The Runaways

The Runaways, [Left to Right] Joy, Amy, Romal and Hyder
Allan told me The Runaways entertain with live music from 9.30pm on Wednesday and Friday.  He was quite impressed with how the musicians just turned up one day and auditioned for him.  The spontaneity and sheer talent of these young musicians blew Allan away and they were given the opportunity to do a gig – just as a try-out, to gauge the response of guests at EightLido – and as they say, the rest is history...

I have not heard of The Runaways but Allan insists that they are local people and invited me to drop by on either of the two days when they perform.  This was months ago and with my busy work and travel schedule, I just did not find time to pop in.  Then last night, I was at an event in the neighbourhood that ended early so I decided to swing around to check the band out.

Romal, rocking it out
as always!
I was pleased to find a parking space on a busy Friday night and gladder still to see a respectable crowd in the indoor and outdoor dining areas.  As my eyes adjusted to the dim lights in the garden, I realized that the tables set out under the sky were also occupied.  But I did not hear any music.

When I stepped out to the patio, I spotted musical instruments arranged, ready for the show and the band was just finding their places to start their first set for the evening.  “What perfect timing!” I figuratively patted myself on my back as I approached the band.  One of the band members looked awfully familiar and as we exchanged impolite stares, I suddenly recognized him!

It was Romal!  He appeared to have a different persona especially without that head of curly locks that I last saw him with.  But when he started to sing, I knew it was still him.  Later he confessed that he too was unsure if it was me because it was some time since we last met and now I’m told that I too (ahem!) look different…

Chill out with The Runaways at EightLido
As The Runaways struck up the band, I noticed that their brand of music was slightly different from that of Bonjoza Acoustic but it was all good.  Besides Romal Mohd Melvin on lead vocals and percussion instruments, I recognized drummer, Dzulfiquar Md Nor, also known as Joy, playing his djembe and bongos.  Two new members are Hyder who plays a mean acoustic guitar and Amira, better known as Amy who provides an added dimension with her smooth female vocals.

Sometime in between songs, something must have clicked in Romal’s memory because he welcomed me by name and thanked me for my presence.  Later I asked him why, the Runaways?  He explained that each member of this band also performs with other groups and the name describes how they are taking time out to do something they are also passionate about.  So for just two nights a week, they are The Runaways at EightLido!


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