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Entertainment

Neocolours holds successful reunion concert

Leah Salterio - The Philippine Star
Neocolours holds successful reunion concert
Vocalist Ito Rapadas at the band’s virtual concert Pagbabalik
STAR / File

A digital concert with the Neocolours was repeatedly postponed even after tickets were already sold on KTX. The varying quarantine measures due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic and the restrictions imposed made it not feasible for the group to push through with the performance.

Then, there were other unforeseen circumstances by the band members. Vocalist Ito Rapadas got infected with COVID-19 in April this year and he needed time to recuperate from the effects of his illness. Postponement became the operative word then for the members.

Last Sept. 17, however, the Neocolours gave fans what the latter had long been waiting for. The band couldn’t be thankful enough that the virtual concert aptly titled Pagbabalik, was finally pushed through.

The Neocolours was back onstage at the Music Museum, where they wrapped up many successful shows in the past. “For so many months, we didn’t get to play together, that’s why this (concert) is a privilege,” Ito declared.

When Ito sauntered onstage and he started to sing Making It, the title track of the Neocolours’ debut album, he didn’t sound a day older as when the group first released its debut album more than three decades ago. To think that Ito was even downed by COVID-19. He looked none the worse for wear when he emerged onstage to perform again.

The only guest that night, Geneva Cruz, affirmed that when she and Ito did a duet of Kenny Loggins’ Whenever I Call You Friend, midway into the show. “Si Ito hindi tumatanda. Ageless,” Geneva remarked.

Of course, the erstwhile Smokey Mountain original member dished out her spot numbers — Kailan, a song strongly identified with her and an original English ditty, I Like You, that Neocolours songwriter and keyboardist, Jimmy Antiporda, produced for her and that had the latter briefly rapping, too.

Geneva also rendered a song very special to her heart, Anak ng Pasig, penned by Jimmy, with Marilyn Villapando and Yoly Ong.

Neocolours carried out their hits like Bahala Na, the first Tagalog song from their first album in 1988, with Niño Regalado on drums. Jimmy came in through virtual connection and gave another familiar piece, Kasalanan Ko Ba, which he wrote in 1999.

The OPM (Original Pilipino Music) line-up included Gotta Get Close, recorded in 1992 and nominated at the Awit Award for Best Dance. It was even once used in a TV commercial. Lead guitarist Josel Jimenez, who is now Davao-based, wrote Hold On.

Most of Neocolours’ songs were described as hugot, since many are ballads and love tunes. Like Maybe, one of the group’s familiar hits and Ito’s favorite. “Maybe it’s wrong to say please love me, too ‘cause I know you’ll never do. Somebody else is waiting there inside for you. Maybe it’s wrong to love you more each day ‘cause I know he’s here to stay…”

A thoughtful part of the reunion concert came when Jimmy paid tribute to master rapper, “the one and only” Francis M. After all, Jimmy penned Francis M’s Cold Summer Nights and Mga Kababayan, where Niño also displayed his excellence on his instrument, the drums.

Expectedly, Neocolours sang popular covers, the tunes they previously played at Music Museum, like Bill Weathers’ Lovely Day and a medley of Mr. Mister’s Kyrie, Tears for Fears’ Everybody Wants To Rule the World and Toto’s Rosanna.

Although Neocolours are known for their hits, for a change, the members challenged themselves and dished out their versions of some of the most iconic and popular rock songs. Niño took on the microphone “for the first time” and sang Mike Hanopol’s Laki sa Layaw, Jeproks. Jimmy rendered The Dawn’s Salamat, Ito carried out The Eraserheads’ Alapaap.

When the strains of Neocolours’ first big hit from their debut album, Jimmy’s composition, Say You’ll Never Go, played on, Ito enjoined the virtual audience to sing along. The ballad is undoubtedly entrenched in every Pinoy’s playlist. If there was an audience, for sure, the shrieks and screams were endless.

The Neocolours are hopeful they will get to see their fans soon. With founding members Marvin Querido on second keyboards and Paku Herrera on bass, Ito introduced Makita Kang Muli, not the band’s hit, but a song Jimmy wrote with his wife, Cymbee and originally recorded by Sugarfree.

Neocolours bookended Pagbabalik with both their original songs. For the finale, Ito crooned Tuloy Pa Rin, a song he composed. “Tuloy pa rin ang ating mga buhay. Tuloy pa rin ang pagmamahalan,” he concluded.

Pagbabalik was part of the fundraising efforts of the UP College of Law Class 1996, that will benefit the UP College of Law Scholarship Foundation and Medical Fund.

The Neocolours may not be always visible collectively, but after more than three decades, Jimmy assured they are still very much around, ready to mentor young musicians and songwriters get new opportunities in the music scene.

KTX

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