Panaginip O Totoo? The return of funk rock band P.O.T

Rick Olivares

Posted at Jun 28 2022 06:20 AM

Funk rock band P.O.T. has reunited – bassist Mally Paraguya (from left), drummer Reli de Vera, vocalist Red dela Peña, and guitarist Ian Umali. Handout
Funk rock band P.O.T. has reunited – bassist Mally Paraguya (from left), drummer Reli de Vera, vocalist Red dela Peña, and guitarist Ian Umali. Handout

P.O.T is back.

That funkadelic, boogie and let’s-get-down groovin’ band that had fans dancing in the aisles amidst the hard rock, folk, and shoezgaze music of 1997 is back.

Old hands Mally Paraguya (bass) and Ian Umali (guitar) are back but in the place of the departed vocalist Karl Roy is Red dela Peña (of Ojo Rojo) and Reli de Vera (Sinosikat?) on drums taking over from titanic drumsmith, Harley Alarcon.

And the venue for their chosen comeback? None other than 70s Bistro, that famed club along Anonas Road that has its place in band history.

A year after the band’s critically acclaimed and best-selling self-titled debut in 1997, Alarcon left followed by Umali three years later. Roy and Paraguya tried to keep it going until 2005 when the band split up. 

However, a year later, the band reunited for a performance a year later at 70s Bistro. 

History repeated itself last Saturday, June 25, when P.O.T performed Bandang X’s production that included a lot of the bands they played with at the old Club Dredd. 

“Mayroon akong napanood na production ng Bandang X, and puro 90s bands na kasabayan namin,” told Paraguya of the genesis of the band’s reformation. It was like the old Club Dredd days. Tuwang tuwa ako.”

“When Mally told me about these Bandang X events, it really got me curious and excited to hear that a lot of the bands' lineups were not original anymore,” added Umali. “It made me realize that we could still play our music, given at least 50% of the sound would still be Mally and myself.”

Even after Roy’s passing, there have been offers tendered to Paraguya and Umali but both turned them down. 

After that show that Paraguya watched, he reached out to Umali and expressed interest and a desire to play the old songs. Much to his surprise, Umali felt the same way.

Obviously, without Roy who had passed away in 2012 and Alarcon who has relocated to Saipan, they needed to find others willing and able to play the old material. 

Mally remembered Red dela Peña from a jam session of over a decade ago. He remembered being impressed. When Umali and Paraguya asked dela Peña to jam once more with them, they both got that “Karl Roy” vibe.

“Unintentional yun,” pointed out Mally. “Hindi naming intention to get someone who sounded like Karl. It just so happened. Of course, meron din naman difference sa voice nila.”

Bringing on de Vera was easy. 

“He gets our music,” pointed out Paraguya. “Besides, mabuti na rin magaling ’yung kabanda mo. It makes things easier.” 

And if the sold out performance at 70s Bistro last Saturday is any indication, the fans like what they hear. 

The venerable gig joint seats a max of 250 people. But that Saturday night, over 270 people packed the place. 

For now, P.O.T will just take their time to enjoy performing again. However, Paraguya left the door open for new music. 

“When we become more comfortable, when the vibe and timing is right, who knows, we could be writing new songs again.”

If we can use those lines from that classic from 1970s band the Advisors which they have turned into their own, “Sige na people. Let’s get on down. Sige na, sige na, sige na, sige naaah.”

After all, we’ve got Plenty Of Time.