Saturday, April 23, 2011

Liquid Jane Reunion Gig

It's been a while since I last posted anything on this blog. The past weekends have been filled with music. And I haven't bothered documenting each fun-filled musical night on this blog. I suppose I'll start with this particular one night (April 9, 2011), along with the events leading up to that night.

My good friend since back in high school, Beng, came back to Manila to visit after 4 years. He landed a sweet job and wanted to take a short vacation back home before starting his new work. Part of his trip agenda was to jam with his old band Liquid Jane. The band was in haitus for about a year given each member's other commitments. Beng was the catalyst to bring them back together. He had me come along to their practice/jam for fun.

Come Thursday, the jam itself was a whole lot of fun. I only brought my darbuka drum for convenience. I got to meet some friends that I haven't seen in a long time. I even saw a past band member, Gino, who was Beng's replacement in the band when Beng left for the States. Gino used to play guitar for SunDownMuse as well. It was a good thing that I knew some of Liquid Jane's songs (I've been a fan of the band for as long as I can remember). Chad at times writes in different time signatures like 7s or 11s. Galit talaga sa sessionista ang Liquid Jane. LOL! But I was able to roll with it just fine. I recorded the latter half of the jam using my Belkin Tune-Talk and iPod. Erwin blurted out "Sarap ah. Gig na toooo!!!". And somehow the whole band came to an immediate consensus coupled with raised clenched fists.

While I sent the bootleg recording online to the rest, Chad, the miracle worker, informed all of us that he was able to set up a gig for Liquid Jane that Saturday. I politely asked if I could join them again and they all agreed. This wasn't the first time I jammed with Liquid Jane. And Chad always had an open invitation for me to do so as if I was a main-stay member. Chad, being the bassist of Archipelago, was able to slip Liquid Jane into the production set to happen on Saturday at Casa Nami, Jupiter Street, Makati. I've only been to that bar once before and I remember it to be a nice and cozy place. Not your regular hole in the wall type place at all.

Come Saturday, we were set to practice again around 2 hours prior to the gig at the same practice studio. I brought my congas and a bag full of toys for the gig. But only decided to bring my congas for practice. It was amazing how fast everything came together with just 1 to 2 run-throughs per song.

When we were done with practice, we felt excited for the gig. It was at this time that I noticed that Gino had a "tech". Given that he's the guitarist for Gloc 9's band, he gets to use their tech especially since they just had a mall gig earlier that afternoon. The tech apparently gets paid for a full day's work. So Gino brought him along. While we were all slowly packing up our stuff. Gino just stepped outside and lit a cigarette. And his tech packed up his stuff for him. Lucky bastard.

We then proceeded to Casa Nami. Our good friend Roland was already there about an hour earlier than us and brought Millet and a common friend Mike Mason along. I was glad he came over to watch us. That way I could hand him my Zoom H4N recorder and not worry about recording the gig amongst all the percs gear I had to set up.

When we got to the venue, I was surprised that the 1st band hasn't even started playing yet. Beng had enough pull to drag some old friends out of hiding. Jazz and Ghoul from the south were there with their respective partners. Gina and a few friends from high school were there too.

The band that played before us was pretty cool. Unfortunately, the band's name escapes me at the moment (/facepalm). The band's sound minded a very jazz standard kind of feel and to think the two main vocalists looked fairly young; brother and sister duo it seemed.

(The pictures on the rest of this post were taken by my good friends Roland and Millet. Thanks for the pictures you two!)

It was then our turn to play. For once a good number of band members took just as long as I did to set up. Normally at SunDownMuse gigs, everybody seems to be set-up and ready to go while I was still fixing up my gear. So it was a welcome relief to not be pressured to set up quickly.

The highlight of the entire set was right at the first song, Hollow Tree. I have loved this song for years. And it's always been a pleasure to play percs over it. Somewhere during the middle of the song, Casa Nami's sound tech inadvertently played the in-house music by accident. The interruption caught the entire band by surprise. We looked at each other with a "WTF?" thought bubble hanging over our heads. The crowd loved it nonetheless. And it was awesome that we just got back in the song quickly and with perfect timing.

Friends of mine told me I looked really happy while playing. Well, no one can really blame me for looking all giddy. I've been a fan of Liquid Jane's music for a very long time. I always feel fortunate to be able to jam with them. And I plainly wanted to gig given that SunDownMuse continues to be in haitus. I've been reveling and enjoying other people's music. It was nice to be part of the performance for a change.

Below are 3 of the songs we played that night. Roland was able to record the entire set. But I specifically left out Hollow Tree because of that hilarious interruption in the middle. I finally found my Imeem replacement. It's called SoundCloud. Too bad my Zoom H4N didn't pick up my playing that night. And Chad's vocals were drowned out at the venue for some reason.

That was just a whole lot of fun. Hope Liquid Jane gigs again soon.


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