Hey everyone, it’s been a while since our last update (last update was the beginning of this year, wow…) so we would like to catch you all up on what gigs we have done this past year as it has been an eventful one compared to last year. With restrictions being more relaxed we were able to do a lot of gigs this year and this post will get you up to speed of what’s been going on this year. There’s a lot to go over so let’s get started!
Blacktown show is an event that we always look forward to as it is usually one of the very first gigs to start of the year, however this year we were unfortunately unable to get a full band due to some complications. Despite this the band was able to pull through and perform some great tunes for the venue, starting off strong with a band favourite, “Treasure” by Bruno Mars and ending off the set with Michael Jackson’s “Blame it on the Boogie”. Circumstances surrounding the band aside, the event was a great way to start the year and helped the band get back into the groove of performing after the pandemic during the latter half of the previous year.
Seven Hills Festival is an event that has quite unfortunate luck with last year being canceled due to a combination of weather issues and the pandemic, and this year looking to be the same due to heavy rainstorms leading up towards the day of the event. However this year organizers were determined to get the show on the road, moving the entire event to the first floor of the Seven Hills Station car park. This was quite an interesting experience for the band as performing within an indoor car park is quite an uncommon venue, especially for a festival setting. Needless to say we were impressed with the set up and had to bring our ‘A game’ despite the weather. We performed a similar set to Blacktown Show with a new song being added to the mix, a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”.
2 months later our next gig for the year was Flores De Mayo, an event that we were first invited to last year and that we are grateful to be reinvited to this year. As a reminder this was a procession for the Month of Mary so the tone of this event was quite different then the event previous with a more solemn mood being set. This involved the band playing traditional pieces such as “Gentle Woman” and “Ave Maria”. After the procession however we were invited to play more upbeat tunes for the festivities after which involved a more stripped down version of our stage songs. With the absence of a drum and bass guitar a Cajon and Tuba were used as a replacement giving songs, like our “Earth Wind and Fire Dance Mix”, a more laid back feel.
Our next two gigs were the Riverstone Parade and Blacktown Streets Alive festival, two events that we always look forward to every year as it gives us the chance to bring out our marching music and fancy uniforms. However during this time of the year there were heavy rainstorms leading up prior to the events which soured our expectations on what was to come. Luckily however this did not affect these events in a significant way and the band was able to march in the streets once again. The band performed traditional marching tunes as well as a cover of another Jackson family song, “Want You Back” by the Jackson 5. This year we were also awarded with the “Best in Parade” award during the Riverstone Parade, winning ourselves a personal river stone as a trophy. Blacktown Streets Alive also had us perform up on stage and march in the streets back to back keeping us on our toes for the whole day. For these 2 events we would also like to thank our friends and family who volunteered to help us on drums and flag bearing as we couldn’t have done these events without you!
A new event that we were invited to play this year was [idk the name of this thing]. As it was a gathering of majority filipinos we decided to play traditional filipino folk songs in order to get the audience excited. Dressed in our fancy marching uniforms we decided to play “Leron Leron Sinta”, “Doon Po Sa Amin” and an “Ilocano Medley’ which had the crowd pleased. Thanks to this event we were also able to be invited to 2 more events, the “Feast of our Lady PenaFrancia” and the first “Kings Langley Village Festival”.
The Feast of our Lady PenaFrancia is a celebration that occurs on the third Saturday of September and is in dedication to an image of the Blessed Mother Mary in the Philippines, adorned in a gold dress and flowers. The image is the patroness of the Bicol Region and as such during the feast day a procession is held in which the Image travels across the Naga River returning to its Cathedral. In our case this involved a rosary procession along the Nepean River in Penrith with the band playing the same songs as they did during Flores De Mayo in May.
It seems quite common for the band to switch moods back to back as the following gig was the very first “Kings Langley Village Fair” in which the band brought a more upbeat tone to in order to celebrate the event performing an upbeat stage set mixing in a little bit of traditional filipino with the inclusion of “Leron Leron Sinta” in the mix. After this event a few members were invited to take a couple of pictures in front of several streets within Seven Hills named after famous composers for the local paper, quite an honor for us.
The next event took us all the way to the city in celebration of Christmas! The event was a filipino celebration of christmas in darling harbor so the band once again pulled out their fancy marching uniforms in order to prepare a mixed selection of filipino folk, marching and classic christmas songs. Despite the weather looking quite cloudy the event went off without a hitch with the band performing a marching set from darling harbor to Tumbalong park and performing on stage a christmas set finishing with “Ang Pasko” a classic filipino christmas song.
A surprise for 2 band members last year was an offer to play the Blacktown hospital and Mt Druitt hospital for a remembrance day ceremony. Band members Alfredo and Geli were invited to play the last post and the rouse at these 2 events for the first time, an opportunity that they were grateful for.
The final gig of last year was the Woodcroft Christmas festival which was actually held at Woodcroft oval due to the weather conditions leading up to the event. As always the band had set up a stall selling various food items including pancit, skewers and fish balls in order to fundraise for band expenses. The band would like to thank those who volunteered to help run the stall throughout the day as this couldn’t have been done without their help. As for the performance the band was the last act of the day and wrapped up the event with a mix of christmas songs including a cover of This Christmas by Christina Aguilera and a set of pop songs including 2 new songs, “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” by Shania Twain and “Shalala Lala” by the Vengaboys.
And that’s it! A recap of last year. Last year turned out to be very eventful especially compared to the year preceding that being filled with a lockdown towards the middle of the year. It was nice to get back into the swing of things last year and hopefully we carry that energy into this year. Sorry for the lack of posts last year. This year we’ll keep on top of things so don’t forget to check back here for new posts and updates on our latest gigs!