Fans treated to a ‘Class Reunion’ as duo and musical friends reminisce in song and conversation
Like old wine, Byrd & Heart’s credentials as entertainers and singers in a 34-year career never fail to appeal, as evidenced by yet another full house at their “Class Reunion Concert 1985-1995” at Siam Paragon Hall on February 9.
The audience reception was a testament to their longevity. Their trademark talents displayed in a new type of performance – half-concert, half-school reunion – aside from their many classics, kept the almost five-hour concert interesting throughout.
Byrd & Heart sing with famed songwriter Boyd Kosiyabong.
Byrd & Heart also brought along several interesting guests – the Sincharoen Brothers as the opening act, along with contemporary vocalists Mum Laconics, Kai Niphawan and Ew Phimphayom.
Other famous guests were close friends and fellow singers from a different record company that was also highly popular in the same 1990s era – former teenage heartthrobs Ping and Chomphoo Fruity.
Also present onstage were five members of the 2 Days Ago Kids, plus two solo singers including Yuenchon Sombatthep. Famous songwriter Boyd Kosiyabong sang “Pheun Kan” (“We Friends”) with Byrd & Heart, his own composition that he declared was inspired by the duo.
Three close friends – Heart, Mum and Byrd – put on an impressive jam session.
Transgender singer Mum Laconics was well received by the audience, who appreciated her comedic lines exchanged with her old friends Byrd & Heart, as well as the three singing together.
Mum, who was born Wallop Maneekhum, also performed solo, offering her two hits including “Khwam Lub” (“Secret”).
Byrd & Heart performed individual Down Memory Lane sessions in the concert, with Byrd singing a few hits with the band System 4, of which he was briefly a member. Heart impressed the crowd singing “Minashigo no Barado” in Japanese, from the soundtrack of popular television anime “Tiger Mask”, one of his childhood favourites.
Mum Laconics impresses the crowd with powerful voice mingling feminine and masculine attributes.
Ping and Chomphoo Fruity had their own show that got everyone on their feet dancing. The lengthy session featured a high-tempo medley of nine oldie Western songs, including “9,999,999 Tears”, “YMCA” and “You May Be Right”.
Kai Niphawan and Ew Phimphayom sang with Byrd & Heart separately on two Thai romantic oldies, drawing long and loud applause from the crowd, apart from having small chats with the hosts about their lives since their heyday.
The hosts and key guest Phimphayom “Ew Ruam Dao” Ruengroj pool their harmonies.
The five members of the 2 Days Ago Kids are longtime admirers of Byrd & Heart and they too shared their stories and secrets on how they had emulated their idols and achieved success in their own career, through interviews expressed in emotional language.
The show started with “Jak Gan Ma Nam” (“Long Time No See”), a classic opener for any Byrd & Heart concert. They also sang a medley of four Thai classics with the Sincharoen Brothers, apart from their own songs released on eight albums.
Byrd & Heart ended the proceedings with their signature song “Luem” (“Forget”), which came after many of their hits, including two songs in English – “Susan Joan” and “Goodbye Song”.
Byrd’s real name is Kulpong Bunnag and Heart’s is Suthipongse Thatphithakkul. They’re 55 and 54 years old respectively.
They released eight albums together, covering 21 years from 1985 to 2006.
Key guest Niphawan “Kai 18 Karat” Thaweephornsawan does a session with Byrd & Heart.
The majority of around 5,000 members of the audience was around the same age – a connotation that had been a subject of constant jokes by the duo and all performers, which was well received by the crowd.
An announcement was made onstage that the “18 Karat and Ruam Dao in Concert” will be held on April 27 in Hall 106 of the Impact complex in Muang Thong Thani. These are two multi-album series of Thai classics by the then-teenage singers released by two record companies in the early 1990s, and they also feature Kai and Ew.