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

Weekly Gig Guide - Commencing Thursday the 28th November 2013

"As I always say to the incredulous, I arrived in Phnom Penh in August 2008 and found it really hard to find live music.  The odd night with a clockwork covers band, the occasional Mekong Pirates gig.  I discovered a Thursday night open mic in a now long-vanished little place near Wat Lanka called Revolution Bar, and this is where it began for me.  I met the Swedish Ambassador, as multi-instrumentalist Dan was called, and we formed a duo, D’Sco: The Geckos of Love...

Around this time Dan and I met Ian Anderson and Tom Baker at an open mic at The Cavern, and suddenly formed what was first called the Lazy Jazz Drunks, as a more poppy version of the parallel band gigging around called the Stiff Little Punks (mostly Ian and Dave and a drum machine)... 

…I think the last show I played was at another bar on 104 Street, crammed into the corner, all very tile and glass, and I had been lugging PA gear and drumkit in, setting up and thinking ‘all this for 20 bucks and the chance to play Honky Tonk Women?’ 

I was playing drums with the Hellhounds at the now gone Talking to a Stranger, and met a fellow Tasmanian at the bar named Julien, who invited me to come to the Alley Cat for their fourth anniversary party, he was going to do some songs with a Khmer singer.  So I showed up and there was Julien fidgeting with a guitar amp about the size of a burger.  Do you need any equipment, I said. What have you got, he said. Everything, I said. Yeah, bass and drums would be great. So Dan and I ran off and got some, and the rest, as they say, is history."

Read more about the birth of the Cambodian Space Project and the formative years of the Phnom Penh expat music scene in Part One of Leng Pleng's interview with the legendary 'Scoddy' Bywater.


You can catch up with Scoddy and his band Moi Tiet! at the most important gig of the week, Gimme Shelter, at Equinox tonight. Some of Phnom Penh's finest musicians have come together to raise money for victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Although the entrance fee is a mere $5, you are encouraged to give more as all proceeds will help to rebuild the affected communities in The Philippines. As well as contributing to an urgent cause, you will be treated to an excellent line-up of bands including Vibratone, Marsyas, RNA and Los Illustrados. See you there!

Jaworski 7 will be at Equinox on Friday evening, fresh from a triumphant Penhstock IV performance that left lot of people in Sharky Bar talking about 'the best band in Phnom Penh'. A heavy gigging schedule in 2013 has resulted in a very tight and strong outfit. Lead singer Jerby Salas Santo cannot hide his enthusiasm for British New Wave as he throws Ian Curtis-esque shapes on the stage, but of greater interest are the increasing number of great original songs pushing their way into the Jaworski setlist.

Whilst Equinox will be singing along to 'Phnom Penh is Beautiful', the music-lovers of Siem Reap will be treated to a performance from the mighty Jahzad. Head to the Laundry Bar on Friday to hear the incredibly energetic sound of Alexandre, Seb, Euan and co. blasting out their original blend of Ska and Jazz.

Saturday sees the return of Cartoon Emo to Sharky Bar. Jack is informed that this will be a huge performance from the Khmer hard-rockers, who have been out of the country for a couple of years. Check out the video below. 

Could be a legendary day, with our Leng Pleng interviewee Scott Bywater giving a farewell performance at Slur Bar on Saturday with The Riverside Raybans. Something about a huge party, dozens of performers, and an awards ceremony? Sounds like a recipe for a hangover...




