Colombo’s Music Scene & Six of the Most Popular Bands in Town

Colombo’s Music Scene & Six of the Most Popular Bands in Town

Colombo’s Music Scene & Six of the Most Popular Bands in Town

Written by Lisa Wydeman

11 Dec, 2018 | 11:09 am

Looking to enjoy some of the best music around town? 

Unwind after a crazy day at the office with some good food and delicious desserts, rock the night away to the best beats from this side of the ocean, or maybe even catch an afternoon away from the hustle and bustle and your nine to five -to indulge in the simple pleasures of the seductive sounds of smooth jazz.

It really doesn’t matter, how or when you listen to music, one thing is clear – music is the hallmark of some of our best and worst moments in life.’

Have you ever listened to a song and found you were teary-eyed beyond your control?

The first time you danced with the love of your life to a love song?

Music is a powerful source in our lives. It is a symbol of our emotions, an expression of our personalities, inner feelings, and sentiments. A song or melody has quite often the sheer power to make us or break us.

Many kids hoping to enter the music scene are often misled by false notions that singing or strumming a guitar is a piece of cake, thus leading many down a beaten track to one-day success or lost egos. The path to music is measured by days and nights of no sleep consumed by lyrics and tuning of guitars. The 20th century has brought new proof that melodies can control thought patterns, calm our mind or stimulate better productivity. Musicians and singers play a bigger role in our lives than we realize.

Looking at the 6 most favored bands on the Colombo scene (in no particular order), we have;


Wildfire reunited last year with a big launch in March at the Mount Lavinia Hotel to a full house, with covers from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, current UK chart toppers and the US Top 40.

These four guys are having the time of their lives together again and it shows in their performances. Our Colombo club regulars are very familiar with this band -and wherever they perform, its tagged as ‘one of the most happening places of the night’.

Wildfire comprises of Derek, Shafi, CJ, and Nilantha – popularly known by their first names, continue to pump out the most happening beats combined with awesome strong vocals at their venues in five-star hotel nightclubs, events and at some of our city’s most favored haunts throughout the week.

Rock This Country

Rock This Country is a strong favorite delivering all those fantastic 80’s and 90’s music to ardent fans and eternally young clubbers with songs like ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’, ‘Mississippi’ and ‘Sweet Caroline’. This band has been performing since 2016 and makes sure their audience gets a good dose of Patsy Cline, Eagles, Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, Olivia Newton-John, Fleetwood Mac, Bellamy Brothers, and some good-old Baila too.

Lead female vocalist Terry Bertus with the voice of an angel and Dexter Batcho (lead vocals), Viraj Perera (band leader) Ashan De Silva, William Jayawardena and Ruwan Perera add so much energy and happiness in a performance, that it is contagious. Their songs get feet-a-tapping and full dance floors, be it at a nightclub, dinner dance or wedding.


Misty made their name way back in the 90’s with Rajitha gaining popularity as a musical ambassador and transforming the band into a fully-fledged dance music group.

Even though they concentrate on corporate events, dinner dances, and weddings, Misty plays on occasion at some of our five-star hotels.

The band comprises of Rajitha (bandleader/vocals), Dennis, Sudath, Sanjeewa, Udaya and Dinu (female vocals). Playing anything from the ’60s to the latest chart toppers including jazz, R&B, soul, and Baila. Misty is in a class of its own and is on the list of the most sort after bands for events in Sri Lanka.

Jazz, on the other hand, is a selective taste!

Or is it?

This concept has changed over recent times in Sri Lanka. Today we see jazz played in many cafes and restaurants around the island, giving birth to a new appreciation and generation of jazz lovers.

Jazz was once considered ‘the fine wine of the elite’ that saw connoisseurs enjoying smooth jazz under hooded lids, in smoky cafes to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me to The Moon’. Today, Jazz has given birth to a younger generation of blue jeans and sneakers, short skirts and sandals – teens that can now appreciate finer tastes as well as bolder sounds.


So what is G9 Jazz Ensemble? and who are these guys that are charming us?

This is Sri Lanka’s best jazz musicians and much-respected professionals, with Revel Crake (guitar), Denver Barnes (bass) and Royle De Andrews (drums) playing favorites like ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ and ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ to jazz versions of some of the latest songs.

Having played the circuit for so long, G9 Jazz Ensemble are very talented experts in their own right, -playing at concerts and in collaboration with a number of international jazz performers.

You can currently catch them performing at the local jazz venues around Colombo and at the lobby of one of Colombo’s five-star hotels. If you are a lover of jazz, this band might just make your day.


OiC leader Greg Pallegama (singer/guitarist) sure knows the art of serenading his audience with his excellent voice. OiC is one of the best entertainers to liven-up any venue and get the crowd going on the dance floor, and is made up of Greg Pallegama (vocals), Shenal Perera (bass guitar), Melissa Stephen (rap artist), Shehan Meshak (keyboards) and Isaac Shehan (drums).

You can catch them on many nights at several venues around Colombo. Their style and performance is something different and almost personal. Greg has a nice relaxed style of singing, delivering a more flexible line-up of music that is both relaxing and entertaining. They accept lots of requests which makes it fun and very interactive.


Flame has a beautiful rendition of ‘Falling in Love with you’ as part of their line-up. Numbers like ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’, ‘Shape of You’, ‘It’s My Life’ and ‘Perfect’ are part of their repertoire.

Catering to both young and old alike, Flame plays at Colombo’s frequently favored haunts, clubs, and pubs on a weekly basis where you can enjoy nibbling on a delectable snack or choose to dance.

They pride themselves on playing absolutely any song from the oldies to present hits. What with Flame’s experience of thirty years of entertainment over generations, it’s no doubt their music includes pop, rock, jazz, blues, funk, latin and even Sri Lankan. Band leader Naushad Rassool, Primal, Diren, Joe, Nishantha, Sankha plus Romaine -are bent on taking the fame of Flame forward to a new level.

Even though these bands specialize in certain genres of music, almost all of them take on gigs at private functions, weddings and corporate events as well as play at venues around not only Colombo but, outstation locations as well.

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