The days of the young male octuple of Backstage are spent by the desks of the corporate world. But by evening, their masks are off and they live the dream playing and singing their hearts out. Hirushka Fernando, Melantha Fernando, Shawishka Fernando, Rajind Siva, Shane Godwin, Suren DeMel, Lahiru DeSilva and Chinthu Viswakula formed the band some three years ago. Four of them had decided to play a song they’d sung since they were kids at a friend’s wedding, and they hit it off with the crowd surprisingly well!
Then came up the idea of forming a band and playing for a few gigs, and they spoke to some more friends and formed the eight-man group that is now known as Backstage. As for the name, it’s got no special significance other than having been randomly stumbled upon in a conversation at a party, they tell me; with quite a few winks to indicate the reason behind the genius!
Having identified themselves as a band that plays retro music, they also perform songs from other eras along with contemporary hits. They live a life of pressure quite happily, balancing hectic work schedules with band practice and gigs. It’s a great way for beating stress, they grin. “We basically spend our weekdays working with really tight deadlines and schedules at work, so when you get to band practice and you’re just jamming-it feels great,” says Shane.
Hirushka and Shane lead the band as vocalists, backed by Chinthu. They’re supported by the instrumental genius of lead guitarist Shawishka, Melantha on rhythm, Rajind and Lahiru on the drums and keyboardist Suren.
The guys have only played for weddings and functions so far, and are looking forward to changing things up with their first concert ‘Gratitude’. The title highlights the main purpose of the show, which is to thank the band’s fans-significantly Hirushka’s. Hirushka made it into the Top 6 of Season 2 of Yes FM Superstar, and maintains that he would not have got so far were it not for the fans who diligently voted for him.
This is their own way of saying thank you. The show, which they describe as ‘one big party really’, will go onstage on the 7th of July at the Park Street Mews, from 7pm onwards. And to really hit home the theme of the show, entrance is free for all. It’s one you wouldn’t want to miss-in addition to the band themselves, the Top 6 finalists of YSS Season 2 are set to belt out their tunes, covering a wide range of hits from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’, 90’s and the last decade. Anticipate some familiar Sinhala tunes and Baila hits as well, as the band plans to add a touch of good old Sri Lankan party-music to the evening