Stay safe and see you around the traps,

JACK DIAMOND


Latest Gigs

Thursday  28-Nov-2013
  • 7:00 PM ~ Lotus Jazz Trio at Cabaret Restaurant
  • 8:30 PM ~ Gabi Faja and AI Iawasaki at The Doors
  • 8:30 PM ~ RNA + Friends , Moi Tiet! , Vibratone , Marsyas and Los Illustrados at Equinox
  • 9:00 PM ~ Rhiannon Johnson at The Groove
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Simon C Vent at Backstage Cocktail Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ Antonio Pineda , James Speck , Tim King and DJ Nicomatic at Meta House
Friday  29-Nov-2013
  • 7:00 PM ~ Kok Thlok at The Show Box
  • 8:00 PM ~ DJ Tavish at The Lotus Gallery in Battambang
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Chin Chang and DJ Rith at Lavo Restaurant & Lounge
  • 9:00 PM ~ Jahzad at The Laundry Music Bar in Siem Reap
  • 9:00 PM ~ Electro Bangerz Gang & Rob at The Pontoon Bistro
  • 9:00 PM ~ Ace Duo at The Groove
  • 9:00 PM ~ Jaworski 7 at Equinox
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Flo Trallala , DJ Wez-T and DJ B-Fox at Meta House
  • 9:00 PM ~ MWAUKA & The Gang at Paddy Rice
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Tim Coates and DJ Mikus at The RiverHouse Lounge
  • 9:00 PM ~ Sonic Detergent at Sharky Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ The Kimchi Collective The and Kletzbodians at Backstage Cocktail Bar
  • 9:30 PM ~ The Kletzbodians at The Doors
  • 9:30 PM ~ Moi Tiet! at Slur Bar
Saturday  30-Nov-2013
  • 3:00 PM ~ Conrad Keeley , DJ Achaya , Rock X-Press , Jaworski 7 , DJ Funkelastiks , DJ Lefty , Psychotic Reactions , DJ Simon C Vent The , Riverside Ray-Bans , Khmera and Bona Thiem at The Slur Bar
  • 7:30 PM ~ Cartoon Emo at Sharky Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ The Ultimate Night at The Silk Garden in Siem Reap
  • 9:00 PM ~ RNA + Friends at The Village
  • 9:00 PM ~ jn'p at The Groove
  • 9:00 PM ~ Invisible Agent at Meta House
  • 10:00 PM ~ highrise at Dusk till Dawn
  • 10:00 PM ~ Hydrophonics and DJ Tech 12 at Pontoon
  • 11:00 PM ~ Saturday Night Tech Lounge at The Pontoon Bistro
Sunday  1-Dec-2013
  • 4:30 PM ~ Ringtail at The 3Mangos Guesthouse
Monday  2-Dec-2013
  • 9:30 PM ~ Diego Dimarques at Slur Bar
Wednesday  4-Dec-2013
  • 6:30 PM ~ Bossa Bayon at Gigi Brasil in Siem Reap
Coming Up
  • The Cambodian Space Project at Equinox
  • The Fumes at Equinox
  • Cambo Headbanger III Years Anniversary at Longbeach Hotel Plaza
  • Marsyas at Equinox
  • Krom at The Doors
  • Box Poetry Slam at The Show Box
  • Showbox Christmas Eve at Show Box

Weekly Gig Guide - Week Commencing Thursday 21st November 2013

Halfway through the trailer for the documentary film ‘Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten’, grainy footage of Angkorian temples and golden sunsets are accompanied by the lone voice of Ros Sereysothea. It is a particularly haunting and melancholy theme, carefully placed to follow a harrowing section where an emotional interviewee asks “Why did the Khmer Rouge kill so many musicians after they won the war? They should have spared the musicians’ lives”. Sereysothea sings the opening vocal melody of ‘Ott Bai Auy Sluhp’ or ‘I Won’t Eat Rice Until I Die’, a song telling the story of a heartbroken girl waiting for her lover to return.

A drum roll marks the end of the melancholy introduction and the music begins with a splash. Now the images on the screen are of dancing, Rock’n’Roll bands, speeding motorbikes and a giant clock spinning backwards. The track being played is an effective reworking of the original song, with studio processing and extra instrumentation added to increase the impact of the sound.

“We are the protector of her songs, I hope she looks at me all the time, even during rehearsal or on the stage she will be happy to look at me and she wants me to sing her song and protect her song forever.” – Mealea Lay (‘Miss Sarawan’).

