Ang Bandang Shirley ‘Favorite’ Album Launch: Sino Ba Si Shirley?

Ang Bandang Shirley vocalist singing

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“Sino ba si Shirley?”

This is probably the first question anyone unfamiliar with Ang Bandang Shirley will ask. Ang Bandang Shirley is composed of Owel Alvero, Selena Davis, Ean Aguila, Joe Fontanilla, Zig Rabara, Kathy Gener, and Enzo Zulueta. No Shirleys in sight.

Ang Bandang Shirley live

Shirley has been around for more than a decade and have 3 albums under their belt. “Themesongs” came out in 2008, followed up by “Tama Na Ang Drama” in 2012, and now after almost five years Shirley, sticking with their tradition of naming the album after one of the songs, has given fans what may just be their Favorite album. The fans came in droves. Lining up at the merch booth even before the event officially started. The meet and greet booth was crowded for most of the night. Everyone came out to show their love for Shirley.

Album of Firsts

Even though this is Shirley’s third album, it’s also an album of firsts. It’s the first album with Enzo Zulueta on bass, it’s the first album recorded outside of Love One Another Studios, and it’s the first time Shirley has had an album launch of this size. All eyes are on Shirley as they welcome Favorite into the world and with a new album comes a new challenge to fans, “Kaya niyo ba yan gustuhin?”.

Owel suggests that the album should be taken as a whole, “Some people are really obsessed with creating one powerful hit single, I think this album is the perfect example of a group of songs as one journey”. 

As Shirley hit the stage, the “mush pits” assembled. They kicked off the night by playing songs from Favorite, even jokingly asking the crowd if it was okay if they play the whole album while Selena was still with them. In the middle of their second set Ean reminded everyone of what each song was inching closer and closer to—that the journey that night would lead to a departure.

On March 21, four days before the Favorite album launch, Selena Davis announced that the 25th would be her last gig (for a long while) with Shirley. She announced this on the band’s tinyletter with a parting message for each of the band members both past and present. In an interview we did with the band on the day of the launch Selena reassures that Shirley will still make music, that the core writing team is still intact, and that someday we might even see her again.

The night winded down and Shirley was down to their last song. Selena introduces it as “the song that changed her life”, Patintero. The papaparararas rang in the air and before anyone knew it, the last note of their last song. Shirley bows. No goodbyes. No tears. Shirley got on the stage as Shirley and that’s how they left—as Ang Bandang Shirley.

I don’t really know how to end this, and maybe that’s a good thing. See you again, Selena.

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