Here come the BritsBy Angela V. Ignacio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Three British acts, three nights, three different venues. Seems like the “ber” months are off to a sweet start for concert-philes. Whether you’re in the mood for bubblegum pop, piano-driven rock or acoustic soul, there will be a whole bunch of ‘em lads to suit your fancy in the coming months.
Much like what Boyzone and Take That did in the ’90s, One Direction and The Wanted seem to be responsible for the resurgence of this so-called British boy band invasion in today’s mainstream consciousness. And one of those groups is actually headed our way. Touted as “UK’s sexiest boy band,” The Wanted is the first to hit Manila shores, with MCA Music producing a one-night concert scheduled on Sept. 14 at the NBC Tent in Taguig.
Responsible for infectious dance-pop tunes such as “All Time Low” and “Glad You Came” (yep, that song The Warblers performed in “Glee” last season), Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker and Nathan Sykes are currently promoting their summer single, “Chasing the Sun.”
They’ve already achieved four Top 5 and two No. 1 singles, and sold over 400,000 copies of their debut album upon its release last October. They’ve also been viewed a staggering 30-million times on YouTube.
While there’s been a dwindling supply of decent all-male pop acts in the last two decades (except for Asian idol groups, but that’s a different story altogether), we think The Wanted may just help turn the tide in their favor. If we follow the trail of screaming tweens across the globe, we’ll see that this “revamped” boy band craze is slowly but surely making a comeback. But the real question is: Is Manila ready for it? We’ll see soon enough.
The songs of this four-piece alternative outfit from East Sussex have always stood out from day one. Known as the “band with no guitars” because of their use of a piano (or a synthesizer) as the lead instrument, Keane gave a fresh new spin on the usual rock ditties that made their sound virtually impossible not to like.
Manila will finally get to experience that unique brand of rock live as the quartet will be swinging by this part of the world to promote their latest album, “Strangeland.” The concert will be held on Oct. 2 at the SM Mall Of Asia Arena, courtesy of Dayly Entertainment.
The lineup consists of vocalist Tom Chaplin, pianist Tim Rice-Oxley, drummer Richard Hughes and bassist Jesse Quin. Keane achieved mainstream success with the release of their debut album, “Hopes and Fears,” in 2004, which gave us hits like “Everybody’s Changing,” “Bend and Break” and the soulful, bittersweet winner, “Somewhere Only We Know.”
The band continued to top the album charts with their piano-driven rock via their sophomore record, “Under the Iron Sea,” before experimenting with guitars for the first time in 2008’s “Perfect Symmetry.”
With the release of “Night Train” in 2010 and “Strangeland” just last May, the band now holds the distinction of being one of three bands in UK pop history to have five consecutive No. 1 albums. Oddly enough, they’ve never had a No. 1 single, but it doesn’t really matter. We’ve heard how amazing this band sounds live, and we’re more than willing to find out for ourselves if it’s true.
John Mayer. Jason Mraz. Let’s add one more insanely gifted “J.M.” to the list of guitar-strumming singer-songwriters to sweep Manila off its feet. Dayly Entertainment will be flying in BRIT Award winner James Morrison for one night of pure ear candy on Oct. 9 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. And no, he is not related to The Doors’ late frontman.
Breaking into the pop market with the ultimate serenade single, “You Give Me Something,” Morrison quickly became the biggest-selling British male solo artist in 2006, with his chart-topping debut record, “Undiscovered,” selling millions of copies worldwide. His second album, 2008’s “Songs for You, Truths for Me,” as well as the singles off it (“You Make It Real” and “Broken Strings,” which featured recent Manila visitor Nelly Furtado), all enjoyed Top 10 spots in their respective UK charts.
The 28-year-old crooner is currently on tour to promote his third album, “The Awakening,” released last year. With what has happened in the previous years—him becoming a father and, at the same time, losing his own father after the latter’s long battle with alcoholism and depression—it seems that he’s had a lot of emotional investment in the creation of “Awakening.” “My first two albums felt like practice shots,” he said, “and now I’ve graduated. In many ways this feels like my first proper album.”
Of course, the songs are much more than just him dealing with personal issues. His signature gravelly vocals and amazing range, as well as his soul-stirring songwriting skills, cement him as one of those contemporary artists who can truly sing from the heart—and sound like it. We’re actually predicting that he’ll be able to turn even the most cynical person into a pile of mush during his concert.
For The Wanted and Keane concerts, call SM Tickets at 4702222 or visit www.smtickets.com. For James Morrison’s concert, tickets are available at Ticketnet outlets; you can call 9115555 or visit www.ticketnet.com.ph.
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