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

Anthony Lefferts Q&A

Space Four Zero is a new exhibition and live music space in Phnom Penh opening on the 18th September. Cambodian Space Project (CSP) play a show at the venue on Friday the 19th September. Leng Pleng got the low-down from Anthony Lefferts, the founder of Space Four Zero.

Q: The grand opening of Space Four Zero happens this Thursday at 6pm. Has it been a long road of preparation leading up to this moment?

A: We open on Thursday, are you sure? No, seriously, it's been a wild and fun ride that was kinda hatched when travelling with Julien and CSP around Australia, highlighted by CSP playing The Byron Bay Blues Festival. We wanted to create a hub for our various arts, music and film projects in conjunction with our music management and events company The Space Agency. Space Four Zero has a little more flexibility than a formal gallery. We will host art exhibitions, live bands, spoken-word performances, forums and other funky, cool events. We will only be open occasionally but you can always call if you wanna come by and check out Space Four Zero.

Q: Whats happening with the Cambodian Space Project gig on Friday? What can we expect?

A: The CSP gig on Friday is gonna be a big ole shindig. Expect the unexpected and hopefully some new songs from CSP's new album - which is absolutely cracking.

Q: You are the man behind http://www.thewanderingtraveler.com/ . What makes Phnom Penh the right place to situate Space Four-Zero?

A: Phnom Penh is like a blank canvas where you can pretty much create whatever you want - be it art, music, film. There's a revival happening here and I've fallen in love with Cambodia like so many of us. It's a truly special place.

Q: Can you tell us a little more about Dara Puspita, the 'greatest girl group that never was'? Is there an undiscovered 'Golden Era' of Indonesian music running parallel to Cambodian rock'n'roll of the 1960's and 1970's ?

A: There is definitely a parallel. I mean, the 60's were a very special time in lots of places, not just in Cambodia. While Cambodia was experiencing a vibrant music and film scene, it was the complete opposite for Dara Puspita in Indonesia. They were detained and interrogated by the authorities for performing the ‘outlawed rock’n’roll’ music and were even placed under house arrest for a spell. They split town and headed to Thailand were they would further master their craft and start writing their own songs, some even in Thai.

Dara Puspita’s rock'n'roll tale has a modern day parallel with Russian President Putin and the band ‘Pussy Riot’. Dara Puspita were never really politically outspoken but their revolutionary image and sound was unprecedented and caused serious outrage at the time.

The exhibition will head to Bali for The UBUD Writers and Readers Festival between the 1st and 6th October, then Australia and the United States. We want to expose Dara Puspita to the world. We are planning to record a tribute album of their songs and produce a documentary about the band as well.

Q: It might be a heavy weekend of celebration for you with the exhibition and the CSP gig at Space Four Zero... whats your favourite Phnom Penh hangover breakfast?

A: Phnom Penh has so many great options when it comes to chow - we are pretty lucky. I live on the riverside so that is where I usually eat breakfast - I love the egg florentine at The Quay, also Metro is yummy and there is this great little Cambodian restaurant on 110 - I'm not sure it has a name but you can get a huge bowl of noodles with all the fixins for $1.50.

Hope to see you all on Thursday and/or Friday


Dara Puspita: The Greatest Girl Group That N[ever] Was will open on Thursday at 6pm at Space Four Zero, #40 Street 118. 069 571 100

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