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Many local bands who have played in the Middle East are expected to arrive in Sri Lanka this month due to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. This will be a month of holiday for the bands from Sri Lanka to return home for a well deserved rest.
As it happens every year some of these bands will not go back to the Middle East due to the lapse of their performing contracts with the respective hotels. A few others will stay in Sri Lanka until they get confirmation from their hotel managers regarding their contracts being extended for another year or two.
There are also others who will stay because they found life difficult in the Middle East because they are unable to cope well with the musical requirements demanded from them by their hotel managers. There are others who stay in the country because they had enough.
Of the local bands returning for staying, are Benjy and Aquarius from Doha and Damage from Dubai. It is said in a recent newspaper article that Benjy and his band
will inject some life and energise the music scene for music Lovers.
Does this mean that the Western music scene in Sri Lanka is bed ridden and hardly breathing? Is the local music industry in a position of dull monotony as the same article has pointed out?
The Western music scene in Sri Lanka is very much live. Things are happening at various night clubs such as R and B.
The dedication of the artistes are on a high plane. One has to go out and see for oneself what is actually taking place to get the right idea.
The people do not seem to get the right picture because there is hardly any publicity given to the bands which are constantly in action are, Wildfire, Misty , Heat, Ultimate, Experiments, Stigmata, Flame and Exit. There are bands like Legacy, Channel Five , Black, and Stigmata which are hot on the job.
There are many upcoming bands and styles. The competition is fierce in Sri Lanka than never before with a lot of players coming out of their age with their playing and singing skills. One has just to take a walk around the corner and visit the happening places.
The leaders and managers of several rock and retro bands told the In Tune that it is a great injustice done to them if someone should say that the western music industry is dull and monotonous.
On the contrary, most of the bands that play in Sri Lanka had played abroad. They have performed in Germany, Australia, Switzerland, and the Middle East countries. The players have improved their playing skills over the years that their playing is of international standards.
There have been hardly any publicity for Western bands and musicians. This is one of the reasons why the masses have been kept in the dark about the real situation.
The TV stations in Sri Lanka has fashioned a culture of its own to telecast anything that is in the new wave category of Sri Lankan hip hop against all other styles of music. They are more inclined to telecast songs of those who have won TV
They air a number of selected oriental songs in between hip hop tracks, hoping that this would create the illusion that they are doing a balanced and responsible job for the music industry. In spite of all this, the Western music in Sri Lanka has survived.
One must also consider why we do not come to hear any original songs by the Western musicians. This is attributive to the taste of the local audience.
As Derek Wikremanayaka of Wildfire put, this is mainly because our audiences are still not appreciative of the originals. ‘When we play in night clubs or pubs, they get more or less offended if we played a song they do not know.
‘If you play originals, you will end up disappointing the audience’, he added.
Madonna (50) opens World Tour with Disco, Bondage, Controversy
(Bloomberg) — Madonna started her latest tour on Aug 23 a week after turning 50, offering 40,000 fans in Wales two hours of her trademark high-energy disco, costume changes and controversy.
The singer plans at least 50 ``Sticky and Sweet’’ concerts under her new association with music company Live Nation Inc. She plays across Europe and the Americas in 2008, with more dates to be confirmed. Madonna’s 2006 ``Confessions’’ tour had ticket sales of $195 million, the most for a female artist, said Billboard.
Her two-hour show at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium included a video interlude seen by some fans as an attack on John McCain, the U.S. Republican presidential candidate, whose image they noticed briefly flashed up alongside Adolf Hitler and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.
``Trust the Queen of Pop to stir things,’’ said Jo Elder, 35, of London, who has attended 15 Madonna concerts, and was wearing a ``Material Girl’’ hat. ``She’s more manic as she gets older. I’ve never seen so many people dancing, it was really infectious.’’
Madonna’s show had 24 songs, 250 crew, eight costume changes and 16 support artists who break danced, pole danced and flamenco- stepped in fetish and bondage outfits. The star first appeared through a haze of lasers on a black leather throne and launched into ``Candy Shop’’ off her latest album ``Hard Candy.’’
The set featured recent material alongside reworkings of some old hits. ``Borderline’’ was speeded up by thumping guitars, ``La Isla Bonita’’ spiced with gypsy fiddle and ``Like a Prayer’’ boasted heavy bass and a techno beat.
The concert was split into four sections — ``Pimp,’’ ``Old School,’’ ``Gypsy’’ and ``Rave’’ — with Madonna managing to skip a rope and do press-ups without losing breath and while singing. She signed off with ``Give It 2 Me’’ and grinned before the house lights came on with a flashing display which read ``Game Over.’’
Not everybody was so happy.
``It said `7:30 p.m. start’ on my ticket and she didn’t come on until well past 9 p.m.,’’ said John Barry, 40, of California. ``I’ll travel the world for Madonna, and she’s sensational, but she has to remember to keep her loyal fans with her. Sadly, she’s just getting more arrogant