Music & Culture
Music & Culture

Mynila Salutes B-Side – Thank you for the Memories

Mynila Salutes B-Side – Thank you for the Memories


Mynila Team September 17, 2018 Music & Culture

After nine long years B-SIDE, a place that many from Manila’s music community consider as home, is closing down. 

Owner Anna Sobrepena Ong has confirmed this as “end of an era”.

“(B-SIDE is closing down) mainly because the neighborhood has become more residential and so we need to respect change and the residents around us.  Also we believe that in order to create something new we need to let go of what we have now.”

The bar was opened in 2010 inside The Collective – an art and food space in Makati.

“We needed a spot to hang out after we moved back from Shanghai. It was perfect since the timing was right and Erick, Jepoy and I found the perfect partners in Red, Astrid and PJ.”

B-Side Owners - Astrid, Red, Jenn, Erick, PJ, Anna

B-Side Crew – Astrid, Red, Jenn, Erick, PJ, Anna

This ‘hangout spot’ for music lovers soon grew to institute some of Manila’s most legendary events. The iconic IRIE SUNDAY, a celebration of reggae, dancehall and dub culture is the biggest free, weekly, reggae party in South East Asia. This event brought Reggae Legends such as Sister Nancy, Ranking Joe, Macka B and Johnny Osbourne to Manila and was like a church gathering for the country’s reggae bands and DJs.

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B-SIDE was also home to SUBFLEX – a monthly left field sound event, BRGY TIBAY metal parties, FLIPTOP – the biggest battle rap community in the world, CHRONIC WHEEZE, MANILA SOUL ALL NIGHTER, DUBPLATE and an endless list of productions, launches, fundraisers and exhibitions.

Subflex

Subflex

Fliptop

Fliptop Battle League

BRGY TIBAY ANNIVERSARY - Photo by Joseph Maquirang

Brgy Tibay Anniversary – Photo by Joseph Maquirang

Plus B-Side’s annual anniversary events were free, multi genre mini-festivals.

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B-Side Anniversary Posters by Gigzilla - JP Cuison

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B-SIDE was responsible for introducing new genres and bringing all parts of the music spectrum to one place.

“With the help of so many artists the local scene thrived at B-SIDE and other venues like Saguijo.  It’s a collaborative effort.  We would also like to believe that there were a few of our followers who were inspired by the acts that B-SIDE brought in and as a result they themselves became very important in the music scene by becoming producers.”

“B-side is family. We met so many people during the 9 years and we’ve become good friends with so many different people.”

And to celebrate the nine years of music, culture and family they are having a massive party on September 29.

Fb Event: End of an Era: B-Side Closing Party

The Mynila Team consider B-Side as a home, a place of inspiration and a hub where we met friends who we now call family. This venue and its community will never be forgotten.

We asked some of Manila’s personalities about their greatest B-SIDE memories…

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 “The banyo! (bathroom)” – Anna Sobrepena Ong – B-side, Black Market, 20:20, Boogie 

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“I played for almost all the bands there in one night. Probably six bands!” – Niki Cabardo – Keyboardist

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“I’ve got so many B-Side memories! Especially Irie Sunday. I remember when Red-I asked me to do a reggae production at B-side every Saturday, and eventually transferred it on a Sunday to make it a regular thing. He told me that he’s got the selecta side and I’ll take care of the bands. Been booking bands for Irie Sunday from day one till the very end. Very overwhelmed how it turned out to be a big Reggae movement in Manila. We used to do it at 4:20 inna d afternoon and end it at 12 midnight, so all of our friends could come early even if they have work the next day. Since then Irie Sunday became the home for us and for a lot of reggae bands here in Manila. Thankful and nuff respect to all the bands that I booked who shared their music and love for Irie Sunday. B-Side is the coolest Church inna d’ area! Brap!!! – Lady I – Vocalist

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Photo Credit: Goks 

“The B-Side Crew let me do the first ever northern soul night there once a month – The Manila Soul All Nighter. And I was forced to DJ at this event because no one was spinning rare soul records at that time. – Bing Austria – Vocalist

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“My best friend’s last performance with me was at B-Side before he passed away. I will cherish that moment forever. Coincidentally, B-Side’s closing day falls on his Birthday.” – NothingElse/Dave Ruff – The Head Nod

