Moonstones glow | Sunday Observer

Moonstones glow

Going back to the 70s it’s not many bands or groups that have had the impact, success and recognition as has been accorded to the Moonstones. They were in a bubble all their own, much to the envy of other musicians and to the delight of music lovers. This concert of the Moonstones came at the right time when the music scene was experiencing setbacks due to the Easter upheaval and music lovers were looking for a distraction. The Moonstones provided it in spades.

The concert at the BMICH on July 28 without exaggeration was a success.

From the opening set, (there was no frantic opening minutes and Annesley Malawana must be commended for starting off the concert at 7 p.m. on the dot) Annesley and his group bathed in a colourful glow of the backdrop, recreated the up-tempo calypso beat for which Clarence and the Moonstones earned a name for themselves. The songs Muhude Ralle, Mango Kalu Nande and Ruwan Pura Apey Gama evoked memories of past glories and no one can deny that Clarence had the uncanny knack of telling stories pastoral or otherwise through his music that flipped many a sentimental heart. There were more from the band Menike Sudu Menike, Rosa Maley Natuwe Katu with audience participation and the famous Ramani.

This was the cue for Indrani to move in on stage. She recalled highly of Clarence and his creative song writing style and sang the song that broke all records in Sri Lanka. Just before Annesley joined her for a duet Indrani performed her second song Vaney Devuliya Thurulle. She hasn’t lost her style in putting over a song. Along with Annesley the duo, much to the delight of the audience sang Kageda gon vassa.

The concert took a different track as Sunil Malawana changed the tempo into the Baila, Baila Spanish rhythm with Stanmore de Jonk, the Moonstones drummer, playing the tambourine with dance steps to enhance the mood and the excitement. A pleasant surprise was Sohan Weerasinghe, who was a member of the early Moonstones, who praised the efforts of Annesley and went into a scintillating version of Lambada followed by Laurence Manricks who at the organ sang Brown Eyed Girl which brought the house down. Manricks is back in Brisbane now, happy that he was here for the concert which brought back “Memories of the Fabulous Moonstones”.

Perhaps fans of the famous duo Somapala and Chitra enjoyed their son Chitral singing the songs of his renowned parents as endorsed by the thunderous appreciation he received from the audience when he sang Dambulugala, Udarata Kandukaraye, Isurumuniya and Dinake Me Nadee Theere some of the songs arranged by Clarence. Finally Annesley, down with the audience had the last word when he maintained the momentum, singing the songs Udarata Niliya, Mungo Kalu Nanda and effectively put the seal on the concert with Ruwanpurey Apey Gama which concluded the night on a high.

Pic: Shan Rambukwella