hidden somewhere? But no matter, whether Irish or Pinoy or whatever, I am happy to welcome Shamrock to the local pop scene as a group with music savvy of a very professional level.

There is nothing rough or tentative in the music in the first release from Shamrock. No garage stuff here. The members of this band know what they are doing. The self-titled album boasts of rock, dance, New Wave and the usual pop ballads in both English and Filipino, all produced and arranged by Shamrock. And they even wrote most of the songs.

Lead singer is the LA-bred Marc Tupaz. Sam Santos formerly of Slapshock is bassist. On guitars is Nico Capistrano. Drummer is Rick Magalong. Henry Abesamis, formerly of the band Skin plays keyboards. They may be of assorted origins but they gel together as a band and it is this cohesiveness that keeps the music taut and always pleasing to the listener.

Tupaz is another good asset. His solid pop singing adapts well to anything. He is infectious in the perky Ms. Serious and full of aching emotions in Waiting For Summer. And I must add, he also rocks quite well in Tagalog, Dalangin (Kanta ‘To) and in the band’s surprising take on the Rey Valera standard Naaalala Ka.

At a time when local bands with original materials are sprouting like mushrooms, I see Shamrock as potentially one of those with staying power. Judging from the album’s contents, this group should be able to adapt its sound to coming trends unlike others today with limited repertoire.

Other cuts in the album are Fine, Today, Alipin, In My Head, Up There, Radio Girl, Loser and an acoustic version of Ms. Serious.

Shamrock is but one of the many local bands who have been given the big break in the massive resurgence Filipino pop music is enjoying right now. I can name so many others like Hale, Orange & Lemons, 6Cyclemind, Kamikazee, Ascension, Velcro, Jacey & Honey, Mayonnaise, Soap Dish, etc. etc. Then there is also the revival of interest in more familiar acts like M.Y.M.P., Session Road, REtroSPECT, Moonstar 88 and others.

Of course, no music trend, no matter how phenomenal, stays forever. Some of these acts might just be flashes in the pan, good for one album while the demand lasts. What we should keep watch for are the truly talented among these groups, who will take the music to another level and will subsequently acquire true staying power. Hopefully, Shamrock will be one of these. Today though, it does not matter if they are here only for a moment or for the long haul. What is important is Filipino music is being heard in a big way once again.
Top Videos
From MYX, the Filipino music channel, here are the top videos of the moment: Incomplete by the Backstreet Boys; Untitled by the Simple Plan; We Belong Together by Mariah Carey; She’s No You by Jesse McCartney; Same Ground by Kitchie Nadal; Tell Me Where It Hurts by MYMP; I’ll Never Go by Erik Santos; Through the Fire by Nina; Hold You Down by Jennifer Lopez;

You and Me
by Lighthouse; Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani; Lonely No More by Rob Thomas; The Day You Said Goodnight by Hale; Can This be Love by Sarah Geronimo; Signs by Snoop Dog; 40 Kinds of Sadness by Ryan Cabrera; Don’t Phunk with My Heart by Black Eyed Peas; Switch by Will Smith; How Could You by Mario; and Come Get Some by Rooster.
Remembering Richard Tann
I end this piece on a sad note. Richard Tann, who along with Basil Valdez, Hajji Alejandro, Pat Castillo, Pabs Dadivas, Jacqui Magno and other uniquely talented young artists made the star-studded Circus Band of the ’70s period very special, succumbed to a heart attack last Sunday, May 29. He was 51.

Richard was a quiet guy with a ready smile for everybody. Back during the heydays of Circus, his extraordinary voice was what we counted on to cover those soulful Motown ballads. He will always be remembered for turning the commercial jingles of Hallmark Greeting Cards and Green Cross Alcohol into big hits. He also did other types of songs very well and his version of the Filipino standard Magandang Bituin is one of my favorites. I wish him eternal peace.

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