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“My greatest memory at B-Side was when I first brought my daughter Jahzara to the first few IRIE Sundays when it just started. She had so much fun she never wanted to leave! She was 3.” – Jenn Laygo Martinez – B-Side, Black Market, 20:20

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“While there are so many nights that are worth mentioning, my absolute favorite B-Side moment is when I watched a set from Bent Lynchpin sometime in 2012 during a Subflex gig. I remember thinking that I could be seeing the future of electronic music right in that moment; my mind was literally blown to bits. The fierce grooves, the dark undertones and grimy sensation that their sound made me feel were unforgettable. It was the best kind of multi-sensory assault. B-Side definitely changed the live music game in Manila by constantly presenting niche genres to the public and making it accessible in such a cool setting. That’s truly something very special. During the years it was active, B-Side’s run is definitely considered a valuable time capsule for Filipino live music history” – Camille Banzon – The Hangout Siargao, Bandcamp Writer

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“B-SIDE played so much part in my creative journey got so much love for that place. Greatest memory is meeting all my favorite people/musicians there.” – Similar Objects – Producer, BuwanBuwan Collective

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“I remember discovering B-Side a couple of months after it opened in 2010. It was my first real exposure to underground music in Manila, in Makati at least. I’m pleased to say I’ve formed many lifelong friendships thanks to the likeminded people I met over the years at B-Side. Obviously it will be sad to see it go, but will definitely live on in all of our hearts. Thanks to everyone who made it possible, you know who you are!!” – Tom Lamb – 20:20

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Photo Credit: Paulo Vivas

“Too many (memories) to mention haha but probably one of the most unforgettable memories of B-side was getting to perform there when Bside first opened 9 years ago, with Cosmic Love being the first full band to ever play a set and test out the equipment inside. Having B-side as a home and Anna managing us for a time, was definitely an unforgettable experience for me. Also all the acts I got to watch over the years. B-side opened doors for the local scene through a cross-polination of genres both bands and DJ sound culture….. it definitely started it all.” – Tino Valentino – Vocalist, Cosmic Love 

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“B-Side is like a family gathering” – B-Boy Garcia – Turntablist, Queso, StickFiggas

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“When Cosmic Love played at the opening. We were the first band who played there. It became our home.” – Bong Luib – Guitarist, Cosmic Love

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“At 2013 Ichiban fest I played at B-side for the first time. After my DJ showcase a lot of people were asking about me. They are now my closest friends.” – DJ Reiz – Turntablist

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“I think for me Irie Sundays and seeing artists from all over the world perform there.
And the toilet that looks like the toilet in the movie Trainspotting!” – Ras Taro – MC

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“My greatest memory of B-side is when I invited SEVEN STAR reggae sound from Japan to play there in 2012. It was the first time Japanese reggae sound played in B-side. Also I made so many friends there.” – Ikkei Ohuchi – WIP Caps

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“Playing B-side for the first time, and a band I used to watched regularly as a teenager living in Manila – Indio-I happened to be playing the same night. This was a full circle for me, as Indio-I is probably a good reason why I got into reggae music, started a band, started a reggae sound, and eventually promoted reggae in India for 10 years. It was my B-side debut, but also like a home coming for me. Bless up B-side!” – Diggy Dang – Reggae Rajahs

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“When we handled the Fete Dela Musique Rock Stage as Chronic Wheeze” – Mia Loca – Chronic Ink 

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“I remember when Don P first announced the “Notorious Big” night for Biggies anniversary there were not a lot of people. Three people were invited to create live art dedicated to Biggie. The only people there were me , Pj , Red – i , Angelo and maybe 20 other people.. early days of Bside.. Angelo bought my painting.  I was so drained from all the parties and my lifestyle at those times I literally passed out while walking. Jenn and PJ, who were hosting the night, had to finish the whole night, drove me all the way home in Marikina using my car and drove all the way back to Makati. Super took care of me.

