Nothing stops the music. Barbed wire, roadblocks and uncertainty may have made life in Phnom Penh a little more difficult recently, but Jack has seen plenty of full houses as we continue to turn up at our favourite venues. The weekly list of gigs is getting longer, there are new venues and new artists appearing, and yes there are still tourists and backpackers pouring in to Cambodia.
The established venues are not the only places to discover what’s happening on the scene. Phnom Penh is home to many small restaurants and bars that offer live music. These venues may be a little quieter than the big names, but if you are willing to have a look around you can discover something special. On Street 55, a couple of blocks from Sihanouk Boulevard, The Aquarium Bar hosts new talent Lisa, who plays at the venue a few times a week, including an open mic jam session on Thursday. Lisa is an acoustic-pop singer with a talent well beyond her 21 years. Meanwhile, down the road on st.360, Scoddy continues to host Bywater at Baitong, which attracts musically talented guests every Thursday.
The theme continues on st.360 early Friday evening, when Lisa teams up with Miss Sarawan for Ladies at Le Jardin. The guys at Le Jardin, The Alleycat Cafe, Banyan Tree, Opera Cafe (and all the others that Jack cannot recall right now) show us what wonderful things can be achieved with just a small PA system and a huge love of music.
One team with a proven history of supporting music and arts are the guys behind Showbox on st.330. It’s no secret that their stupendous and legendary gigs and parties have sometimes attracted the wrong sort of attention from their residential neighbours. Previous solutions have included partying on the Tonle Sap aboard the Showboat or hosting metal bands during the day. Now Showbox presents the newest live music venue in Phnom Penh... Cherry Bomb! The party begins on Friday night with guest DJs and musicians, and the heavy live music kicks off on Saturday with metal heads Sangvar Day and Splitter. Cherry Bomb is located on st.51 next to Grease Monkeys motorbike shop.
More original music, and only original music, on Saturday at Equinox with the pun-friendly Moi Tiet! This band started out a few months ago as an acoustic outfit, but after a few personnel and equipment changes they have emerged as a rocking electric band. The new Moi Tiet! recently brought the house down at Sharky Bar and there should be an equally full dancefloor at Equinox this weekend.
Meanwhile, Jack will be checking out the toe-tapping action at Sharky Bar when The Jungle take to the stage on Saturday night. Last time these guys were in town they blew everyone away with an amazing rhythm section, wild guitarist and the inimitable Russian style of frontman Sergey. The Jungle describe their repertoire as Latin, Funk and Rock tunes, but this humble description does not convey their huge energy and showmanship.
Those with a passion for dancing and fun (and frankly, if you have tolerated Jack’s rambling gig guide this long you must have a lot of passion) will be looking forward to the re-launch of Swing Penh over the next few days. The big swing dancing events are Friday at The Village and Saturday at Doors Phnom Penh, when Euan Gray’s Kin Jazz will provide awesome dancing fuel.
Plenty of opportunity for revelling on the riverside rooftops of Phnom Penh this weekend. Jaworski 7 play a gig at FCC on Saturday night, where it should be particularly cool to listen to their track Phnom Penh is Beautiful while gazing across the city. A stone’s throw away on Sunday afternoon, on the Rooftop of the Quay Hotel, The Kimchi Collective DJs will be bringing electronic beats.
Bringing you back down to earth with some technical news, Jack passes on apologies from Krom. Due to an unfortunate mix-up, if you obtained a copy of their latest album Neon Dark during the launch party at Doors last Saturday, you will have a poorly manufactured CD. Please contact the band through Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MekongSessions?fref=ts to replace your copy with the real thing.
Talking about ‘The Real Thing’...members of the expatriate music community will be pleased to know that the superstar former front man of The Lazy Jazz Drunks, Ian Rowlett Anderson, is alive and well and making music back in England. Have at look at this video from his band Swamp Delta. Stay safe and see you around the traps...
