Publisher's Note

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    Hello dear readers, It’s June and half of the year is almost gone. But we still have rain at times and it’s good for the grass and all the plants in our garden.  Although lately, it’s been getting to more sunny now, I’m sure that everyone is enjoying the outdoors. June is a very important month for [...]

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Bamboo: The Oven Tour

Bamboo: The Oven Tour thumbnail

By Erwin Maramat

My mind kicked into overdrive when my editor-in-chief invited me to watch Bamboo live, but nothing compares to the fact that she granted my request to interview the generational icon that night. As I entered the concert hall the air was filled with sight and sound particularly that familiar rift which his band was playing for sound check, “Mr. Clay” from the album “As The Music Plays” it was a memorable song for me since it signalled the return of Bamboo after a 5-year hiatus only to further re-establish himself as the prince of rock of the Philippines.

DJ OB of Pinoy Times on Air 94.7 FM and I were graciously accommodated backstage. Bamboo who was getting ready for his performance greeted us with a smile. I pulled out my old school pocket recorder and started asking him questions.

Pinoy Times: You have constantly reinvented yourself through the years, what challenges have you faced by doing so as a musician?

Bamboo: “I don’t think it’s a conscious thing of changing, it’s just something that happens so you just sort of feel it out and just grow with that, and the challenges is like anything else with change, so it’s always tough. Routines change, lifestyles change, everything changes, but I always say it’s always for the better; it’s always good. I’ve never regretted moving forward. You’ll just have to push forward and not be afraid of that. That has always been my survival, my thing.”

Pinoy Times: Whom do you consider to be your greatest influence when performing as you are considered to be one of the best frontmen?

Bamboo: Thanks for saying that, but again like I’ve said that’s not an easy thing. I always say I’m a student first. I’ve always listened and watched a lot. If you only stick to one, so review to copy, but if you start learning from the whole pack then start making your own. That’s my thing, from the past: Nat King Cole moving onward to U2, Bono, to Sting, every single artist.”

Pinoy Times: So no one particular influence?

Bamboo: “Not one in particular.”

Pinoy Times: Last question, I have seen you cover a lot of genres as reflected in your album “No Water, No Moon” I have not heard the new album just yet, I’m sorry—in reference to “Bless This Mess” which I’m sure is awesome—what other genres would you like to explore in the future?

Bamboo: “I think what I do explores a lot of genres already. To specifically hit something and let’s say go to a specific one like swing, I don’t know if I can do that yet. Maybe not at this stage. So, I don’t know the answer to that yet. Pero, everything is pretty open. I think that’s the right mentality, right at that, when you push forward.    When you listen to a lot of stuff when you have been a student for so long—I’m still a student today willing to learn and grow. That’s it, let’s see what happens.”

Pinoy Times: Thank you Bamboo.

The crowd lighted up like a sea of candles as soon as the band hit the stage with Bamboo singing in the background, and when he finally appeared everyone was bewildered. I had one of the best seats in the house, just a few feet from Kakoy Legaspi who was literally mesmerizing me with his graceful mastery of the guitar which I almost couldn’t hear as the sound was drowned out by screaming fans, my wife included. It was a short performance, but it was worth every second of it. Bamboo gave everyone a treat as he belted out hits such as “214,” “Hinahanap Hanap Kita,” “Kisapmata” “Awit ng Kabataan” and “Noypi” which reflects the resilience of Filipinos who are living here in Canada and other countries. He also dished out some of the new tracks from his new album namely the groovy lead single “Firepower,” the funk-driven “Call,” as well as “Lingering Love” and “Untitled.”

I almost broke down in tears when he started singing “Flower” I think DJ OB and I were the only few who knew the song and he went on further doing a cover of Nirvana’s “Breed” to which he actually caught me mouthing the words to the song. Bamboo took a bow and just like that the concert was over and it was time to go home, but it has been an unforgettable night and as I was about to doze to sleep I caught a big smile on my wife’s face who couldn’t stop talking about Bamboo. “I know, I was there too,” I said.


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