With Filipinos known for their friendliness and strong family
ties it comes as no surprise that the Filipino band South
Border is managed by a former fan, Sharon Inductivo.
Now, while Live 8 is proceeding in Hyde Park, not too far
away outside a karaoke bar in a Knightsbridge, Sharon is overseeing
the photo requests of friends, staff and friends of the bar.
Along with myself there's a contingent from the Hounslow Filipino
festival who are keen to make the band aware of their presence
and best intentions to the Filipino's in the UK.
Questions are thrown at the band in English and Tagalog, the
main dialect of The Philippines. Sharon joins in answering,
translating and mediating in a spokesman's role and for translation
benefits. Later when it's all finished Sharon will meet up
to discuss old times with friends who have travelled from
Birmingham. Everything will be back to normal come tomorrow,
Sunday, when the band will play Hammersmith Apollo.
So who are South Border? A band that in it's twelfth year,
swept up most of the Awit Awards, the Philippines record industry's
official awards show. It's the closest the country has to
the Grammy awards. They won six and three pre-show. They included
'Best Group', 'Song Of The Year' and 'Album Of The Year'.
South Border are in fact seven musicians, 'The Magnificent
Seven' as Vincent Alaras, the band's lead singer jokes privately.
Changes in the line up may have occurred but with the band
huddled in the street awaiting questions you wouldn't think
to query their unity or general happiness.
Jay, who is predominantly taller than the other members, is
forever smiling and frequently rests his arms on the shoulder's
of his band mates. This is the same man who broke down in
tears at the award show when his band won 'Best Group', reminiscing
then, what a tough battle it was to get the band back on track
after the departure of the two previous vocalists.