So, I found myself in Manila again, at a bit of a loose end, so I thought I would do some gentle exploration (gentle, because Manila is not a sensible place for a white boy like me to explore without some caution).
I had already experienced the delights (if you can call them that) of the LA Café, courtesy of a collegue who dragged me there last night ( I will make sure to carry sanitising gel next time I meet him and am obliged to shake hands).
He has flown back to SG so, on a whim, I thought I would take some local advice…
Unfortunately, Wednesday night is not the night for fun at Roadhouse. Apparently I was customer number 2, and there were no bands playing. But the vibe was great so I stayed for a few Red Horses.
The walls had some interesting memorabilia: the Bonamassa signed guitar is clearly legit because of the photo, but I have serious doubts about the provenance of the other stuff, particularly the Squeir strat that was, apparently, signed by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page (I have first-hand knowledge that Jimmy doesn’t tend to sign guitars, with Squeirs being especially unlikely).
Never mind, it seems a cool place.
But, after a couple of beverages and some adobo, it was still quiet so I thought I would go for an explore (as the area seemed safe).
The Hard Rock Café was nearby and I do like to buy the odd t-shirt. So, after a bit of a mooch around, I headed there and ended up sitting at the bar. One band was finishing their set, and they were pretty good.
I had a dessert and a beer and then the next group came on.
It was not what I was expecting. I quite like a cover band, but I wasn’t expecting disco.
As they went on to do 80s covers and, increasingly, the diners started to get up and start doing what I can only describe as coordinated dance routines (like line dancing, but not quite the same).
It was odd and hilarious, but definitely not “hard rock”. I may upload some videos later.
It was totally not what I expected from that brand but, I have to say, the audience seemed to love it, and I left with a smile on my face.
The band at the LA Café was much better IMO, but the environment was far less comfortable for me.
Overall, it was an enjoyable evening, even if not quite what I expected or was seeking out.
If I find myself in Manila again on a Friday or Saturday night, I’ll definitely look to go to the Roadhouse, as I reckon it’s much more my thing.
I finished the evening, and my final day before I head back to KL, in the roof bar of my hotel In Makati, with a cheeky negroni.
Hopefully I get to visit Manila again soon.