For many singers, musicians and music-lovers, the clock is still spinning backwards to the pre-1975 era of ‘The Golden Voice’ Ros Sereysothea and the ‘Cambodian Elvis’ Sinn Sisamouth. This week Jack is pleased to learn that John Pirozzi’s eagerly-awaited film (ten years in the making) has been completed and is being scheduled for a 2014 release. This welcome news comes at a healthy time for ‘Khmer Rock’. A new generation of artists such as The Underdogs and Miss Sarawan are bringing the music to expat audiences in Cambodia and beyond.

www.kenedgar.com
‘Looking backwards’ is important in Cambodia. There is a lot more to the Khmer Rock story than just music. These crazy, psychedelic, rocking, cross-pollinated, beautiful sounds can never be separated from the cultural and historical context in which they were produced, nor the cataclysmic circumstances in which the music was brought to an end. Many better-qualified writers than I have essayed this subject - if you would like to read more I would suggest starting here, with a Cambodia Daily interview of John Pirozzi back in 2009.

Coming back firmly to the present day, we can look forward to a number of Khmer-Rock inspired gigs over the next week. The seven-strong Underdogs team will be on duty this Friday evening at Equinox, breathing a lot of youthful vigour and enthusiasm into their ever-increasing set of 1960’s and 1970’s classics. A big night is in store on Saturday at The Village, which should be absolutely packed for a performance from Laura Mam and band. The Cambodian-American starlet is a YouTube phenomenon, receiving huge online attention for her original Khmer-language pop songs and Khmer-Rock covers. Tickets available from the venue.

www.kenedgar.com
Miss Sarawan treats the repertoire more simply, stripping things down to the bare bones of acoustic guitar and voice – but what a voice! Two chances to hear her this week - she gives a short performance at Meta House on Friday, followed by a full gig at Slur Bar on Monday.

Over on St.154, the guys at Cabaret Restaurant have been fulfilling their promise of having live acts a few times a week, and this can only be a good thing for the Phnom Penh music scene. The venue is a beautiful setting, an upscale European restaurant and bar laid out over a large leafy courtyard. This Saturday, Cabaret will provide the last chance to catch the world-class Martin Jacobsen Trio before they depart Cambodia. No cover charge.

One word to the wise before Jack signs off – If you were planning to see Grass Snake Union at Equinox tonight, be advised the gig is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. We hope to catch those guys again as soon as possible. In the meantime, whet your appetite for a huge cinematic release next year with the video below, a trailer for John Pirozzi’s Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten. Thanks to www.kenedgarphotography.com for the great photographs of Miss Sarawan and The Underdogs.


