By Anusha David
In what was undoubtedly a stellar performance the De Lanerolle Brothers together with the National Unity Orchestra, rocked the BMICH in what was clearly a night to remember! A non-stop 1 hour 45 minute show celebrating 10 years in the international music and entertainment arena, together with the phenomenal Unity Orchestra which the Brothers added on to the already existing De Lanerolle Brothers Squared Band, directed by Shobi Perera, had the audience calling for more and wishing the show would go on.
The Pops concert kept the audience enthralled from start to finish, with the Brothers who are showmen to their fingertips, ensuring that all present had an unforgettable musical feast. Rohan and Ishan’s voices were at their best, both where the solos and duets were concerned, while Rohan in addition to singing even conducted the orchestra; no mean feat indeed.
Clad in powder blue jackets the Brothers made a dramatic entrance by walking in through the audience and proceeded to serenade us with a stirring rendition of Rhinestone Cowboy. This was followed by a string of old favourites which included Take the Ribbon From Your Hair, Welcome to My World, My Way, the Harry Bella Fonte classic a Jamaican Farewell given the De Lanerolle Brothers twist, Laras Theme from Dr Zhivago, Boardwalk, Sweet Caroline (without which no concert of the Brothers is complete), the Andrea Bocelli/Celine Dion hit The Prayer to which the Brothers rendered their own special stamp, the evergreen Unchained Melody, the poignant I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables, How Great Thou Art, Portofino which they dedicated to their children, Spanish Eyes, the ever popular Delilah, Only You, a Pandit Amaradeva classic which displayed the Brothers wide and diverse range of musical prowess, and of course the newly composed Samsung Galaxy, very specially composed by Shobi Perera for concert sponsors Samsung, which was a hit indeed. Navin Fernando’s adaptation of the classic, Bridge Over Troubled Waters was yet another soul stirring rendition which was well received by the audience.
The National Unity Orchestra’s performance was phenomenal and I for one felt so proud that we have so many outstanding musicians. Kamal on Lead Guitar, Christopher on Percussion, Nuwan Galappathy on Keyboards, the talented Thilanka on the flute, Lydia on Violin, Manoj on Saxophone, Dilip Seneviratne on Piano, Dennis on Drums, Leader of the Orchestra Sachitha and of course Shobi Perera, not to mention all the talented musicians who contributed to what was an amazing musical extravaganza, all of whom ensured that the audience at the BMICH walked away with their ears ringing melodiously!
Putting together a performance such as the Brothers did is no mean feat. It calls for dedication, enthusiasm, a love of music and above all discipline! To ensure that not a note is out of place, not a string is unturned, that punctuality is adhered to and that perfection is the end goal, requires monumental will power, apart from a love of music and that is what the De Lanerolle Brothers and the National Unity Orchestra displayed.
Mention must be made of the sponsors as without them shows of this magnitude would not be possible. Samsung, Dialog, Land Rover, Havelock City, HNB, The Sunday Times, Daily Mirror, Daily FT and Hi Magazine and Real 97.1, the Hilton Colombo, Qatar Airways, Leo Burnett, Event Productions, Dimitri Crusz and Compere Kumar de Silva, all played their part to make this show a reality.
My one complaint is that Ishan and Rohan do not perform more serious music more often. Having heard their renderings of classical and semi classical songs as well as well-loved movie hits, I wish they would turn their attention more to this genre of music which they excel at.
Being a lover of opera, I would dearly love to hear the Brothers exercising their vocal chords in the direction of more serious music, more often.
Having said that, we await with bated breath their next performance. Encore the De Lanerolle Brothers and the National Unity Orchestra!