Old favourites with the Platters

By Ranjit Vethakan

Happy times are here again! International entertainers are set to make Sri Lanka a regular port of call - much to the delight of local music fans - with a series of concerts scheduled over the coming months.
The legendary Platters, an outfit that has been in existence since before the start of the rock n’ roll era, in the early ‘50s, are the first to visit the country following the end of the conflict in the north and east, and are to be followed by a regular flow of other acts, in what could be best described as a universal acknowledgement of the country as a regular stop in the international concert circuit.

The Platters, who are responsible for such timeless hits as Only You, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, To Each His Own, My Prayer, Red Sails In The Sunset, Twilight Time and that unforgettable ditty Great Pretender, to name but a few, are scheduled to stage two concerts at Water’s Edge on November 3 and 4.

In what could be a first in the Sri Lankan entertainment scene, there will be an Early Bird scheme in operation: those buying tickets on or before October 15 will avail themselves of a huge discount!

It may not be a total surprise if Monroe Powell, Don Goude, Kenni Jay and Genevieve Dew could also line up another performance at a yet to be determined venue.

This follows the efforts of local promoter, Haadia Galely, whose company, Mantra Moods, has been relentlessly pursuing quality international entertainers to include Sri Lanka in their tour plans.
“I wanted my fellow Sri Lankans to enjoy live performances by their favourite stars and the visit by The Platters is only the start,” said the unassuming promoter, who also played a key, but silent role in the recent Hikka Drum Festival.

While not keen to let too much out of the bag about her plans, Ms Galely couldn’t hide her excitement in naming three of her future ventures: performances by that hit machine, Dr Hook, a unique joint concert by two former winners of the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest - Brotherhood Of Man and Bucks Fizz - and a re-union of George Baker Selection, the Dutch band, so well remembered for their ever-so-popular worldwide hit, Paloma Blanca and that catchy tune, Santa Lucia By Night!

“We have lined up entertainers from the various genres - pop, rock, country, folk, jazz, blues . . . . even other genres. We’re placing them at the respective venues, at prices well within reach of all concert goers,” Ms Galely said.

Dropping a hint about her project scheduled for December, she said, “I can’t say much about it right now, but it will be a huge one and will not only be enjoyed by pop fans, but even those who enjoy opera.”
“Watch this space,” she advised.

There are several organisations, including two leading hotels, which have pledged their support and will be acknowledged in these columns in the coming weeks.

The Sunday Times, a proud supporter of musical events over a number of years, is the print media sponsor of the Platters show.

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