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The Leng Pleng Gig Guide comes out on a Thursday or Friday of every week

Live Music This Weekend - 27-Aug-2009

Here is the compiled list so far for this weekend:
  • The Open Mike at The Cavern is on again tonight (Thursday) and will be facilitated by the Lazy Jazz Punks
  • Dan and Scott - D'Sco: the Geckos of Love will play the Sayon Lounge on Friday the 28th of August, 2009. It is located on Street 19, bhind the Royal Palace, about 200m north of Rubies. The coffee is great (but in square cups).
  • Charlie and Patrick will playing their gig at Barbados on Street 130.
  • Anton from the Art Cafe (No 84 Street 108, Phnom Penh, Cambodia) is putting on another special guest artist from Java. He is Tembang Kinanthi and he will be performing songs and ballads from former kingdoms of Surakarta and Yogyakata.
  • A re-vamped / re-engineered quality line-up for the Lazy Jazz Punks will also play on Saturday the 29th of August, 2009 at Touk (across the road from the FCC)
It will still be a couple of weeks at least before The Hellhounds return gig. That's all I have at this point. Keep looking on this post as I can edit and update it as new news comes in.

Also there are stokes in the fire to get Phil Manning to play in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap some time around the first two weeks in November. Phil is a great Australian blues / roots player - you can see a live performance of his with other subsequent links to his original band Chain on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY8ItmQnknw

Phnom Penh Music Festival

As you may have seen by the poll on the right-hand-side of this blog there is a suggestion that a weekend of music could be organized that involves any local expat or Cambodian bands or solo artists that wish to take part. The model that I believe warrants most merit has the following structure:
  • Selected venues (who pay to participate) - see a list of suggested venues I compiled in an earlier post
  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday - lunchtime, afternoon and night
    • Saturday night having the biggest performance - i.e.: best venue, most bands
    • Schedule allows other musicians to catch or join any other performance as they wish
  • Sponsorship- which can allow funding for:
    • Equipment
    • T-shirts
    • Promotion - flyers, advertising etc.
The big question is : "Why even do it?'.

There has to be some level of benefit but I (for one) think there is enough charitable work being done out there in Cambodia already. The obvious answer for the recipient of any benefits would be the live music community (i.e.: the participants of the Festival) - e.g.: recording/production time, equipment etc.. But all those examples just hanker for some sort of communal based benefits system - which usually doesn't work if you ask me.. In the end the idea would be to facilitate a greater amount of creativity to the music scene here and to allow it to become more established and productive.

May be there's no need for this? May be a Battle of the Bands with prize-money would do better? Personally, I would tend towards a prize-money based thing but that would take a lot more to organize. Having a Battle of the Bands would bring in the following points into the scenario:
  • It is more likely to bring in local Cambodian bands
  • There would have to be an established set of rules
  • Swapping band members may have to be avoided  (?)
  • It is more likely to draw interest and attention
  • It is more likely able to be conducted on a regular basis (e.g.: yearly)
  • It could be held over a number of weekends with a grand finale
  • It will has a greater franchise potential - thus more people gain the enjoyment of participation, e.g.: crowd and venues
Please post any comments below and don't forget to feed the fish.

Open-Mike Session at The Cavern

It was happening last week at The Cavern - no doubt.

The Cavern is pretty much as good a venue as you can get in Phnom Penh for combining an assorted mix of musicians looking for a place to play. Although the space, sound and equipment are all issues, it still offers a great, uninhibited venue with a cool, receptive and appreciative audience all hankering for an eclectic musical creation.

Lazy Jazz Punks started off with some 70s rock, punk & English folk covers with various people getting up on a range of instruments between and within the set's songs. Melanie then followed with a series of rough-edged, rock & roll ballads done the way only Melanie can and with Browyn getting up on vocals on the first song. Jonas "Little Duke" then introduced himself and his clean, smooth and delightfully bluesy slide. The crowd then called for a version of "Sesame Street" (which was placated) before D'Sco: The Geckos of Love continued with a series of songs from their selection of acoustic, harmonized "torch" songs. Their rendition of Eric Clapton's "Change the World" being particularly memorable.

It will all be happenning again this Thursday so anybody looking for a place to play is encouraged to join Ian and the rest of the band at The Cavern (Street 104) this Thursday starting around 9:00PM.

Live Music This Weekend - 20-Aug-2009

The updated list follows (including the two from Scott):
  1. Lazy Jazz Punks - playing The Cavern on Thursday and Friday the 20th & 21st of August. Tonight's gig is an open-mike arrangement.
  2. D'Sco:The Geckos of Love play the Sayon/Silkworks on St 19 starting at 7:00PM
  3. Charlie and Patrick will be playing at Barbados on Friday the 21st of August
  4. Dr JP and the Nurses and The Joyful Cockroaches are playing at Sharky Bar on Friday and Saturday the 21st and 22nd of August. They were down as being at the Chinese House on Saturday but - after receiving an SMS from Ross (manager at Sharkys) about the gig -  that seems to have been canceled.
  5. D'Sco: the Geckos of Love also playing this Saturday at Touk (first floor, opposite FCC on 178 St)
  6. Betty Without Her Falcons (i.e.: Melanie (ex- Betty Ford...) + friends ) are playing Talkin' to a Stranger, Friday the 21st of August !!
The Hellhounds are still on their break and Mispent Yooth may be playing this weekend - I will update this post as soon as I can confirm it.

