As we near the end of July and the rains really start to settle in then the band members and DJs will start to head back to their dryer, sunnier climes for a few weeks or months. Meanwhile, in Cambodia, the music manifesto consolidates itself into a compact boutique scene but with a good sprinkling of quality gigs.
On Thursday in Siem Reap this week you can see a mix of modern styles and live music at the Heritage Hotel. It is a gig that incorporates vocals, sax and electronic DJ mix spun by DJ Edwardowski. Cool! In Phnom Penh on the same night you will be able to catch the brand new ensemble which is MB2. They are a jazz duo purporting their skills through the famous black & white keys and an e-violin. Swings, ballads and tango is their thing - so check 'em out. Earlier on Thursday you can witness the completion of a huge fresco that has been painted by Canadian artist FONKi. The unveiling will be done in conjunction with live traditional music.
On Friday The Willow will welcome back Conrad Keely and Amanda Bloom to their stage. They will be joined by wonderful singer / songwriter / keyboardist Charlie Corrie and so I am predicting a relatively awesome gig. It starts at 7:30PM. Khmer rock maestros Oscar's Band return to wow the patrons at Sharkys. These guys are a totally professional outfit and have been tramping the stages of Phnom Penh for many years with totally classic guitar riffs and full-on rock. You should go to see them. On the riverfront at Paddy Rice the wonderful tunes of Holliday in Cambodia can be heard.
Saturday has gigs at the two mainstays of the Phnom Penh scene offering us a musical platter. Equinox hosts the 12-member Phnom Penh Hippie Orchestra. This very eclectic mix of nationalities and instruments cover a range of eastern European Gypsy music and other exotic folk. At Sharkys there are three bands to enhance your musical experience - Tango & Snatch will open the show followed by the headlining Splitter. The show will then be concluded by a riotous punk/Oi! set by the entirely immimicable Shambollic69. Totally cool!
A reminder that Equinox is offering a hugely cool service allowing you to view their gigs online via a live stream. The feed will be streaming out the tunes from the Phnom Penh Hippie Orchestra this week. They have now added sound that comes directly from the live mixing console. Totally and outrageously good and a total boon for us live music enthusiasts here in the Kingdom. The stream can be hooked into here - http://www.ustream.tv/channel/live-music-at-equinox-cambodia.
In the coming up section this week look for a couple of gigs that will happen in Kampot in two weekends time (10th and 11th of August) from Up 2U Mango. According to James Speck from the band they plan on having "both a musical and mental breakdown in Kampot.....with mangos" - that would be worth seeing in my book. They will play on the Friday and Saturday nights at two different venues. You will also be able to catch the new riverside jam happening every Sunday afternoon in Kampot at The Greenhouse. It's apparently different from other open-mics or jam sessions in the sense that it's more an afternoon thing - open air, by the river, swimming and BBQing. It's good for bringing the kids and enjoying the company of friends. It started just 2 weeks ago. Sounds totally cool.
Quite a few videos have been sent in this week. This first video I have put here for anyone that likes to throw tantrums. It is from Penhstock 2012 and Sharkys and features a one of the best performances at the fest. It is from the Herding Cats. This video was sent in by Jerby Santo and is only 1 of a collection of videos that he has made available from this event. See links to other performances of the event at the end of the video.
The next video has been sent in by Sonny Krishnan and was recorded at the gig of Kok Thlok at Equinox last week. It features one of the most naturally beautiful lead singers you will ever have the pleasure of seeing and of listening. A total privilege for all patrons.
Finally, another haunting series of imagery, poetry and growling musical melodies from Krom. This video was shot entirely on Street 104 and is a song entitled Mango Madness. In late September, Krom will release a hard copy Collector's Edition of "Songs from the Noir" which includes the 14-track audio CD and an 8-track DVD. There will also be an 8-page booklet that includes Krom lyrics, texts by Noir author Christopher G. Moore and journalist Vincent MacIsaac, and images from Noir artist Chris Coles.
From Ted and I here in the back streets of Phnom Penh, have a great weekend, be cool with each other and see you around the traps. Here's this week's gig guide.
- 6:30 PM ~ Fresque FONKi at The Institut Francais du Cambodge
- 6:30 PM ~ Jazz in the City at The Heritage Hotel in Siem Reap
- 7:00 PM ~ MB2 at The Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra
- 10:00 PM ~ DJ Illest and DJ Bree at The Pontoon Bistro Lounge
- 7:30 PM ~ Amanda Bloom, Conrad Keely and Charlie Corrie at The Willow
- 9:00 PM ~ Holliday in Cambodia at Paddy Rice
- 9:00 PM ~ Oscar's Band at Sharkys
- 10:00 PM ~ DJ Stevie J, DJ Bobby-D and DJ Wez-T at The Pontoon Bistro Lounge
- 11:00 PM ~ DJ Da Lott and DJ Tom Tom at The X-Bar in Siem Reap
- 7:00 PM ~ Barry Speirs and Ritchy Boisson at The Red Apron
- 9:00 PM ~ The Phnom Penh Hippie Orchestra at Equinox
- 9:00 PM ~ Splitter, Tango & Snatch and Shambollic69 at Sharkys
- 1:00 AM ~ DJ Samir * at Pontoon
- 2:00 PM ~ Guitar Charlie at Paddy Rice
- MB2 at MetaHouse
- The Fumes at The Led Zephyr in Sihanoukville
- Up 2U Mango at The Bodhi Villa in Kampot , The GreenHouse in Kampot
- DJ DTonn at The Silk Garden in Siem Reap