Stay safe and see you around the traps,

JACK DIAMOND


Latest Gigs

Thursday  21-Nov-2013
  • 6:30 PM ~ The Bossa Nova Lovers at Cabaret Restaurant
  • 7:30 PM ~ Leon Kondo Trio at Cabaret Restaurant
  • 9:00 PM ~ Ritchy & Phil at The Groove
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ JO at Meta House
Friday  22-Nov-2013
  • 6:30 PM ~ Alan Breen at The Latin Quarter
  • 7:00 PM ~ Frisco Tony and Miss Sarawan at Meta House
  • 7:30 PM ~ Thank God its Friday at Cabaret Restaurant
  • 8:30 PM ~ Ringtail at The Village
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Phatt Controller , DJ Polaak and Salmon All Star at The Show Box
  • 9:00 PM ~ The Underdogs at Equinox
  • 9:00 PM ~ Ritchy & Phil at The Groove
  • 9:00 PM ~ Cambodian Bass Project II at The 3Mangos Guesthouse
  • 9:00 PM ~ RNA + Friends at Paddy Rice
  • 9:30 PM ~ Lost Highway at The Slur Bar
  • 9:30 PM ~ GTS Sextet at The Doors
  • 10:00 PM ~ Kasey Taylor at Pontoon
  • 10:00 PM ~ Dr. Wah Wah , DJ Nights and DJ Nicomatic at Meta House
Saturday  23-Nov-2013
  • 7:30 PM ~ DJ Dinesh at The Lotus Gallery in Battambang
  • 7:30 PM ~ Laura Mam at The Village
  • 7:30 PM ~ Martin Jacobsen Trio at Cabaret Restaurant
  • 8:00 PM ~ Latino Party at Kukuluku Beach Club in Kep
  • 9:00 PM ~ The Koolers at The Slur Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Tonle Dub , DJ Mercy and DJ Chris Quixote at Meta House
  • 9:00 PM ~ Sangvar Day The and Adobo Conspiracy at Equinox
  • 9:00 PM ~ Diego Dimarques at The Groove
  • 9:30 PM ~ Vibratone at The Doors
Sunday  24-Nov-2013
  • 4:00 PM ~ Ringtail at The 3Mangos Guesthouse
  • 5:00 PM ~ Mina Agossi and Laurent Couson at Raffles Le Royal
Monday  25-Nov-2013
  • 8:00 PM ~ Sweet Caipirinha at The Village
  • 8:30 PM ~ Miss Sarawan at The Slur Bar
Tuesday  26-Nov-2013
  • 9:00 PM ~ Joey Paz at The Village
Wednesday  27-Nov-2013
  • 8:30 PM ~ The Adobo Conspiracy at The Slur Bar
  • 8:30 PM ~ MWAUKA at The Village
Coming Up
  • Kok Thlok at The Show Box
  • Gabi Faja and AI Iawasaki at The Doors
  • The Klezbodians at The Doors
  • Jaworski 7 at Equinox
  • The Cambodian Space Project at Equinox
  • The Fumes at Equinox
  • RNA + Friends at The Village
  • DJ Gang and MWAUKA at Paddy Rice
  • Hydrophonics and DJ Tech 12 at Pontoon
  • DJ Flo Trallala, DJ Wez-T and DJ B-Fox at Meta House
  • Dina Chhan and Invisible Agent at Meta House
  • Antonio Pineda, James Speck, Tim King and DJ Nicomatic at Meta House

Weekly Gig Guide - Commencing Thursday 14th November 2013

Happy Bon Om Toeuk!

The Kingdom of Wonder is a world-leader in national holidays, and this weekend we celebrate the annual Water Festival. For most of us that means a couple more days off to enjoy ourselves and the gig guide is obligingly stuffed with fantastic shows.

For those pouring out of Phnom Penh and into the provinces, there are some great options over the weekend. MC Gobshite brings his abrasive style to The Naga House in Kampot on Saturday. He is teaming up with DJ Kdam for a night of rhymes and beats and as his name might suggest, UK rapper Gobshite is not shy in projecting his lyrics nor scared to offend. This should be a fun, funky and heavy night. The underground dance music continues with wild abandon on Sunday at the Full Moon Party on Koh Rong Samloen Island - a short ‘party boat’ ride away from Serendipity Beach, Sihanoukville.

Thoughts of dance music, tropical islands and wild abandon are starting to give me flashbacks from my younger days. I’ll save those stories for another time. Personally, I’ll be sticking around the city this weekend and making the increasingly busy dash around the venues on Friday and Saturday night. I only hope that my little 50cc moto will keep up with the pace.

Equinox hosts an esteemed guest on Friday - the guitar-magician from Asbury Park, New Jersey - Keith Kenny. Keith’s style could be described as folk-blues, but this is not the everyday sing’n’strum show one might expect at a solo songwriter gig. With the help of a few stomp boxes, Keith artfully employs his guitar as a percussion instrument as well as a melodic instrument. The resulting ‘wall of sound’ effect is sometimes nothing more than a novelty when used by lesser players, but Keith’s authentic blues guitar prowess gives his show some real depth. As a bonus, he is supported at Equinox by the sweet and sparkling voice of Khmer singer Miss Sarawan.

