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

Weekly Gig Guide - Week Commencing Thursday the 26th December 2013

Christmas morning arrived with the startling sound of a heavy hammer-drill being put to unsparing use in the apartment below mine. Quite a contrast from last year’s church bells and birdsong. For Christmas lunch, when several thousand miles away my mother would be basting the roast and listening to Christmas carols, I tucked into a platter of salty pork and rice, steamed buns and a can of Black Panther. I was perfectly happy with my solo feast, but my housekeeper Mrs Sovann seemed to take pity on me and felt compelled to cheer me up with a chopped pineapple. She has never bought me anything before.

‘...and now Bong Jack miss family in England?’

‘Yes, Mrs Sovann, but I am very happy here in Cambodia.’

Where else would I rather be? Within this week’s slightly slim gig guide there are plenty of fantastic performances in store. Thursday brings a treat for the discerning listener at Doors, where Ai Iwasaki, Gabi Faja and Bong Somnang will perform selected opera arias and classical pieces. Door charge $3.

I will be trying to organise some local music luminaries to light up the stage at Sharky Bar on Friday night, when Miss Sarawan will begin proceedings for Bondarnh Leng Pleng at 9pm. After that.... let’s just say there will be some really cool special guests in attendance to help us enjoy a night of live music, seasonal celebration and what little Christmas cheer I can muster. Hope to see you there.

On Saturday the amazing and intriguing Kok Thlok will inaugurate FCC Phnom Penh’s brand new live music space – ‘The Mansion’. I hope the stage is large, because the talented members of this Khmer-fusion ensemble cannot usually be counted on ten fingers. Traditional Khmer instruments such as the Roneat and Tro are combined with drums, bass, guitar and saxophone. Like The Cambodian Space Project and The Underdogs, this troupe’s repertoire consists primarily of Golden Era Khmer-rock songs. However, Kok Thlok do things in a more traditional and reverent style – while also including more folkloric Khmer songs in the set list.

Gigs are looking a little bit thin on the ground ahead of the peculiar annual catharsis that is New Year’s Eve. Many of your favourite groups and DJs will be engaged at expensive gala dinners and private parties. For the professional musician, NYE will usually be the most profitable night of the year. With so many venues looking to create events there is a serious supply and demand issue. A lot of performers will be getting paid four or five times their usual nightly rate. This ‘sucks’ for the smaller live music venues trying to put on a night as they simply cannot afford to hire a band. Many establishments will be entertaining guests without the assistance of live performers or DJs. Some venue managers will say ‘bah humbug’ to the whole New Year’s Eve deal and give themselves and their staff a well-deserved night off.

If you still want to party next Tuesday night but you are not willing to spend two week’s rent money on a dinner-dance ticket then what are your options? A couple of great parties stand out from the crowd. On the rooftop of a tall building situated at the corner of Streets 51 and 172, the Dusk till Dawn bar will be hosting Phnom Penh Underground. Six DJs in two rooms, including DJ Sequence, DJ Dan Beck and Phatt Controller – no cover charge. Meanwhile in Kampot, the Naga House will hold a dual celebration for what might be their last New Year’s Eve in the current premises. Their 8th Anniversary Party will feature several bands and DJs and something tells Jack this will be a no-holds-barred crazy escapade.

As an antidote to all this seasonal nonsense, have a look at this random and inspiring video from performance-poet Shane Koyczan – Remember How We Forgot.

Stay safe and don’t do anything too crazy out there,


Latest Gigs

Thursday  26-Dec-2013
  • 8:00 PM ~ Simon's Big Show at The Kong Bar in Sihanouk Ville
  • 8:30 PM ~ Gabi Faja , AI Iawasaki and Bong Samnang at The Doors
  • 9:00 PM ~ Barry Speirs and Ritchy Boisson at The Groove
  • 9:30 PM ~ Diego Latin Trio at Oscars 51
Friday  27-Dec-2013
  • 8:30 PM ~ Rhiannon Johnson at The Doors
  • 9:00 PM ~ Bondarnh Leng Pleng at Sharky Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ Philippe Javelle and Anna mc keon at The Cabaret Restaurant
  • 9:00 PM ~ Ritchy Boisson at The Groove
  • 9:30 PM ~ Jahzad at The Slur Bar
  • 11:00 PM ~ DJ Gang and DJ Rob at Pontoon
Saturday  28-Dec-2013
  • 4:00 PM ~ DJ Polaak , DJ Kdam and MC Kaztet D at The Naga House in Kampot
  • 8:30 PM ~ Kok Thlok at The FCC Phnom Penh
  • 9:00 PM ~ At Panha Band at The Slur Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ A Tribute to CBGBs at Sharky Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ The Underdogs at Equinox
  • 9:00 PM ~ Philippe Javelle and Ritchy Boisson at The Groove
  • 9:30 PM ~ GTS Jazz and Stephane Routier at The Doors
  • 10:00 PM ~ Joe Wrigley & The Jumping Jacks at Oscars 51
  • 11:00 PM ~ DJ Tech 12 and MC Hydro Phonics at Pontoon
Sunday  29-Dec-2013
  • 5:00 PM ~ Sunday Sundowner Sessions with Joe Wrigley at The Alley Cat Cafe
Tuesday  31-Dec-2013
  • 6:30 PM ~ The Cambodian Space Project at The Himawari
  • 7:00 PM ~ Preap Sovath , Meas Soksophear , Sokun Nisa , Aok Sokunkanha , Chhorn Sovanreach , Miss. Photo City , Sok Seylalin , Bayyareth Nop , Zono , Chhet SovanPanha , Vanna Piseth , Koy and Ms. Katok at Naga World
  • 7:30 PM ~ Roddy Fraser , Joshua Chiang and Chino De Nogales at Le Jardin
  • 8:00 PM ~ Dr. Wah Wah , DJ Dan Beck , DJ Phatt Controller , DJ Sequence , Alan Ritchie and Wes_T at Dusk till Dawn
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Star , DJ Lefty Stryker , Dennis Shaw Aka D-Rakkas and DJ Maily at The RiverHouse Lounge
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Flo Tralala , DJ Illest , DJ Rob , DJ Lefty Stryker , DJ Shaman and DJ Eyedee at Pontoon
  • 9:00 PM ~ 8th Anniversary Party at The Bodhi Villa in Kampot
  • 9:00 PM ~ Happy Nova New Year 2014 at Nova Penthouse
Coming Up
  • Marsyas at Equinox
  • Jahzad at Equinox
  • Vibratone at Equinox
  • Billy Page and Adelisa at Equinox
  • Diego Demarques Trio at Equinox
  • Jaworski 7 at Equinox
  • Sonic Detergent at Equinox
  • The Wanderlusters * at Equinox
  • The Cambodian Space Project at The Otres Market in Sihanoukville
  • Gabi Faja, Philippe Javelle and Barry Speirs at The Doors
  • DJ Cut Killer at Pontoon
  • DJ Tim Coates and Mikus at The RiverHouse Lounge
  • DJ DSN, DJ Cab, DJ Polaak and Salmon All Star at Otres Beach in Sihanouk Ville
  • The Cuban Brothers * at Code

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