Fil-British band hopes to perform at World Youth Day festival

By Edward Lao, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Jan 18 2013 01:46 PM | Updated as of Jan 18 2013 09:46 PM

LONDON – An electro-pop band in the United Kingdom, spearheaded by its Pinay lead vocalist, is hoping to perform at the 2013 World Youth Day (WYD) festival in Brazil later this year.

Ooberfuse, consisting of Cherrie Anderson, songwriter/vocalist Hal St. John and guitarist Nico Cox, recently submitted their latest song "Go" to the organizers of the event, which attracts youngsters from around the globe in celebration of the Catholic faith.

The London-based group's dance track was inspired by this year's WYD theme: Bible verse Matthew 28:19 – "Go and make disciples of all nations", which were Jesus' instructions to his followers after his resurrection.

Ooberfuse got their first taste of WYD festivities in 2011 when they were chosen to perform in Madrid, Spain. The event was attended by up to 2 million pilgrims, including Pope Benedict XVI.

They are hopeful about their chances for the 2013 installment being held in Rio de Janeiro from July 23 to 28.

"It would mean everything to us. It would be such an amazing thing to do," St. John, 28, said.

"To actually go there and perform and to be part of the whole experience of World Youth Day will be amazing, completely amazing," he added.

"For me it would be a big honor, not just as someone from the UK but also a Filipino. That would be so cool," said Anderson, 27, originally from Manila.

"For us as a band, and for me as well as a young person, it's our way of conveying the message in a way that we understand and that my peers understand as well," she added.

The group will find out if their bid is successful this coming March.

If selected, Ooberfuse will join other acts from around the globe and perform to an anticipated crowd of around 2.8 million.
Ooberfuse officially launched their track 'Go' at a small but intimate nightclub in Kensington in January.

Present at the event was Phil Ross, who is the Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Westminster. He believes Ooberfuse has a strong chance.

"They [WYD organizers] have heard the track. I've had a couple of very positive emails from some senior members of the committee. I'd like to think in the next couple of weeks, we might have some fairly positive news," he added.

"My take on it is it's a beautiful, relevant, current track. It really typifies where we're going now with faith music," Ross said.

He also told ABS-CBN Europe that Ooberfuse have been appointed by the WYD committee to revamp the organization's anthem by creating a dance version, translated into English.

"It tells me how supportive the overall organization are. So, if you were to ask me will they get into the youth festival? I'm pretty hopeful actually," Ross said.

Ooberfuse also have a music video for 'Go', which stars UK-based Pinoy dancer Julius Agustin Baldemor Abreo.

WYD was introduced by Pope John Paul II in 1985. The first official WYD was held in 1986.

The 1995 WYD festival was hosted by the Philippines at Luneta Park in Manila.

The event was attended by over 5 million people, which set a Guinness World Record for the largest ever crowd at a Papal gathering.