Reviving the Manila Sound
Danee Samonte (The Philippine Star) - December 27, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Countless attempts to reunite legendary groups like VST & Co, Hagibis and lately Hotdog have been made by concert promoters and music impresarios. This has been going on for quite a while and two decades have passed without anything positive. Just like the recent Eraserheards reunion which took years and millions of pesos to negotiate, getting these founding pillars of the Manila Sound to sing together again is next to impossible.

Two years ago, brothers Rene and Dennis of Hotdog produced YEBA — a concert that had a line-up of bands from the ’60s and ’70s decade and I was flabbergasted with the audience response. A lightbulb flashed in my head and I started thinking of how to compress the legendary ’70s groups into one band. That opportunity came six months ago when Rene Garcia together with Sonny Parsons of Hagibis and Male Rigor returned from a successful tour of the East and West Coast of the US.

It wasn’t an easy task putting 15 people together as a functioning group. There were egos to contend with; schedules to adjust to and the tedious process of rehearsing a show that works with a matching repertoire the audience can identify and sing along with seamlessly. It took two months to get it all together. Dancers were included to enhance the visual effect. The permanent entourage totaled 20. Fifteen performers and five production personnel. At times, the number would swell with the addition of Sampaguita or Mcoy Fundales or a brass section or leggy models cavorting to the song Legs.

The initial gigs were mostly out of town (Angeles, Tagaytay, etc.) where the fans were more forgiving with delays and adjustments. Manila Sound Project debuted in Manila as the first artist to perform at the new high-tech and modern Newport Theater for the Performing Arts at Resorts World. More shows followed.

In 2011, Manila Sound Project will embark on an international tour that will include Asian cities like Hong Kong and Singapore, the Middle East and the US East and West Coast.

Manila Sound Project is fronted Rene Garcia (Hotdog), Sonny Parsons (Hagibis), Male Rigor (VST & Co.) and Maso Diez (Hotdog) and supported on by Paul Clark, Leonard Belgeira, Roy Sadicon, the Glass Onion band, the Circles Dancers with Carlo Gaa as musical director.

Early 2011, Joey Abando, lead singer and songwriter of Boyfriends will be returning from Seoul to join Manila Sound Project.

On Dec. 29, Manila Sound Project will have a grand concert at the ALIW Theater at CCP complex (tickets available at SM Tickets, Ticketworld and its outlets and at the Aliw lobby on show date) and on Dec. 31, New Year’s countdown at the Dusit Thani hotel lobby. It is presented by Circles Entertainment in collaboration with PCSO, Business Mirror, Hard Rock Café and RJ100 FM.

BUSINESS MIRROR CARLO GAA CIRCLES DANCERS CIRCLES ENTERTAINMENT DUSIT THANI EAST AND WEST COAST GLASS ONION HAGIBIS HARD ROCK CAF MANILA SOUND PROJECT RENE GARCIA
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