So I was able to get CLONE a gig at Crateri bar after talking to the owner one day last March. WE signed a contract which laid out in black and white the services we were to render, the amount we were to be paid and the dates and members of the band. The reasons for this contract? Several stories which circulated over email and the blogosphere regarding negative experiences other bands had had at the venue. Better safe than sorry. Everything turned out well naman.
Two months later we gigged there, inviting as many people as we could, and launching our latest album Created In The Image.
Several days before the gig, my shoulders were sore. Utter tension. CLONE had a final recording session Thursday night. The album was finished at 3 AM Satuurday morning and was to be launched Saturday night. The covers were duplicated by Saturday afternoon and assembled 2 hours before the gig.
Talk about setting yourself up for a stressful situation. Anyway, aside from some duplication nightmares (CD burner acting up, cover looking like dog turds), it went along rather smoothly. So on to the night itself.
Started out innocently enough. Saturday night 8 PM. Andre Quimpo (CLONE co-founder and percussionist) texts me that he’s at the venue and has talked with the staff, and they say they weren’t informed there was to be a performance that night.
I hurry over there from my Saturday night duties, and show them the contract. Yun pala, they’ve already called their boss and know the deal. Cool.
We set up right in the sunken DJ booth at the back of the room, placing all our gear near the DJ mixer so we can maximize the sound. It takes a while for us to get the sound right. After seeking the aid of one of the staff, we are shown that the subwoofers are connected via the DJ mixer not the main PA mixer. Ah. Success. We crank it up and start playing. It is now close to 10pm and our invited guests have trickled in.
The gig is a blast. It’s nice to have the entire evening to yourselves. We played for close to two hours. Unlike other gigs, this time we actually allowed gaps between some songs in order to introduce the singer, or plug the new album. And the vibe of Crateri is so laidback, it’s never gonna be a place for dancing anyway.
Ria Mariano shone as our new vocalist, mastering songs which she used to stumble over. She did “Harmonic Fire,” “When I Find You By My Side,” “House of Love 2004,” and “Moon In The Room” which are all on the newest album, aside from one old song “Cry”. Guest vocalist Yumi Calderon shared her talents with us on “My Silent Song Is You” and “Spirit Of My Loving God”. And Andre Quimpo played percussion tirelessly throughout the set. Such a change to hear him on live congas rather than on a drum kit. His wife, April Quimpo was in charge of CD sales and was able to market our wares very nicely.
The audience was great. The friends around us were abundant and warm. There were even entire groups of people who just happened on in and stayed till the end, loving the music and purchasing most all of our CDs!
The sound was fantastic. We recorded our set on a borrowed KORG D16 hard disk multitracker and should be able to post that MP3 by next month (Give me time!) At the end of the day, it was nice to realize that: if you really want a gig, you can MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Of course we did have Providence on our side.
To all those who were there, thank you. It meant a lot to all of us!