Sydney vibrates as the Bens present MIRAGE
|Sydney vibrates as the Bens present MIRAGE|
From DOUG JONES
One of Sri Lanka’s modern dance bands MIRAGE flew in to Sydney to entertain the Old Bens and their friends. And didn’t they re-invent the WOW! factor for the occasion? Their mere presence turned the atmosphere electric that sent shock waves to every corner of the Roger Billimoria’s well-managed Greyhound club function centre, fermenting everybody into a frenzy. All night mind you!
The MIRAGE is something else. MILANTE on Keyboards - BENJI on Bass guitar- SHARFI on Lead Guitar- GAVIN on Sax - DONALD on drums and all of them singing, how does one cope? Strum on a beat or harmonise on a vocal, they send the adrenalin pumping in all those around them; even the surrounding walls and curtains seem to vibrate. Such is their pulsating musical virtuoso.
Didn’t they keep that same vibrancy all night with renderings of unforgettable numbers such as My Lady Soul, Summer of 69, What a Wonderful World, Bohemian Rhapsody, Ballad of John and Yoko and numerous other pop classics. Such energy, such dedication, such musicality.
After all the MIRAGE (boasting three Old Bens in Donald, Gavin and Benji among them) are not just a spectre some see after a hard day’s trekking on the desert. They are the real quid (and you’d better believe it) and make themselves known with the first strum on a guitar and the following octave on the vocals and with that everybody melds into a gyrating rhythm.
So this was the unique ambiance that invited a full-house of 330 something Sydney Bens and guests to the big event. And none of them, not one of them mind you, had anything but an unending chant of “we want more”.
Emcee Michel Jason made a spectacular entrance striking the Gangnam Style with such aplomb as a curtain raiser for MIRAGE to come on stage. That set the mood for the entire night.
Mirage took over and it was clear that when MIRAGE takes over, so do the guests, the furniture and everything else, including the cutlery.
And oh, what a night! MIRAGE is indefatigable. Playing music is in their veins – in their very breath as it were. They played on with only a modicum of breaks – and that too only if it was necessary. Like at dinner time – even when it was staggered so that while the hungry got sated on their appetites, those who wanted to frolic, toe tapped on. And Mirage obliged.
And then, of course, at the raffle draw. Just to digress, what an array of magnificent prizes – all because of the generosity of committee members, other Old Bens – one anonymously – and friends and so many benefactors. It is the benevolence of these wonderful people that enable the Old Bens to sustain their noble commitment of supporting the needy children of Kotahena to be blessed with the kind wholesome education imparted by the Alma Mater that maketh the whole man.
The dinner too kept up the spirit of the occasion. Cheryl Pietersz catered a luscious meal fit for the occasion that received all the oh’s and ah’s it richly deserved.
There were so many adjectives of praise that came (and still keep coming) our way. Perhaps at the pinnacle of that acclaim is the accolades to MIRAGE - a band famous around the globe of modern dance music and, of course, the untirering efforts of the committee led by Gordon Rebeira and including Sherwell Fernando, Sri Fernandopulle, Julian Pillai, Michel Jason, Ronnie Almeida, Tony Appathurai, Hynsworth Lafaber, Dr Prahath Sellappah, Claude Perera, Charles Emerson, Eshanka Wickremaratne and Marlon Meurling, without whose initiatives, very little could have happened.
The Sydney Bens are grateful for the magnificent performance by MIRAGE, to each and every guest who attended (both Old Bens and unfailing supporters) the generosity of our prize donors and all other who helped in even a small way.
MIRAGE wowed us all in Sydney!
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