The sound of music on a platter | Sunday Observer

The sound of music on a platter

To borrow a line and amend it from the song – the hills will come alive, (with the beginning of the season) – with the sound of music especially at the well recognised and popular Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya.

Rodney R and Friends will be in musical action at the Bubbly Tea on December 7-10 every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

It's an event that should not be missed since all the musicians are well known and have loads of experience behind them. Individually their repertoire is wide, wide and they need no ‘jogging’ or rehearsals to put on a sparkling Bubbly Tea program for you to enjoy. It will, as Rodney tells us, be a novel and new experience if you are enjoying a holiday in the cool climes of Nuwara Eliya.

Rodney R and Friends comprise Rodney Rabot – vocals and guitar, Kumar Molligoda – saxophone, Maxie Pietersz – double bass and Royle de Andrew – drums.

A look into their musical careers will reveal details you would never have thought of. “Actually this is going to be jazzy Bubbly Tea afternoons” commented Rodney Rabot when we caught up with him to find out more about the event.

“The Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya is having it for the first time and credit has to go to the F&B manager for putting the idea into action. I'm happy to play along with saxophonist Kumar Molligoda whose repertoire and versatility, literally, knows no bounds. He plays the alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax and soprano and you have to only call out a title of a song and he will be there spot on. I enjoy playing with him. Then there's Maxie Pietersz on his favourite double bass. He's been playing with many bands and orchestras who prefer to play with a double bass rather than at electric bass. Keeping us tight in rhythm is drummer Royle de Andrews an old friend of mine. We've been playing on many stages since we got to know each other, and our musical friendship has enhanced over the years and I'm happy he is with us once again”.

As for Rodney Rabot he hails from Kandy and he launched his music career at the age of 13. In Kandy he played with a series of bands and if I'm not mistaken they were the Emeralds, Supersonics, Fortunes, Hezonites, Satellite and Whitehouse. The attraction to play in Colombo was irresistible and so Rodney found himself playing with The Experiments comprising Angelo de Silva, Noeline Honter, Darryl Melder, Mervyn de Silva and Marlon Cramer.

But the urge to move forward is always there with musicians and Rodney was happy to be the guitarist and vocalist for Amazing Grace when the group started off their career at the Little Hut in 1974, the other members being Donald Peiris, Benjy Ranabahu and Tony de Silva. There were other bands too, in which Rodney was a member – Jetliners when they performed at the Cats' Eye with Claude Fernando and Clifford Foenander, the Spitfires in Iran with Mohan Sabaratnam at the helm, Harsha and Khrome at the Hilton Hotel Lounge from 1989 to 1995, with The Peter Prins Combo, to name a few. We cannot leave out his own band Climax who were featured at the Little Hut for a period of seven years and Coda at the Hilton Hotel Lounge for four years 2010-2014.

So with such experienced musicians whose repertoire is wide taking in the favourites of yesteryear and the now, the jazzy Bubbly. Tea at the Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya will be an event not to be missed. It's an ideal place to chill out.