By Dimithri Wijesinghe
“Uncaged”, the first live rock and heavy metal experience since the lockdown in Sri Lanka, will take place on 31 October 2020 at Bro Pub & Restaurant from 5 p.m. onwards.
The event is organised by Suriya Brothers, a business supply service organisation which has expanded into promoting local, homegrown music with contemporary arts by taking on the role as an event organiser.
Speaking to Suriya Brothers Director/Founder Pubudu Suriyapperuma, he shared that they chose to organise the event despite the many hoops they had to jump through with regard to the health and safety precautions, which are indeed necessary, because they believe it is essential to kick-start the live rock and heavy metal scene. They hope that “Uncaged” can be that moment.
He said that with careful consideration of the current situation, they have taken the appropriate health precautions and therefore the number of participants has been limited. So if you wish to attend the event, you must grab your tickets soon.
Uncaged is not part of their marquee concerts – acoustic Saturday: storyteller or Rock Saturday; it is a unique event solely hosted to mark the resurgence of the scene. They will be featuring six different acts from around the island, including industry veterans like Whirlwind and Paranoid Earthling as well as bands like Silence Of Loud from Kandy, Genetic Fallacy from Negombo, Shehara, and the all-girls rock group Ace of Pentacles, for whom “Uncaged” would be their debut showcase.
Pubudu shared that it would be a special show. He said they chose 31 October because the month of October is special for rock music and metal, with Oktoberfest happening and the date being Halloween night. He stated that there will be cos players, stands where people can get their face pained, and a mini-mart where you can pick up merchandise.
Those who attend the show will also stand a chance to take part in an exciting giveaway in collaboration with collectic; they will be giving away two rock icons “Mötley Crüe” figurines via a raffle draw.
We also spoke to all the artists who will be performing at the concert, who all expressed their thoughts on performing a live gig after being cooped up for so long.
Silence Of Loud guitarist Kavin Harshana said that they are looking forward to playing gigs and having that energy again. Silence Of Loud is an 80s-influenced glam metal/heavy metal band hailing from Kandy. “This upcoming show would be the first time for us to play our new music and also a great opportunity to play with a number of other bands and share the stage with senior bands,” he said, adding that quarantine was tough but thankfully they had their private studio where they were able to get together and create music for the duration of that time. “We’ve been at work for our album and currently, we’ve completed our part, having done the leg work for the album. The tracks are now in the mixing and mastering stage, so there is our new album to look forward to as well.”
“We are super stocked to perform at Uncaged alongside our sisters and brothers from Ace Of Pentacles, Silence of Loud, Shehara, Whirlwind and Paranoid Earthling,” shared Jeric from Negombo’s Genetic Fallacy. “The pandemic has impacted the heavy metal scene immensely, but that did not stop us from composing new music, of course. By the looks of it, an EP could be just around the corner. Coming back to the event, Uncaged will be the ‘ressurection fest’ we’ve been waiting for – the gig where everyone will witness a rather rejuvenated Genetic Fallacy, where only chaos and pandemonium will matter. And note that we will not be held responsible for any broken bones, necks, or limbs this time. So make sure to come and support all the bands and raise the flag of heavy metal on the 31st of October at Bro Pub.”
We also spoke to the all-girls rock and roll group set to debut at the concert. Ace of pentacles band member Iny shared that their band was formed about a year ago with herself and her sister, following which they decided to expand their duo to an all-girls rock band. She said they were inspired to get into the music scene primarily because their dad is a musician and so they believe it was an inevitability. They believe music is in their blood.
Speaking about the opportunity to debut at “Uncaged”, she said: “This is a great opportunity as it will be our first live gig as a group. We will be performing two of our original songs at the event as well.” She also stated that as a girl group, they have had a great response and that they have received a lot of encouragement, noting that audiences can expect them to give their absolute best at the upcoming event.
Shehara, Sri Lanka’s very own iron maiden, also shared her thoughts. “I am looking forward to performing my new single, the music video of which also just came out on YouTube. We will be performing a full set and we are definitely looking forward to it.”
She said that this event would be special because she is also celebrating her debut album’s one year anniversary. She shared that they have so many plans and she believes that “Uncaged” will be the starting point, helping to jumpstart the happenings of the metal event calendar. Shehara also extended her well-wishes to Ace of Pentacles, commenting that it is pretty empowering to see an all-girls rock band coming out to play.
We also reached out to the veteran groups who will be performing. Speaking to Misha Whirlwind about how things have been during quarantine, he shared that unlike some of the other musicians, Whirlwind and its members chose to take a step back during that period of time, taking time for themselves. He said that they have always been a “voice of the people – being vocal and discussing topics that would otherwise be considered taboo – and they chose this time to take some time for themselves instead”.
He said they are all musicians by profession. For them, a gig means a gig – to have that interaction with their audience and to feel that energy. So they had remained reserved during the lockdown period. However, they are excited to perform at “Uncaged” as things have started to pick up and it has to start somewhere. He said they are happy to be a part of it.
Mirshad from Paranoid Earthling also shared that they are excited and are looking forward to playing. “It’s going to be a great show – the first show of the year,” Mirshad said, adding that they will be performing some of their new songs. They have an album upcoming which they hope to release some time soon next year as well.
A limited number of tickets are available, so purchase your tickets from your favourite band ASAP. Tickets are priced at Rs. 1,500.