This week’s gig guide provides a good chance to highlight one really great thing about the expat music scene in Phnom Penh – the open mic and acoustic nights. Over the next few days there are a number of great shows coming up from expat artists who have gradually refined their craft, week in, week out, at the quieter weekday music nights. Phnom Penh audiences have a uniquely laid back and forgiving attitude towards performers. Venues like Paddy Rice, Sundance and Showbox are very encouraging towards inexperienced but enthusiastic musicians wishing to improve. Also, the network of expat musicians in Phnom Penh is fairly small and fairly welcoming. A musician can arrive in Phnom Penh as a nervous newbie and leave a few months later feeling like a confident pro.

While the Paddy Rice open mic keeps going strong on Thursdays under the stewardship of Jet Odrerir (and Jack hears a rumour that Phnom Penh prodigal son Ziad Samman will be making an appearance this week), we unfortunately have to bid farewell to another progenitor of polished performers, Scott Bywater. His weekly Bywater at Baitong ends it's run tonight. There will probably be red wine involved, and performances from a few of the folks that have benefited from stage time and face time with Scoddy. Jack hears that the man is moving to France, and is promised a Leng Pleng feature interview before he leaves.

Musical comedian Roddy Fraser is a familiar face during open mic sessions at Baitong, Le Jardin, Sundance Inn and The Alley Cat Cafe. In fact, Roddy has immersed himself in the Phnom Penh scene with absolute dedication. He has been roving around venues carrying an old beat-up guitar and grabbing any opportunity to hone his craft. Roddy gave a smash performance at Sharky Bar’s Battle of the Buskers and he will make a triumphant return to the venue this Friday for An Audience with Roddy Fraser.

Friday sees a couple of other headline performances by open mic stalwarts. Ringtail bring their hippy aesthetic and songbook of seventies classics to Friday night at The Village. Meanwhile, Joshua Chiang completes his transformation into charismatic frontman with a solo show at Cabaret - succeeding with some vocally-challenging pop covers that few others would dare to choose.

Lovers of French pop songs are directed to The Village on Saturday, where Esther Mwauka will be performing her first full gig with a backing band as MWAUKA & The Gang. Esther has been around the Phnom Penh scene for years but she seems to have kicked her act up a few gears recently. Jack is always happy to hear some excellent soul and gospel vocals, and there is always a shortage of singers doing Francis Cabrel covers.

An open mic of an alternative description is taking place at Slur Bar on Saturday night with the Rom Bak Battle. This hip-hop night offers the chance to compete at break dancing and body popping for cash prizes. Although I have been an active B-boy for over twenty years, after long deliberation I have decided not to compete. This was to ensure that the youngsters have a chance of winning.


I’ll leave you with something new from Dengue Fever, a behind-the-scenes video accompanying their forthcoming EP Girl From the North. It seems like everything this band produces is absolutely awesome, and their latest stuff is no exception. Also a link to a great video showing Keith Kenny’s unique style.





Salutations, and a plea from my landlady Mrs Sovann: ‘Drive safe bong, and please not make noise when you come home at night’

