It was in the wee hours of the morning with the tube light lighting up our grog session becoming somewhat like a hazy mid-day sun.
The overhanging clouds of cigarette smoke lending to the heavy atmosphere. Doped with grog, I peered squinty eyed towards the direction of the guitar slinging man sitting at the top.
Looking like a prophet with his scraggly beard and leaning against a blue tarpaulin, he sat with his eyes closed but slowly rocking to the movements of his hands, the sweet smelling riffs coming from his guitar.
Around him the rest of his band (minus the beard of course) sat in the same style too, eyes closed and belting out soulful music reminiscent of the dawn that was slowly lighting up the east skies behind them.
The closed eyes were most probably caused by the effects of the grog and cigarette smoke than anything else.
The bearded man is Ioane 'Bruce' Burese and his band is called the Kala Bline which that night consisted of Bruce on lead guitar, Filipe Tigarea on bass while George Epeli and Harold Koi took turns on lead and rhythm guitars.
I first came across this overly enthusiastic band while I was on the dole some years back and was instantly struck by their passion for anything music, guitars and of course, grog.
They were on the course of going to studio and after several hiccups it finally dawned on others what this band is all about.
They're just a bunch of boys from a Raiwaqa neighbourhood that are just venting their pent up energy through a positive and legal outlet.
Kala Bline come from the lower end of Milverton Road with Bruce saying the band was initially formed by him, George, Harold, Conan Gock and Asesela Ravuvu.
"Bro, it's been evolving for probably 10 years now with the neighbourhood gang at the lower end of Milverton Road in Raiwaqa but I think the name Kala Bline is about five years old.
"It really is a neighbourhood initiative to keep the guys on the straight and narrow, away from the vices that are a natural part of congested housing projects," Bruce says.
The band does not specialise on any particular form or genre of music, with Bruce saying they would play anything that feels good and all kinds of fusion but the band is firmly rooted in roots-rock, soft rock, reggae, light jazz, the blues.
"Plenty of the blues," he says.
Over the years, the addition of new members like Marcellin Tawake (guitar and vocals), Vincent Burese (guitar), Filipe (bass and vocals), Isoa "Soji" Rabaka (drums), Ilisoni Tikomainiusiladi (vocals) and Etienne Rabaka (vocals).
"It sounds like a really big band but it's more like a neighbourhood project that allows everybody who's musically-inclined to give vent to their creative juices," Bruce says.
All in the same vein of just enjoying themselves and just having a good time together as a group of friends and neighbours.
Even after winning the South Pacific Festival of Youth theme song competition in 2009 with their original Let the Spirit, Kala Bline is taking a snail's pace on the road of making a name for themselves.
"Gigs (are) not very many. Most of the time (we're) just working on tightening our rhythm section and getting the younger guys in the band more involved. There was a show
recently, the French Music Day at the Museum, and we did a couple of pub gigs, but more to cut loose on the energy than anything else," Bruce says.
Fame and fortune comes in a distant second and probably a miniscule blip on their radar.
Bruce knows it only too well as he once walked down the road of being the prophetic voice of reggae in Fiji as a lead guitarist and song writer for the famous Roostrata band of the 1980s.
However Kala Bline has already made it as far as the studios, recording a single (or parts of it) called No Idea at the makeshift Walker Films studio last year.
"Not actually recorded a complete single though, we've mucked around with stuff in the studio. There's an unfinished tune that was done in a studio on Aidney Road in Raiwaqa. Don't know what's happened to that song called No Idea. Appropriate don't you think?"
Apart from cover tunes, Kala Bline has composed their original songs along with the tunes too.
"They're songs about regret and confusion - about what might have been, what could have been and what should have been; songs about empty days and scars of breakfast on the table; songs about war and rumours of such; songs about the islands and their beauty and the need to protect them because they're God's gift to an increasingly ungrateful humankind," says Bruce.
And they have more than enough material that could have singers and producers courting them at their door steps.
"Oh, I think enough for two albums. Lots of Rotuman ballads. A big part of the gang are Rotumans with Raiwaqa roots, so the Rotuman influence on the Kala Bline creativity process is Rotuman but with a Raiwaqa twist," Bruce says.
And they have not given up their dreams of making to the studios again and are hard at work fine tuning their act together.
"Yes, that's always been at the top of the agenda. It's not about making money or fame or any of that. It's just something we want to achieve, so we can look back some day and say: "Yep, we did make it to the studio after all, even if not to the bank."
While many groups and bands would have disintegrated due to the lack of money, Kala Bline labours on the food of love and the sweat of their passion. Future plans are still hazy like the night I first got introduced to their handiwork but one thing that stands out strong for Kala Bline is their togetherness.
"Nothing definite right now but the studio work remains a priority while bringing the younger guys up to speed with whatever's going on in our heads creatively, collectively. Working a group as big as this in democratic fashion is tough on the head - having to listen to everyone with their different ideas and input is tough going - but as I said we're bigger than a band. We're a neighbourhood," Bruce says.