Cupid’s arrows fly as Marlon, Geoffrey and Flame stoke the fires on Valentine’s Day: BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
Marlon Amarasekera and Geoffrey Fernando set the Flame’s afire on Valentine’s Day in Melbourne with mesmerizing performances at the Grand on Princes and through their efforts dispelled any negativity about some setbacks to the event which drew a less than normal crowd.
With the backing of the fantastically talented Flame, capably led by Naushad Rassool, the dance turned out to be a thumping success musically and was covered off with a delectable menu served up by the Grand which set the ideal tempo for lovers celebrating Cupid’s special day.
A few issues dealing with the expected performers Kissmet not able to make it from Sri Lanka due to Immigration issues threw a damper on numbers and left those including myself not finding out who this mystery band was. We were left in the dark about who they are and what they bring to the music scene for another time. Organizer Bertie Ekanaike apologized to the crowd in attendance claiming the issue was out of his hands.
The vibrancy of Marlon Amarasekera, coming out of hibernation after he quit the music scene while playing with Mirage, left the audience in awe as he unleashed himself like never before showcasing an unlimited repertoire that was fitting for the occasion and otherwise, enhanced by the versatile backing of Flame. His entry was signature song ‘Brilliant Disguise’, a Bruce Springsteen hit which he delivered with aplomb followed by ‘Mustang Sally’, ‘Proud Mary’, ‘Booty shoes’ and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Proud’ which had the crowd in raptures. He has wowed Melbourne since his arrival for New Year’s Eve with his exceptional talent and appears destined for many more gigs in this part of the world.
Geoffrey Fernando showed that he is still in the groove with his classy style of singing. And as is normal, his performances tend to enthrall all who are privileged to watch him in action. His version of Prince hit ‘Purple Rain’ was absolutely riveting. Accompanying him on a lead solo was Marlon Amarasekera recapturing his glory days as a gifted lead guitarist. He also sang his trademark song ‘Just a Gigolo’ which he delivers in his own inimitable style.
Flame with a superb lineup of musicians led by Naushad, Joe Lappen and Primal Liyanage were also on fire as they dished up an endless number of hits covering different eras in a power packed performance. This is a band of exceptional talent that will always draw a crowd wherever they perform.
Complementing the seasoned members of the band was the exciting inclusion of youngsters Sanka taking the place of Chris De Alwis and fascinating and petite Romaine Willis who introduced themselves in no uncertain terms with stellar performances. Melbourne will undoubtedly be looking forward to their return as they fill an important void of the latest in music which they deliver to appease the younger generation. This is one of the most exciting bands from Sri Lanka where talent keeps sprouting like mushrooms.
Flame and Marlon Amarasekera head off to Brisbane for continued commitments before heading back home while Marlon Amarasekera returns Melbourne for a week before parting ways with his growing number of fans.