JACK DIAMOND


Latest Gigs

Thursday  14-Nov-2013
  • 7:00 PM ~ The Bossa Nova Lovers at Cabaret Restaurant
  • 7:30 PM ~ Bye Bye Bywater at Baitong at The Baitong Restaurant & Bar
  • 8:00 PM ~ Khem , Sok Seylalin , Sok Sreyleak , Sarat Thhat , Sea Woft , DJ Chin Chan and DJ Rith at Lavo Restaurant & Lounge
  • 8:00 PM ~ Unity at The Village
  • 8:00 PM ~ DJ Maurice at Backstage Cocktail Bar
  • 8:30 PM ~ Open Mic Night at Paddy Rice
  • 9:00 PM ~ Rhiannon Johnson Trio at The Groove
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ F.U.D at Meta House
Friday  15-Nov-2013
  • 7:00 PM ~ Joshua Chiang , Rory Kennihan and Kandhi Letchu at Cabaret Restaurant
  • 8:00 PM ~ Khem , Sok Seylalin , Sok Sreyleak , Sarat Thhat , Sea Woft , DJ Chin Chan and DJ Rith at Lavo Restaurant & Lounge
  • 8:00 PM ~ Anniversary Masquerade Ball at The Show Box
  • 8:30 PM ~ Vibratone and Batuque 40 Degrees at The Slur Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Underground at The Sundance Inn & Saloon
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Flo Trallala , DJ Wez-T and DJ Chris Quixote at Meta House
  • 9:00 PM ~ Joe Wrigley , Mealea Lay and Keith Kenny * at Equinox
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Cleo-P * at The RiverHouse Lounge
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Zara Gift * at Nova Penthouse
  • 9:00 PM ~ Ringtail at The Village
  • 9:00 PM ~ 5 Covers at Paddy Rice
  • 9:30 PM ~ An Audience with Roddy Fraser at Sharky Bar
  • 10:00 PM ~ DJ Gang and DJ Rob at Pontoon
  • 10:00 PM ~ Alan Ritchie and DJ Shaman at The Pontoon Bistro
Saturday  16-Nov-2013
  • 8:00 PM ~ Khem , Sok Seylalin , Sok Sreyleak , Sarat Thhat , Sea Woft , DJ Chin Chan and DJ Rith at Lavo Restaurant & Lounge
  • 9:00 PM ~ My House is your House at The Laundry Music Bar in Siem Reap
  • 9:00 PM ~ Dub Addiction at Equinox
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Dan Beck The , Kimchi Collective , DJ Simon C Vent and Steve Goddard at Otres Beach in Sihanouk Ville
  • 9:00 PM ~ MWAUKA & The Gang at The Village
  • 9:00 PM ~ Rom Bak Battle at The Slur Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ K'Dam and MC Gobshite at The Naga House in Kampot
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ DTonn at The Silk Garden in Siem Reap
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Star and DJ Maily at The RiverHouse Lounge
  • 10:00 PM ~ DJ Blue and DJ Gang at Pontoon
Sunday  17-Nov-2013
  • 4:00 PM ~ The Kimchi Collective at Arcadia Backpackers Kampot in Kampot
  • 4:00 PM ~ Ringtail at The 3Mangos Guesthouse
  • 6:00 PM ~ Tamaraka Trio at The Village
  • 8:00 PM ~ Khem , Sok Seylalin , Sok Sreyleak , Sarat Thhat , Sea Woft , DJ Chin Chan and DJ Rith at Lavo Restaurant & Lounge
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Flo Trallala , DJ Wez-T , DJ Funkelastiks , DJ Lefty and DJ Lion at Koh Rong Samloem in Sihanouk Ville
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Kakada and DJ Susu Dam at The RiverHouse Lounge
Monday  18-Nov-2013
  • 8:00 PM ~ Sweet Caipirinha at The Village
  • 8:00 PM ~ Khem , Sok Seylalin , Sok Sreyleak , Sarat Thhat , Sea Woft , DJ Chin Chan and DJ Rith at Lavo Restaurant & Lounge
  • 8:30 PM ~ Nostalgie at The Slur Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Tam and DJ Panara at The RiverHouse Lounge
Tuesday  19-Nov-2013
  • 8:00 PM ~ Joey Paz at The Village
Wednesday  20-Nov-2013
  • 9:30 PM ~ The Riverside Ray-Bans at The Slur Bar
Coming Up
  • The Grass Snake Union at Equinox
  • Kasey Taylor at Pontoon
  • Kok Thlok at The Show Box
  • Gabi Faja and AI Iawasaki at The Doors
  • GTS Sextet at The Doors
  • The Klezbodians at The Doors
  • Vibratone at The Doors
  • The Underdogs at Equinox
  • Sangvar Day and The Adobo Conspiracy at Equinox
  • Jaworski 7 at Equinox
  • Frisco Tony, The Beatniks, Dr. Wah Wah, DJ Nights and DJ Nicomatic at Meta House
  • Laura Mam at The Village
  • The Cambodian Space Project at Equinox
  • Latino Party at Kukuluku Beach Club in Kep
  • The Fumes at Equinox
  • RNA + Friends at The Village, Paddy Rice
  • DJ Gang and MWAUKA at Paddy Rice
  • Hydrophonics and DJ Tech 12 at Pontoon
  • DJ Phatt Controller, DJ Cab, DJ Polaak and Salmon All Star at The 3Mangos Guesthouse
  • DJ JO at Meta House
  • DJ Tonle Dub, DJ Mercy and DJ Chris Quixote at Meta House
  • DJ Flo Trallala, DJ Wez-T and DJ B-Fox at Meta House
  • Dina Chhan and Invisible Agent at Meta House
  • DJ Phatt Controller, DJ Polaak and Salmon All Star at The Show Box
  • Antonio Pineda, James Speck, Tim King and DJ Nicomatic at Meta House