- 7:00 PM ~ Lisa at The Aquarium Bar
- 8:30 PM ~ The Amanda Bloom Trio at The Village
- 9:00 PM ~ Ritchy & Phil at The Groove
- 9:00 PM ~ DJ Maurice at Backstage Cocktail Bar
- 9:00 PM ~ James Speck , Tim King and DJ Nicomatic at Meta House
- 6:00 PM ~ Miss Sarawan and Lisa at Le Jardin
- 9:00 PM ~ Diego Dimarques at The Groove
- 9:00 PM ~ Swing Penh Launch at The Village
- 9:00 PM ~ RNA + Friends at Paddy Rice
- 9:00 PM ~ DJ Pattie at The RiverHouse Lounge
- 9:00 PM ~ DJ Wez-T , DJ Brus , Paul Adair , Achaya Bc and Il Toro * at Backstage Cocktail Bar
- 9:00 PM ~ Cosmic Rock DJ Party at Meta House
- 9:00 PM ~ Cherry Bomb Blow Out at Cherry Bomb
- 9:00 PM ~ Groovedigger at The Slur Bar
- 10:00 PM ~ Jahzad at The Doors
- 7:00 PM ~ Joe Wrigley and MWAUKA at The Alley Cat Cafe
- 9:00 PM ~ Jaworski 7 at The FCC Phnom Penh
- 9:00 PM ~ The Jungle at Sharky Bar
- 9:00 PM ~ Kin Jazz at The Doors
- 9:00 PM ~ Rhiannon Johnson at The Groove
- 9:00 PM ~ DJ Edwardowski and DJ Yoshi * at The Laundry Music Bar in Siem Reap
- 9:00 PM ~ Splitter and Sangvar Day at Cherry Bomb
- 9:00 PM ~ DJ Sakura Boom at The Mezze Bar in Siem Reap
- 9:00 PM ~ Moi Tiet! at Equinox
- 9:00 PM ~ Invisible Agent Label Night at Meta House
- 9:30 PM ~ Carlos Fandango at The Village
- 9:30 PM ~ Vibratone at The Slur Bar
- 10:00 PM ~ DJ Illest at Pontoon
- 10:00 PM ~ Reggae on the Rox at Dusk till Dawn
- 4:00 PM ~ The Kimchi Collective at The Quay Hotel
- 5:00 PM ~ Alan Breen at Le Jardin
- 5:00 PM ~ Scott Bywater at The Alley Cat Cafe
- 9:00 PM ~ Gabi Faja , Toma Willen and Sebastien Adnot at The Doors
- 7:00 PM ~ Lisa at The Aquarium Bar
- 7:30 PM ~ Nerd Night at The Village
- 7:00 PM ~ Lisa at The Aquarium Bar
- 7:30 PM ~ Joe Wrigley The and Jumping Jacks at The Slur Bar
- 8:30 PM ~ Alan Breen at The Village
- 9:00 PM ~ 'FUKTE' Concert at Meta House
- Jahzad at Equinox
- BeatboxCoex * at The RiverHouse Lounge
- The Fumes at Equinox
- Vibratone at Equinox, The Doors
- Poni Hoax at NRG FM
- Battle of the Bands at Sharky Bar
- Phil Manning * at The Led Zephyr
- Miss Sarawan at The Village
- Joey Paz at The Village
- Alan Breen at The Village
- Die Lumpen * at Hotel Cambodiana, Hotel Cambodiana and Hotel Cambodiana
- Drop Dead Disco at Naga House in Kampot
- RNA + Friends at The Village, Sharky Bar and Paddy Rice
- Charlie Corrie at The Doors, The Doors
- Akhia Cyxtiel at The Doors
- Khmera at The Doors
- Marsyas at The Doors
- Dub Addiction at The Doors
- Miles Davis at The Doors
- Holey Bucket Union at The Doors
- Kin Jazz at The Doors
- Carin Levine, Anna Steckel and Stephan Rahn * at The Intercontinental Hotel Phnom Penh, Meta House
- Mari Jinnai at The CJCC
- Stephan Rahn * , Etienne Chenevier * , So Sronos and Rong Sereyvann at The Intercontinental Hotel Phnom Penh
- 10th International Music Festival at CJCC
- DJ Deuce Manila * at The RiverHouse Lounge
- DJ Cyncity, DJ Bree and DJ BBoy Peanut at The Eighty8