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Monday, September 05, 2016

The Scene Around: Sponge Cola Sinag/Tala Double EP Launch

09/05/2016 09:26:06 PM 

It was Friday when I got a message from one of my friends from GigsManila. He was asking me to cover the event in Greenhills. Little thing I know the event was made for a band we called Sponge Cola. 

Since this is actually the first time I wrote a feature gig about them, let's take a bit of rundown. Sponge Cola is a Filipino alternative rock band that has been making music since 1998; but it was in 2003 when they gained massive prominence through their self-titled EP. Two of their tracks were already gaining buzz then: Lunes and Jeepney

Since then, Sponge Cola has been making waves from one generation of OPM rockers to the present. From their only album under Sony BMG titled Palabas to their present projects under Universal Records (five albums and four extended play (EP) records since signing with the label in 2006). 

And their latest two records were formally launched at Teatrino at Promenade Greenhills last Friday, 26 August 2016. 

Dubbed as Sponge Cola Sinag/Tala Double EP launch, everyone inside the venue were treated for a very intimate gig done the acoustic way. Yael, Gosh, Erwin, and T-Mac were at the stage, together with former drummer Chris Cantada also playing the acoustic guitar during the evening. Also, there was a keyboardist and two violinists accompanying them for at least 17 songs (14 in the main set, and three at the encore). 

For almost two hours, it was fun hearing the band sing their songs from past and present in some sort of refined and light tune. That includes some two songs listed from their two new records Butterflies (Sinag) and Coda (Tala). 

There was even a time that he performed his song from the balcony level, and it was an awesome sight to say the least. 

In addition, the band takes some time to have some comic relief by means of bantering some pop culture references infused in their work, as well as other background information that made the evening a very laid-back one by ambiance. 

Yours truly managed to have a quick chat up with the band after their concert. And mind you, it was an overwhelming experience to ask questions regarding the stories behind their two extended play (EP) albums, recognizing their supporters for over the years, the upcoming gigs for 2016; and mind you, this is where I could really say there is still music-making people in the mainstream (and I mean really). 
SlickMaster: Good evening. I'd just like to know your few thoughts about the turnout of this event.
Yael: We're just really happy. Happy sa support ng mga tao ever since. It's overwhelming, really. I mean sobrang trafic sa labas. It's a Friday night, and it rained like crazy, so parang just the idea people made it here. They sang with us, and it's amazing every time. We're really thankful. As a band grows, we're always thankful, we appreciate everyone. Thanks guys, from here in our hearts. 
S: What are the stories behind these two EP records? Bakit siya nahati sa dalawa?
Y: When we were coming up with the set list, we realized na it wasn't really making sense. Kasi parang some songs are insanely happy and some songs are so sad, na it’s hard to come up with that list. So we split the album in half para storytelling purposes. It’ s much easier to have one CD of happy songs and one CD of generally sadder songs. Basically, this will lead to eventually a bunch of other EPs with different themes na bite-sized. Even for people who always like to wait for our releases and really buy our albums, it’s easier or them to buy it kasi mura din eh dahil EP.”
S: After this event, what's next for Sponge Cola?
Y: We're basically be playing all over. We're gonna play in Canada sa November, so there's a Canadian tour. We're also playing in other countries before the year ends. Basically, it’s gonna be a fun and interesting ride all over the world, all over the Philippines, all over the Internet. Because today’s age, you can perform from a cellphone. So it’s always been our thing; be all over. So here we go. 

It was a first time to experience a Sponge Cola gig. And boy, it never disappoint me, thanks to the sound-system that made Teatrino an easy-listening place wherever you are seated from. As well as the venue itself, staged for a worthy night of lightness (much lighter than those brands of liquor). 

Sponge Cola is Yael Yuzon (vocals), Gosh Dilay (bass), Erwin Armovit (guitars), and T-mac Cruz (drums and percussion). 

Special shoutouts to Gabriel Diaz of GigsManila and Grace Foronda of Universal Records.

Author: slickmaster | © 2016 september twenty-eight productions

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