Big Mountain's Quino to perform with Cebu's Selah Dub Warriors

Rick Olivares

Posted at Mar 17 2023 12:06 PM

Big Mountain’s Quino McWhinney performs on 'It's Showtime' on Thursday. Photo from It's Showtime
Big Mountain’s Quino McWhinney performs on 'It's Showtime' on Thursday. Photo from It's Showtime

MANILA -- Quino McWhinney, the vocalist of internationally-acclaimed reggae band Big Mountain, is in town for a fourth time. 

“And with probably over 10 performances during that time,” quantified the dread-locked singer. 

McWhinney will be performing Friday, March 17, with Cebu’s Selah Dub Warriors as his backing band at the Newport Performing Arts Theater.

Big Mountain just finished recording its 12th album, "Hear That Sound" -- the band's first since 2016’s "Perfect Summer" -– which will be released digitally this coming April and on vinyl via local independent label Eikon Records in the second half of the year. 

The album was recorded in Jamaica as the band worked on what they call “their perfect reggae album” with legendary producers Sly Dunbar and the late Robbie Shakespeare among others.

However, first, the new show in the Philippines.

“I just fell in love with the Philippines and Asia (Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, and even India),” admitted McWhinney. “We’ve been going here a lot over the past several years as we found out how well received Big Mountain is over here.”

How big?

A staple of every Filipino reggae band’s repertoire aside from original compositions are covers of Bob Marley and the Wailers and Big Mountain.

“It’s nice to know that and to be sung along with Bob Marley and the Wailers,” he quipped.

Consider the fact that their albums "Wake Up" (1992), "Unity" (1994), and "Resistance" (1995) were never released locally. A few copies were available as an import and only from the Glorietta branch of the since-closed Music One. 

“We’re getting gigs because of (their hit re-make of Peter Frampton’s) ‘Baby I Love Your Way’ aside from our other songs. Now we have this song, ‘The Only One’ that was released in 1999 in Japan (from the album 'Things To Come'). Now, this Filipino DJ began playing this song and it has become huge over here. It is gratifying to know and hear when people sing along and know every single word. That song was not promoted at all by the label,” he said.

“So, the Philippines has been front and center on my list of places to concentrate for a lot of reasons. There is a vibe and energy for Big Mountain. We’re determined to solidify that relationship."

Speaking of relationships, one such is the vibe and bond formed with Cebuanos the Selah Dub Warriors.

“The Selah Dub Warriors are a great band from Cebu and more people should be aware of them,” McWhinney.

“What makes reggae so appealing worldwide is its positivity. And there is much work to be done for this planet considering climate change and the war in Ukraine. And the quality of people here in the Philippines, I think Filipinos can do their part and even lead the way in being a force for positive change through music.”

Regarding tonight’s show, McWhinney invited all to watch. 

“The Newport Performing Arts Theater is a wonderful venue to perform and see a show. I guarantee we will put on a great show,” he said.

McWhinney and the Selah Dub Warriors are brought to Filipino fans by the Full House Theater Company.