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16th May 1999
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Mirror Magazine

Purple Rain - what's it all about

By Jay Cey
There is more to this, than a group. Purple Rain is a civic committment in music.

Geoff, the oldest and the main man now as he was then, has played music for well over 20 years. He did what came to him naturally. He loved to hear live music, practising it and then playing it. Geoff's first performance was in 1980. He became a success with the formation of Purple Rain in 1987. 

Geoff with his long standing friends and music partners, Joe and Derrick left for Switzerland within less than three months of having formed Purple Rain. The real lift-off and major break for Purple Rain came in Switzerland. Keeping to their singleminded dedication to live music Purple Rain played in many prestigious night clubs and made their mark and money. 

Purple Rain released their first and so far the only CD in 1993. Commenting on one of the very popular songs, 'Colour of Love' Geoff said they felt they had to do something for racial harmony and showed by their single that the colour of love of all races is the same.

Derrick Wickremanayake on guitar is one of the best in Sri Lanka and was a mainstay of Purple Rain. Derrick who is as old as Geoff in the music scene started his music in 1973 with a band called Horizonights. He says music was so mucn in his blood that his parents discovered when he was an infant that when the radio was turned on, baby Derrick would stop crying. 

Joe Thambimuttu is the other pillar of Purple Rain. Joe plays guitars, bass and keyboards as well. He joined Purple Rain in 1989. Joe loves playing more than recording because it is live. Joe was instrumental in writing music and songs for the Purple Rain CD. He says Sri Lankans are sophisticated in their music tastes but unfortunately they are moulded to hear recorded music thus depriving them of the beauty of live music.

Jude Thangaraja on drums is the new addition to Purple Rain and there's also Shati on keyboards/guitar whose talent is unquestionable. Sudu on keyboards- you must hear him to believe it.

All these people put together makes for beautiful harmony of live music. I was treated to a potpurri of music last week when I heard them at the Cyclone where they perform four days a week. The music was awesome. The thumping drums, the unwinding guitars, the great keyboard sound and the unchanged melodies of the voices of Geoff and the boys. It was a treat to everyone who was there.

One of the main reasons for the formation and reformation of Purple Rain by Geoff was to promote live music. " People like to listen to cover versions from a DJ at a night club because that's what they hear on their CDs and radios. But there is more to it in live music. Unfortunately Sri Lankan audiences, are not provided with it and that is exactly the aim of Purple Rain"

With that aim they play now at the Cyclone night club Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The group has many ideas that it seems impossible to achieve all of them. One such idea is to give musicians a helping hand. 

Book Review

A book that excites readers' appetites

Anita Dickman's Cookery Course- By Shanthi Casie Chetty Reviewed by Roshan Peiris

Shanthi Dickman as a child watched and assimilated avidly her mother Anita Dickman's cookery. Her mother who attended Pensional-Le Manoir Lausanne, always endeavoured to instill in her pupils an appreciation of the finer points of cooking, and besides stimulated them to be creative in their approach. They were made to see the originality and glamour in turning out dishes with a difference.

Shanthi imbibed her mother's love for cooking and as she grew older helped her mother with her cookery classes, and cookery demonstrations.

She enlarged on her experience through courses in cookery while in Lausanne. After marriage to diplomat Daneshan Casie Chetty, Shanthi continued with her cookery demonstrations for charity in New Delhi, Jakarta and Brussels.

With the help of her sisters Shanthi has compiled this plush cookery book as a tribute to her mother.

The book, contains a wealth of information, such as how to assess weights and measures, preserving the nutritional value of food and a guide to herbs and spices, besides the recipes, themselves. 

"Anita Dickman's Cookery Course" might well be included among compulsory reading for young housewives in the making. It is a book that could revitalise even the jaded culinary repertoire of older women.

Shanthi has taken pains to explain culinary terms such as sauting, stir frying, shallow frying, cooking on papillote and cooking 'Au Gratin' etc.

The attractive colour pictures embellish the book and the readers' appetite for good cooking.

There are many Indian recipes for Chicken Korma, Murgh Korma, Dosa, Puris, Alu Prathas (Parathas stuffed with potatoes) Chapati, Mutto Buriyani and Mung Dhal Palak etc.

There are the "special occasion meals" such as making the ever popular Lamprais. Blachang made with dried prawns, Lamprais Curry, Seeni Sambol all of which are part of Lamprais accompaniments.

There is Turkish rice, Masala Liver, Beef Vindhali and Burmese blachang sambol to mention a few. The local kiri bath, stringhoppers and stringhopper buriyani, roti, pittu and hoppers have not been overlooked.

There are recipes for souffles, savoury pancakes with meat and bacon filling, moussaka, savoury sausage and egg swirl, cottage pie crumble and stuffed cabbage and many more tantalising recipes.

Meringues, home-made chocolates, cake mixtures, icing and frostings, bread, pastries and pastas also soups, salads and Hors-d' oeuvres and Indian and Moghul cuisine are all included.

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