Let’s see. I played live electronica on my laptop and portable keyboard as Acid42 in Cebu last Saturday for a Marlboro-sponsored mega party at the Crossroads entertainment complex in Cebu City. Crossroads is like The Fort strip in Makati except smaller. Maybe it’s a bit closer to Greenbelt 3. Anyway, the place was jampacked with people pouring in to drink, listen to some fine music imported from Manila (that would be us), and generally have a fun time.
I was part of the group assigned to the chillout room, we would be playing downtempo tracks in a venue called Cafe Theatro, owned by Johannes a European who’s been in Cebu for 2 years and considers himself Cebuano. On any other day Cafe Theatro’s 2nd floor is a place where people can jam extemporaneously around an upright piano. Last Saturday it became a dark, cool, lounge with chillout music flowing from the speakers. It looked and felt so much like Big Sky Mind in Quezon City that we all felt so at home.
My set itself was… weird. No, more like, unplanned. During soundcheck, the chillout DJs Ronald Pasyon and Red (another Marikina denizen), and myself were jamming off each other’s slow, ambient tracks. It was a delicious type of downtempo. But by the time we actually played, there was a group in the room clamoring for danceable tracks. Since they were also friends of the organizers, we gave in and I quickly went from my prepared set of slow jazzy dark stuff to my light n’ breezy chill house. It turned out okay naman. The group who clamored, were up and shaking their butts to my beats, and a bunch of other performers jammed with us as well. Lovely. It was fun and before I knew it, my slot was done.
As posted in the last blog entry, I was hired by BigFish entertainment, the event organizers for this Marlboro event, and told I would be playing an hour in the chillout room, sometime midnight of Saturday. Plane, hotel accommodations and a talent fee would be provided. A cool deal it was too. But there were drawbacks:
Logistics were a nightmare.
There were about 4 different venues that night each with at least 3 performers in them. All playing simultaneously. Two bands, loads of DJs, and some live electronica. After initial briefings, we were pretty much on our own. Somehow each venue was supposed to be synched to a central event, a voting or a raffle, i’m not sure which. But little coordination was actually done. In effect, each venue was its own island. Which would have been easier, had they set it up that way from the start.
Artist support was sketchy.
Sure we could order from the hotel’s restaurant anytime. And we did. But at the venue itself, on the night when we were ACTUALLY working, we didn’t even have a single bottle of mineral water given to us. I described it thus: “We’re just the artists here. They can’t have a party without inviting us, but at the same time, they cant spare an extra van to shuttle us back and forth between the hotel and the venue (we were taking cabs for goodness’ sake) and couldn’t spare us mineral water at the very least, much less food from the venues.” Tsk tsk tsk.
Ah well. Despite those drawbacks, all of us from Manila had fun. And despite not knowing any of the other performers I was with, I quickly made new friends, exchanged contact info and musician war stories and jammed with some of them especially while I was playing. Hope more of these gigs come my way.