(Orange and Lemons in Winnipeg)
The Orange and Lemons concert last September 13, at Essence Event Centre, was delightful. The band delivered a powerhouse setlist of mostly original songs culled from the touring Philippine band’s three studio albums—hits such as “A Beginning of Something Wonderful,” “Just like a Splendid Love Song,” “Heaven Knows,” “Ábot-Kamáy,” “Yákap sa Dilím,” “Let Me,” “Hanggáng Kailán,” “Líhim,” “Isáng Gabí,” “Ang Katúlad Mong Waláng Katúlad,” and the latest, new single “Pag-ibíg sa Tabíng Dágat”—plus a couple of covers that included The Cure’s “Lovesong” and Yano’s “Esem,” which featured yours truly (on vocals and melodica) and my haLf man haLf eLf bandmate Christine Mazur (on guitars and vocals), respectively.
The receptive Winnipeg audience was treated to an energetic and romantic brand of music that was intelligent, well-woven, ornate, and catchy at the same time—the mark of true Indie Pop / New Wave music.
Frontman Clem Castro—dazzling in his mustard beige sweater and scarf—was in his mercurial elements. Both his lightning-seed voice and intricate guitar plucks and strums—which will remind the initiated of bands like The Smiths, The Housemartins, The Railway Children, The Ocean Blue, and Treebound Story—were soaring and jangling, filling the venue with beautiful tunes and vivid tones. This sonic mélange was complemented by drummer Ace del Mundo’s progressive pounds and beats, bassist Jm del Mundo’s rolling and tubular basslines, and keyboardist Jared Nerona’s playful and tuneful melodies.
Currently working on their long overdue and much-awaited fourth full-length, Orange and Lemons dish out a kind of music that is definitely fresh, familiar, and refreshing.
Hosted by Fran Vasu, the show had also stellar openers in the form of local bands Headway, Ember Sky, and the Winnipeg Filipino community’s pride The 12/21, providing an apt and effective primer for the night’s sonic festivity.
Orange and Lemons were brought to Winnipeg by Mhei Alcos and the rest of Double M Productions.
Pictures by Josel Media Photography, HB Henry , Christine Mazur, and Benie Francisco