It opened my world to different genres of music. The first ever Dubplate and the ones after changed my life creatively and taste wise. When I saw the Obey Crew had come here and I saw how eclectic Gaslamp Killer’s set was. That was it. Every Dubplate soon after including the CUBAO X one – It changed the pace of night life and taste for a lot of us.” – Archie Geotina – Artist

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“I have a lot actually, but my greatest would definitely be the 3rd HORNY NIGHT @ BSIDE on October 6, 2012. This is an event created by Mambo Rat Productions (my production) where bands with horn sections play. It was also Brass Pas Pas Pas Pas’ first ever gig. Ang saya lang kasi (It was just so much fun because) all of the horn players jammed during the last set (BPPPP’s set) and it was just amazing and fun to watch because the musicians were enjoying as much as the audience. It was really one of those moments that’s hard to repeat. I will forever treasure BSIDE, sobrang laking tulong nya( it’s really helped me tremendously) in all aspects of my life.” – Ziera De Veyra – Mambo Rat Productions, B-Side

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“When you wanna go to B-side so bad that you bring your 3 year-old with you. Hahaha such a family friendly place of ratchetry!” – Michelle Toledo

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“They provided a home for our Rap Battle Community. There were so many great events there. They catered to music that conventional bars and clubs were too pussy to gamble on. It’s hard to just pinpoint a single memory because we had so many good ones over the years. Will miss this place for sure.” – Kevin Vea – Fliptop

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Photo Credit: Goks

“After I arrived in the Philippines in Feb 2011, I quickly met the Irie Sunday team. Then Ras Taro introduced me to Papadom and I became the bass player for Tropical Depression for a few years. So actually, my best memories are were related to Trop Dep, the first time we played… And also when we did the tribute for Papadom after he passed away. It was the most intense and emotional gig ever for me. Then I joined Irie Sunday team as a selecta, so even if the truck is too small for me, I had so many good moments playing with all the team and especially Tatsuki. Each and every Sunday is a part of all the good memories I have at B Side. And seeing people having a good time, with friends, Filipinos or foreigners… I’ve never seen any fight at Irie Sunday for 7 years. I know thousands of people have good memories there, this is a part of B Side legacy and we will keep it alive!!!

I was also able to bring the original Sista Nancy alongside selecta Matty from Legal Shot, my friend to play there. B-Side was really packed and we beat the Irie Sunday record at the bar!! A real Bam Bam!!” – Norris King – Legal Shot

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“A great memory for me would be getting that little inside room full, and getting all the people dancing and right up in your face while playing. Didn’t matter if it got hot, all that mattered was that it got people moving and grooving. Even getting that courtyard at B-Side full of people watching was great…sweaty, but great!” – Roxy Modesto – Saxophonist

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Photo Credit: Goks

“Most memorable for me was the time when we used to hangout in B-Side every Sunday with my Tattour Pilipinas friends during it’s early days” – Ada Dub – Torta Manila

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“There are so many good memories that it’s hard to pick just one! B-side is where Mike and I first met and we basically fell in love every week at Irie Sunday! The venue was always about good music and great people. I never thought I’d find so many friends in one place. B-side is also dear to WIP caps since all our WIPlife events were held there too.” – Patrice Patalinghug – WIP Caps

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“Opening night, Dubplate 3rd Anniversary, Macka B and Sister Nancy. The best are Irie Sundays where I met everyone. And the white girls!” – Mikki Dela Rea – Twelfth House

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“Too many memories. The greatest.. probably a Subflex night with guests Noli Aurillo, The Wasu brothers, etc” – Pasta Groove – The Venus Flytrap Collective

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“B-Side was like home to us. Brgy Tibay, Medisina and Greyhoundz. My greatest memory would be the send off gig for Greyhoundz for the Baybeats Festival in Singapore. We did it indoors at B-Side the bar but the attendance was like a courtyard event. Place got destroyed (sorry, Anna). But yeah that was amazing. B-Side transcended cultures and genres. I’ll miss it a lot.” – TJ Brilliantes – Greyhoundz, Medisina, Brgy Tibay

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“The best thing about B-side is that despite it having the stankiest, grossest, worst bathroom in the world, I’ve still managed to come back a hundred times in my life. The minute I arrive, I think, ‘oh good god’ because at some point I have to pee, but I still end up having so much fun anyway.” – Camoi Miraflor – Pinoy Stories, Duyan Yoga