Weekly Gig Guide: Commencing Thursday the 7th November 2013

If you’re in Phnom Penh this weekend then you’re in the right place. If you’re not in Phnom Penh... change your plans. Over the next few days the capital city of Cambodia will host enough great musical concerts and gigs to rival any Asian cultural destination. Planeloads of visiting international performers will share the stage with the cream of Cambodian players and resident expatriate musicians.

In Phnom Penh we are fortunate enough to be accustomed to visits from artists of the highest calibre. Great musicians like jazz saxophonist Martin Jacobsen, blues-rock guitarist Niki Buzz, or classical violinist Nguyen My Huong. It is, however, quite rare and exciting to have all these guys playing in the same city over one weekend.

In fact the really great thing about this week’s program is not the music that has been brought to Cambodia, it is the music that has been made in Cambodia. All the way from King Father Norodom Sihanouk’s Musique et Chansons to 16-year-old Bosbapanh’s Le Pavillon Enchanté. From the works of contemporary Cambodian composers Chinary Ung and Him Sophy to Songkites - a group of young Cambodians who are busy writing the next wave of popular music. From the extreme sounds of Cambodian rock bands Sliten6ix and No Forever to all the expatriate musicians and songwriters who now call Cambodia their home. It’s all music from a place, of a place, in a place.

No Forever - www.KenEdgar.com
Things progress quickly around here. Not so long ago it would have been difficult to imagine festivals as great as The International Music Festival Phnom Penh 2013 and Penhstock IV taking place - not to mention superb world-class live music rooms such as The Groove and Doors Phnom Penh.

Now all Jack Diamond has to do is take a careful look at the listings and choose which fantastic gig to go to next. I would recommend a perusal of the The International Music Festival Phnom Penh 2013 website for the full program. Oh yes, and both The International Music Festival and Penhstock IV are completely free!

Sharky Bar’s festival weekend will this year be headlined by Niki Buzz, a bona fide legend of the New York City music scene and a fantastic guitar player. Adding to the list of must-see performances will be Psychotic Reactions on Friday night and the sassy Adobo Conspiracy on Sunday. The guys at Sharky’s also have a couple of shhhhh..... special guest appearances up their sleeves, fuelling wild rumours and speculation. I don’t know much about it, but I do know that there will be a very cool surprise act from the USA on Friday, and a special appearance on Sunday from a multi-platinum selling French songwriter!

There is of course plenty going on outside the festivals. Some fine vocal performers have quietly slipped into The Village and taken up midweek residencies. Liz ‘KC’ G. fronts new trio Unity on Thursday nights and she brings a lot of attitude and some great vocals to an accessible covers set. Wednesdays have been taken over by MWAUKA, a French-Congolese Gospel singer who bounces around the stage with infectious energy. Speaking of energy, Jack might be forced to bum-rush the Pontoon dancefloor on Saturday night when the Thai DMC Champion DJ Jedie arrives.  

Before I let you get on with the serious business of planning which amazing shows to catch over the next week, check out a couple of videos highlighting the healthy state of Cambodian music. Firstly, a new production from Dub Addiction, ‘Pel Roloeum Srech Srech’, to feature in a forthcoming Cambodian movie. Secondly, a wonderful piece from contemporary Cambodian composer Chinary Ung, ‘Spiral - I’.




As always, stay safe out there and I hope to see you around the traps

JACK DIAMOND.

