The Gentle Isolation’s “It Started With An April Shower” Opens The POP Shoppe! Music Series: A Call To Mind

The Gentle Isolation during their EP launch at the Ayala Museum. From left to right: Monch Cristobal (bass), Ness Urian (acoustic), Bachie Rudica (drums) and Joseph Rovero (guitars). Photo by Nina Sandejas.

Just three months after successfully staging their first large-scale music production in May 2010 (Club 8 Live in Manila!), Lilystars Records is back in the scene, having staged another event last August 18, 2010 at the Ayala Museum in Makati City. Dubbed The POP Shoppe! Music Series: A Call To Mind, the series was kicked off by the EP launch of The Gentle Isolation, one of the three artists in the label’s roster.

Entitled It Started With An April Shower,” this CD EP by The Gentle Isolation is the Meycauayan, Bulacan-based quartet’s first attempt and effort at immortalizing their original material. The five-song EP features their first single, “Let’s Go Slow,” which is currently enjoying airplay on FM radio station NU 107, the event’s official radio partner (listen to the whole EP Here).

Early in the afternoon of August 18, The Gentle Isolation dropped by NU 107 to promote that evening’s show at the Ayala Museum while the station’s Chief Announcer and coincidentally,  evening event’s host,  DJ Francis “Brew” Reyes, was on board. The band gamely fielded questions by Francis regarding the band’s beginnings and their music.

During the press conference. Photo by Jeff Saw.

Immediately after the radio guesting, the band proceeded to the Ayala Museum for an intimate press conference, attended by representatives from Business World, Manila Bulletin, People Asia and the Manila Times among others. As the evening wore on, the Ground Floor Lobby of the Museum came to life. Little by little, indie pop music enthusiasts and friends and supporters of The Gentle Isolation gathered at the venue, milling around, being treated to a preview of what the night promised as supporting acts for the night performed their routine sound check.

Shortly after 8:00 p.m., quirky event host, Francis Reyes, officially welcomed the crowd to the event and introduced the opening noise-pop act, Your Imaginary Friends doing an edgy rendition of The Smiths’ “Shoplifters Of The World Unite” in between their original songs. Your Imaginary Friends was followed by the lovely and talented Ms. Kate Torralba, dressed in one of her own creations dishing out songs from her upcoming album. Following Kate was Lilystars’ banner artist, The Camerawalls, with none other than Clementine and Law Santiago, and featuring session musicians Ian Zafra of Sheila & the Insects fame on second guitars and Bachie Rudica of the evening’s toast, The Gentle Isolation, on drums filling up more spaces inside the museum lobby. Another guest performer, the brilliant brother-sister duo of Mike and Micaela Bendicto, better known as Outerhope, came after The Camerawalls.

Your Imaginary Friends' siblings Ahmad and Khalid Tanji. Photo by Nina Sandejas.
Kate Torralba on her keyboards, serenading the crowd. Photo by Nina Sandejas.
The Camerawalls' Clementine and Law Santiago with session players Ian Zafra (SATI) and Bachie Rudica (The Gentle Isolation). Photo by Nina Sandejas.

Mike and Micaela Benedicto of Outerhope. Photo by Nina Sandejas.

Finally, the act the crowd came for that night took their place onstage to set up for their performance while a slightly wine-buzzed Francis Reyes warmed up to the crowd, asking random questions to sustain the crowd’s positive mood. After the host’s much-awaited introduction of the main act, coy front of the band, Ness, spoke just a few words before segueing to “Let’s Go Slow”. Each song, like gunfire, came quickly, one after the other, the band saying almost nothing in between–a sign that they felt quite nervous. “Having launched in a luxe venue such as the Ayala Museum was really a grand experience for us. We could not believe ourselves that we were the luminaries of that night. Not to mention the heaping support by a great lineup of guest indie artists,” answered Ness during an interview.

After playing a few, choice originals, The Gentle Isolation began dishing out cover songs to the crowd’s delight. Their rendition of anti-pop idol, Morrissey’s Everyday’s Like Sunday got a few guests, most especially the foreigners, dancing to the music. They ended their set and the event with a memorable cover, originally by the fab four—The Beatles—Here Comes The Sun.

Bachie Rudica wears his sunglasses at night. Photo by Nina Sandejas.
Vocalist Ness Urian sporting a half smile. Photo by Nina Sandejas.
Joseph Rovero of The Gentle Isolation. Photo by Nina Sandejas.
Melody maker and bassist Monch Cristobal on the foreground. Photo by Nina Sandejas.

“It Started With An April Shower” is the first in a series of five music events by Lilystars Records and event partners, the Ayala Museum, NU 107 FM, BusinessWorld and the Manila Bulletin (official media partners). Watch for the EP launch of Your Imaginary Friends this September, as well as the rest of the monthly music events in The POP Shoppe! Music Series, until December 2010. This event was also made possible by Powerbooks and A Different Bookstore (exclusive distributor of Lilystars’ recordings),, Sony Philippines and Jorge’s Portrait Studio

“The POP Shoppe! Music Series: A Call To Mind” is an effort to introduce to a wider public an alternative to what is commonly heard in the local pop music industry. Not just to showcase artists from the Lilystars roster but to promote those we believe are worthy of attention, this event aims to foster local integrity in creating music that will contribute to the elevation of Filipino pop music that is at par with foreign counterparts.

Thanks to Nina Sandejas and Jeff Saw for the photos. To see more photos from this event, visit our Gallery and check out published articles about the event at our Press section.

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