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“We couldn’t pinpoint a specific memory as the greatest at B-side since we had a lot of good times there… what we could describe is more of the collective experience that we got from that place…what we couldn’t forget is the exchange of creative energy from the artists and the crowd, the chance to inspire and being inspired, the soundsystem that takes us to another level… and the positive vibes from the family behind it.” – Astrid Mendoza – Drifters of Dreamspace

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“In a city full of bottle service and generic club culture. B-side provide Manila with its own unique identity that will inspire generations. Thank you my B-side family” – Angelo Mendez – Bad Decisions, Gold Digger, Black Market

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“My greatest memory at B-Side was during the end of the world! I organized an INTASTELLA BURST gig at B-Side featuring Japanese three-headed math-rock-jazz beast, Mouse On The Keys, with two of my favorite local acts opening the show – tide/edit and Tarsius! The gig was on the same day as the supposed end of the world (according to the Mayan calendar) – 12.21.12! And indeed, all the bands played like there’s no tomorrow! I even got to play drums in an impromptu free improv jam with session saxophonist, Jun Nemoto, just before Mouse On The Keys’ set! But the greatest part of the gig was during the band’s encore – when drummer Akira Kawasaki went on full beast mode and started playing the drums while standing up – he eventually climbed on the drum kit, then jumped on the ledge and did a stage dive onto the audience! The crowd went wild as they welcomed him with open arms and ecstatically carried him around before bringing him back to his drum throne! It was like a Mayan ritual sacrifice for the end of times – with a mind-blowing soundtrack! I guess it worked – we survived the apocalypse and partied like it was the last night on earth! A truly unforgettable moment! Massive love, respect and thanks to B-Side for helping me make it happen!” – Chi Brotonel – Intastella Burst

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“Spending time with my beloved B-Side family every Irie Sunday – Astrid and Red, Jenn and Pj, Anna and Eric, Maia and Arv, Ras Taro, Big Answer, Papadom RIP, Phattymaria, the godmothers, and many others. I loved Subflex – seeing Eureka the Butcher, Daisuke Tanabe, Caliph8, Nonplus, Seaworth, etc.

B-Side was a unique platform for Filipino roots, rock, reggae, dancehall, hip hop, and experimental scenes, inviting local and foreign artists to do what they love and inspire people. I recall fun times in the truck, dancing unstuck, laughing a lot, skateboarding indoors, the changing graffiti on the walls, Tacos Y Mas, Ilocos empanada, the scent of bbq and herb, drinks in a teapot, playing B-Side anniversaries, watching Irie Sunday, Dubplate, and Barangay Tibay anniversaries, chilling indoors watched over by Aphex Twin, catching up with very old friends and establishing some of the most solid friendships in my life. B-Side was a home where you left your fancy shoes outside and relaxed with your friends that are family, a large open space without room for ego, but rather a generous and welcoming feeling of community – regardless of social, class, racial, or other divisions, a rare thing in Manila.

I’m really grateful for the weekly good times, the hard work that everyone at B-Side did to provide for the scene, and the beautiful people I shared memories with, looking forward to what is next and sending all my love.” – Debrah (Skint Eastwood) – Black Market

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“So many B-Side memories to speak of, from being there when it first opened, to the Do-Over parties, Irie Sunday sessions, Boombap Fridays, Fliptop battles, Brgy Tibay shows, Red Ninja and Ichiban fests, and what have you. We’ve been through, seen, heard and felt it all – whether it was with Miscellaneous or with the Assembly Generals. But with all the memories and stories we have from performing, my best memories would be as a spectator and as part of the crowd. One distinct moment would be the Mastaplann homecoming show in 2012, when Bambu first came to Manila and opened for them. B-Side made me feel like a little kid falling in love with hiphop all over again. Being able to watch a group that I grew up listening to and that helped inspire my own taste and pride in our music, and to see them back here live just sent me back, and made me extremely happy. Plus, it was also the first time for me to watch Bam live after following his music online, and I was blown away on how he rocked a live show. It pushed me to be a bigger fan and taught me so much in how to craft and deliver our music. The cherry on top of it all was being able to meet all of them and kick it with them backstage after the show and have my records and CDs signed. Classic fan boy moment achieved. It opened up so many doors and opportunities for learning and actually becoming homies with people I looked up to. So yeah, that’s one of my many special memories. And as the Eraserheads song goes, ‘there are b-sides to every story.'” – Paolo Toledo – Assembly Generals