THIRTY years on, the popularity of Cebu’s 40 The Band endures.
Rica’s Café became standing-room only when 40 took to the stage during the Local Ground Sinulog Series concert. Two weeks later, they packed F Café & Bar on what would have been an ordinary Wednesday.
“This tells a story of what the band is made of,” observed bar owner Francis Lee. “Any bar can be full during Sinulog weekend, but to see this on a weekday shows that people still know them and love their music.”
40 The Band recently reunited when frontman Troy Degamo, now Toronto-based, arrived in Cebu for an extended vacation lasting until mid-March. Along with guitarist Arnold Ang, bassist Lyndon Banzon, drummer Roy Llanes, and keyboardist Pong Chiong, they are back doing gigs.
“Playing cover songs is how we learned to play together,” said Degamo reflecting on their formation in 1986 as the house band of Shakey’s (located then in Gen. Maxilom Ave., Cebu City) that played mostly new wave hits.
“But then we made our own songs and it was even better,” he said. Their original compositions What I Say and Rain became local radio hits in the ‘90s and remain live staples that still resonate strongly with their audiences today.
The years have also evolved the band members’ musicianship.
“When we were younger, we were just enjoying and playing with so much adrenaline,” remarked drummer Llanes. “Now that we’re experienced, we can really feel the songs more.”
Their iconic status in the Cebu music scene has also served new challenges.
“I feel scared and more pressured when I play for 40 because the people’s expectations are high,” opined guitarist Ang.
“If we can still do it, I will sing until my voice is gone,” countered Degamo who then concluded: “We love music and that’s why we’re still here.” (Contributed by Jovi Neri)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 05, 2017.
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