Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Meet Fab4, Goa’s newest band to hit the road.

FAB4: Another band hits the road !

Walter Menezes catches up with members of Fab4, Goa’s new band.

They come from different backgrounds and fall in different age brackets. But what binds them together is their immense love for music. They have played for different bands and groups, some of them still around and kicking.

Not many, however, take the plunge and decide to have a band of their own.

Meet Fab4, Goa’s newest band to hit the road.

[ Pic: (Clockwise, from top) Danny, Edwin, Selwyn and Diogo]

From Songit-Sanz to Songit-Sangati

For Edwin Fernandes, the band leader, this is a dream come true. “It happened all too quickly. Dalgado Konkani Akademi (DKA) was gearing up for the Poilem Konknni (Romi Lipi) Sahitya ani Sonvskruti Sommelon in December 2008. We were practicing for a programme of Konknni songs and instrumentals, Songit-Sanz, organized by Kepemchi Konkani Kushawati in association with DKA and staged in Kepem. Danny, Diogo and me…during the practice sessions, we realized there was a certain chemistry happening between us, that we were able to gel well. Selwyn joined us later,” he tells me.

A former librarian at the US Dept. of Defense in Kuwait, Edwin was part of the US Army’s 5-piece band and has performed at US bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Having played for Goan bands like Wild Reeds, Eagles, Ecstasy and Royal Music, he was waiting ‘in his boat’ for sometime now for the big wave to arrive.

Danny Fernandes, on the keyboards, is young and bursting with energy. Always on the dot and on his toes, he has worked for Taj Exotica and is a regular sight at parties and functions with his one-man band. He has traveled all over India with Kepemchim Kirnnam (KK), the cultural troupe. “I am always with KK but last year when Eric Ozario’s Konknni Nirantari created history and entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest non-stop singing marathon by multiple singers of Konknni choirs, unfortunately, I could not make it,” he regrets.

Diogo Rebello is the drummer-boy. A seasoned member with a past history of bands like Eagles, Hard Rocks, Sensations and Excellence, music runs naturally in his veins. His late father, Alleluia, was a reputed violinist and no ladainha in the village could ever be complete without him. Louis, his uncle, too played for Goa’s once-upon-a- time famous band, Louis & His Melodians. “I still remember the first time I performed at a local wedding reception. I was only fourteen then. Sitting on the stool behind the drum-set, my leg was hardly able to pump the pedal,” laughs the Goa Shipyard employee.

Selwyn Pereira, the bass guitarist, is the only member who is not from Kepem. Shuttling between his duties at Kenilworth Beach Resort, Utorda and Angels, the Curchorem-based choir, he started his innings on the music turf with the band, Bal Amis.

On His Majesty’s Public Service

“In January, we began practicing hard and putting our act together,” Edwin informs.
‘That was the time when we got a lucky break,” Danny chips in. Carnival Committees in Curchorem and Kepem got wind of Fab4 and the band was immediately booked to be part of King Momo’s parade at both the places.

“We played our hearts’ out! With fun-loving people lined up on both sides of the road and enjoying every bit of our music, we really made our presence felt,” the leader, who is also the lead guitarist, gushes with happiness.

Band with a Difference

“So, is Fab4 going to be another chip of the old block or are you going to be different?”

“At the moment, our aim is be one of the best bands in Goa. But we want to be remembered as a band with a difference. Playing music which is live, which has a strong vocal harmony and which will appeal to all ages. Ballroom, Salsa, Samba, we have it all. Our big set, I believe, is what is going to set us apart,” Edwin enlightens.

“And what about this thing called sequencing?”

“No sequences. No digital programming. That’s a promise. We practice every alternate day. We want to keep ourselves and our music-machines fit and well oiled,” Danny breaks in.

“So is that all?”

“No, not exactly,” Edwin is not finished. “No wedding reception, we know, can ever be complete without the Dekhni and classics like Mollbailo Dou. We would like to go beyond that. Do some original Konknni tracks. And also set to music the lyrics of some of our Konknni poets and composers.”

The Beatles and the Bond

“The Beatles were the undisputed Fab4. Is there any connect between them and the name of your band?”

“Yes, of course. We would like to be constantly inspired by the Beatles whose innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s,” Danny reminds at once.

On April 15, Fab4 will ‘appear’ for their first formal performance at a wedding reception to be hosted at Eden Gardens, Kepem.

Till then, it’s going to be a hard day’s night for the boys, as they sharpen their skills!

Edwin: Lead / vocals
Danny: Keyboards / vocals
Diogo: Drums
Selwyn: Bass / vocals

(This article first appeared on Gomantak Times, Goa on 31.03.2009)

Contact details of FAB4:
Email: fab4theband@
Band Members: Edwin: 9822673775, Danny: 9850066623, Diogo: 9823572388, Selwyn: 9422742681

About Walter Menezes:Hailing from Quepem, Cusmane, Goa, he has published several Konkani books (short stories (khota), poems (Kovita) and regularly contributes to JIVIT - Konkani monthly magazine and Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter. He also does cartooning for the Gomantak Times, though recently, and only last week his 50th cartoon was published by them.

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