Bands from The Past

Writing the last post brought to mind a few of the expat bands that used to be together and that have now moved on to other places - or metamorphosed into something else. A list follows:
  1. The Taxi Guys
  2. Thom Thom (may be still together - not entirely sure)
  3. Mekong Messengers
  4. Happy Lucky Love You Long Time Band
  5. Betty Ford and the GT Falcons
  6. The band that used to play at The Globe (place that is now called the Pacharan) prior to the year 2000. Was owned by the sax player from the Psychedelic Furs and run by Mark from Canada.
  7. The Ian Taylor Band - was the main expat band in town during the late 1990's into 2000. In fact I don't know if that was the name of the band - they generally didn't use a name becasue since they were the only expat band in town they didn't need one.
  8. The band that used to play at the Blue Lotus
There is more than likely a few more that I cannot recall - anybody remember?

Best Day of the Week for Gigs

It seems that Fridays have been the most favored day for live music gigs around town with most regularity happening on Fridays at the Chinese House, Velkommen Inn, Rory's Bar, The Cavern and Barbados. I think the Memphis Bar has it's biggest night on a Friday - but may be Bonna could confirm that one.

When Talkin' to a Stranger has gigs their preference is for Fridays but they used to also have a perchance for the Sunday afternoon time slot (the two guys from the Australian embassy doing acoustic folk and contemporary ballads). The same venue a year or two ago had a regular Wednesday night gig for the Mekong Messengers. When they had the bigger acts (e.g.: The Happy Lucky Love You Long Time Band and Dengue Fever) then they preferred a packed-out Friday night - and it usually worked.

Wednesday night gigs have also been implemented by La Croisette and I believe Charlie and Patrick still regularly play that time slot.

Sharkys will generally have a band for a Friday or a Saturday night - such as has been happening with Route 66 - but generally they will have a band on most any night that a special day falls, e.g.: 4th of July, Halloween, Cinco de Mayo etc. . They are looking at putting on The Hellhounds for their monthly Sunday BBQs and on every Monday night during October.

The Cavern is having an open-mike on Thursdays currently and that is generally facilitated by the guys from Lazy Jazz Punks.

There have been some regular Saturday gigs with DSco: The Geckos of Love playing at Touk and also soon to be the Stiff Little Punks. However it seems to me that Fridays are the favored day by most publicans presently.

Feel free to leave any comments etc.

Hellhounds Update

The Hellhounds are on their summer break - well at least their guitar player Steve is - and in the mean time the band has been having a break until resuming (probably) sometime early in September.

We are going to be trying out our new PA setup that we purchased from one of the music stores close to P'sah Thmei (after getting some advice from Scott - Geckos of Love) . We got a 10-channel, powered mixing desk and two 8" speakers with legs (stands) for $295 all-up. At this point it seems like it will do the trick for us. In particular we are pretty happy with the sound generated from amplifying the accordion.

Current Bands

Here is an initial list of expat bands / musicians that regularly play around Phnom Penh. Please don't feel bad if I missed you out - just add to the list my emailing me or adding some spiel to this blog. From what I can remember, in the time I have given to this, there is:
  1. Route 66
  2. Mekong Pirates
  3. Charlie and Patrick
  4. The Hellhounds
  5. The Stiff Little Punks
  6. D'Sco: The Geckos of Love
  7. Mispent Yooth
  8. Rock Xpress (Memphis Bar Band)
  9. Bum N' Draze
  10. Beer O'Clock Band
  11. Lazy Jazz Punks
  12. Dr JP and the Nurses
  13. Kanlat Rik Rié
  14. ........................ any more ???
Cheers for any contributors

List of Phnom Penh Venues

List of current places having live expat music in Phnom Penh (in no particular order):
  1. Memphis Bar
  2. Chinese House
  3. Equinox
  4. Sayon/Silkworks Café
  5. Velkommen Inn
  6. Talkin to a Stranger
  7. Sharky Bar
  8. FCC
  9. The Cavern
  10. Rory's Pub
  11. Barbados
  12. Riverside Bistro
  13. Art Café
  14. La Croisette
  15. Touk Bar & Restaurant
  16. ................. any more ???

Initial Spiel


To all those who play music in Cambodia then this blog is designed to be a place where musicians can communicate and share ideas, wanted ads, etc.. The idea is to let everyone in the Cambodian live music scene to publish, talk about, discuss topics such as:
  1. Current gigs - where, when you are playing and what sort of music
  2. Musicians Wanted - if you are looking for a bass player, drummer, singer, guitar player etc. then you can see who is available
  3. Equipment and supplies - discuss what equipment is available, where to get the best prices, look for people outside the country who can bring back hard to get stuff to Cambodia
  4. Chords and Lyrics - post chords and lyrics to songs that others may need / appreciate etc.
That's the idea anyway but things should just go the way everyone thinks best.

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