In The Flesh: Your Imaginary Friends

Last month at the Ayala Museum, Your Imaginary Friends (YIF) kicked-off The Gentle Isolation’s EP launch by being the first act to perform in the first event for The POP Shoppe! Music Series: A Call To Mind. This month, it was Your Imaginary Friends’ time to shine as tables turned and The Gentle Isolation returned the favor. On September 17, 2010, Your Imaginary Friends went public with their first official record entitled “One Dreamy Indeterminate Hum”. The launch of the CD EP containing five, all-original tracks by Your Imaginary Friends was the highlight of the second Lilystars event.

Your Imaginary Friends in the zone. Photo by Nina Sandejas.

On the afternoon before the launch, Your Imaginary Friends dropped by the NU107 studios for a little chat with DJ Pontri before heading off to the Ayala Museum for a mini-press conference. In between playing songs from “One Dreamy Indeterminate Hum” and the mandatory band bio, the lively discussion that ensued on air had Ahmad Tanji (YIF’s front man) telling the stories behind their songs and how the record came together with a theme regarding “coming of age”. The band went on to relay how by melding two great eras in music—the 80s and the 90s–they were able to find their sound. A fun and entertaining discussion continued during the mini press conference with the band expressing their genuine excitement about the whole event.

That evening at the Museum, the minutes just seemed to wear on forever until at last it was time to begin the show. Shortly past 9:00 pm, fabulous event host, Hilary Isaac excitedly welcomed the gathering crowd. After doing a run-down of what attendees can expect that night, event opener, The Gentle Isolation, soon came on and played songs from their recently launched EP (“It Started With An April Shower”), getting the audience into their pop mood.

As an aside: just as The Gentle Isolation was finishing off their set, special event guests, California-based band, Hello, Goodbye, walked-in, fresh from their own gig just a stone’s throw away from the Ayala Museum. Before introducing the night’s second performer and to everyone’s amusement, host, Hilary didn’t try to contain her excitement as she called attention to the foreign guests who almost successfully, discreetly walked in, had it not been for her announcement (Hello, Goodbye was meant to be a surprise for Your Imaginary Friends as they are great fans of the band).

Ahmad Tanji (Your Imaginary Friends) and Lilystars' head honcho Clementine with Forrest Kline and Joseph Marro of Hello, Goodbye.

After Hello, Goodbye’s unintentional discovery, Hilary carried on to introduce the second performer, Lilystars’ banner artist, The Camerawalls. Clementine, bassist Law Santiago and session musician on drums, Bachie Rudica, treated the audience to a preview of their release (still in the works) by playing a new song called “Bread and Circuses,” which ended in sound applause. The Camerawalls ended their set with their intense, epic original, “The Emperor, The Concubine and The Commoner”.

Those who came looking for a grand time but didn’t expect to find it that night ended up in the right place as third performer, Techy Romantics, altered the beat and gave the crowd a party. Having been tried and tested, no gig with the Techy Romantics in it has ever failed. Doing songs from their current album, “Touch,” their act took the event to the next level of high.

And since what was heated up must be cooled down, the set by up and coming indie darlings, Arigato, Hato! fronted by Cat Cortes was a welcome treat. Playing their “all-heart, lyrical, pop-hop” as the band describes their music on their Facebook page, the 5-piece was the perfect segue to the night’s main act.

The Gentle Isolation opening the evening event.
The Camerawalls
Camyl Besinga of electro-pop trio - Techy Romantics
Arigato, Hato!

It was almost midnight when strong winds and rain forced those milling outside of the Ayala Museum Ground Floor Lobby into the venue, where on stage, Your Imaginary Friends themselves began causing a stir, rendering their audience oblivious to the suddenly nasty weather and the other goings-on outside. From their first song, a toothpaste commercial-worthy original called “By Beautiful Intentions,” down to their last song, “Nikita” (another original about missing a childhood friend), pride and confidence emanated from the band, proving that their presence in the music scene is no longer just a figment of the imagination. The diversity in the audience became evident as cheers of approval were heard from isolated areas in the venue upon the band’s rendition of “Histrionics” by Swedish band, Popsicle and “Where Is My Mind” by The Pixies. All songs from “One Dreamy Indeterminate Hum” were played to a very receptive and appreciative audience. Another highlight during the band’s set was when usually reserved bassist Em Aquino was thrust into the spotlight to sing The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” which had the audience cheering, jumping and dancing the entire three or so minutes that they played it.

Ahmad Tanji (Your Imaginary Friends)
Em Aquino (Your Imaginary Friends)
Khalid Tanji (Your Imaginary Friends)
Eric Po of Your Imaginary Friends
On the sidelines.

As with all things, the night had to come to an end, and end well it did as warm congratulations from Your Imaginary Friends’ family and audience greeted them downstage after their performance. Plentiful too were the requests for autographs on their CDs and photos with the band. The night couldn’t end without the obligatory Lilystars “class picture,” where artists who performed, the Liystars team, the audience and basically anyone and everyone who wanted to be in the photo were invited on stage to pose in front of the cameras. Outside, the weather had abated, allowing everyone who attended the event to safely head for home.

Before we call it a day.


One Dreamy Indeterminate Hum is available for purchase in the following stores: A Different Bookstore (Serendra), Powerbooks (Trinoma, SM Megamall, Shangri-la Mall, Glorietta, Greenbelt and SM Mall of Asia). Digital stores iTunes, Amazon, Emusic, Rhapsody and Napster also distribute Lilystars music.

COMING SOON from Lilystars Records: The POP Shoppe! Music Series: A Call To Mind—the third installment: a 70th birthday tribute to Mr. John Lennon! Saturday, October 09, 2010 at the Ground Floor Lobby of the Ayala Museum, featuring 8 indie acts doing Lennon covers PLUS 13 young contemporary visual artists displaying works on canvas.

The POP Shoppe! Music Series: A Call To Mind is made possible by NU107, the Ayala Museum, the Manila Bulletin, Powerbooks, BusinessWorld,, A Different Bookstore, Jorge’s Portrait Studio and Sony Philippines.

Thanks to Nina Sandejas for the photos. To see more photos from this event, visit our Gallery.

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