Latest Gigs

Thursday  7-Nov-2013
  • 7:00 PM ~ Carin Levine , Anna Steckel and Stephan Rahn * at The Intercontinental Hotel Phnom Penh
  • 8:00 PM ~ Ace Zapa , Chuck Villar and KC G. at The Village
  • 8:30 PM ~ Martin Jacobsen , Vinh Lê and Duylinh Nguyen at The Doors
  • 9:00 PM ~ Rhiannon Johnson Trio and Ritchy & Barry at The Groove
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Nico at Meta House
Friday  8-Nov-2013
  • 7:00 PM ~ Sliten6ix The , Teaner Terners , Sophie Rose Lewis , RNA + Friends , Holliday In Cambodia , Psychotic Reactions and Sonic Detergent at Sharky Bar
  • 7:00 PM ~ Melanie Brew and Bronwyn Blue at Le Jardin
  • 7:00 PM ~ Mari Jinnai at The CJCC
  • 8:00 PM ~ Songkites Preview Concert at The Doors
  • 8:30 PM ~ Ringtail at The Village
  • 9:00 PM ~ Midge * at Paddy Rice
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Moodydann at Meta House
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Cab , DJ Simon C Vent , DJ Polaak and DJ Donabelle at The Slur Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ Ritchy & Barry at The Groove
  • 9:00 PM ~ Live Music and DJs at Bodhi Villa at The Bodhi Villa in Kampot
  • 9:00 PM ~ BeatboxCoex * at The RiverHouse Lounge
  • 9:30 PM ~ Euan Gray at The Doors
  • 10:00 PM ~ DJ Wez-T and Rob Venables at Backstage Cocktail Bar
  • 10:00 PM ~ DJ Jedie * at Pontoon
Saturday  9-Nov-2013
  • 5:00 PM ~ DJ Funkelastiks at The Village
  • 7:00 PM ~ Muscle of Love , Splitter The , Fumes The , Lazy Drunks , Sangvar Day , MWAUKA & The Gang , Niki Buzz & Band and Dr. G & The Blues Band at Sharky Bar
  • 7:00 PM ~ Carin Levine , Anna Steckel and Stephan Rahn * at Meta House
  • 8:30 PM ~ Jaworski 7 at The Slur Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ Ritchy & Phil at The Groove
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Pieter at Meta House
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Tonle Dub , DJ Mercy and DJ Polaak at Dusk till Dawn
  • 9:30 PM ~ Kin Jazz at The Doors
  • 10:00 PM ~ The Kimchi Collective at Emergency Room
Sunday  10-Nov-2013
  • 11:00 AM ~ Stephan Rahn * , Etienne Chenevier * , So Sronos and Rong Sereyvann at The Intercontinental Hotel Phnom Penh
  • 11:30 AM ~ Doors Brunch at The Doors
  • 7:00 PM ~ Smokin' Kenny Smith , Bob P. & the Schkoots , Jaworski 7 , No Forever , Joe Wrigley , Jungle The , Adobo Conspiracy The , Jumping Jacks , Niki Buzz & Band , Ricky Rotten and Sharky Jam Finale at Sharky Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ Martin Jacobsen at The Groove
Monday  11-Nov-2013
  • 9:00 PM ~ 10th International Music Festival Grand Finale at The CJCC
  • 9:00 PM ~ Ace Trio at The Groove
  • 9:00 PM ~ Ringtail at The Slur Bar
Tuesday  12-Nov-2013
  • 7:30 PM ~ Gym Bar Open Mic Session at The Gym Bar
  • 8:00 PM ~ Martin Jacobsen at Sofitel Hotel
  • 8:00 PM ~ Joey Paz at The Village
  • 8:00 PM ~ Salsa Party at The Groove
Wednesday  13-Nov-2013
  • 8:00 PM ~ MWAUKA at The Village
  • 9:00 PM ~ Danny & Breeda at The Gym Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ Diego Dimarques at The Groove
Coming Up
  • Dub Addiction at Equinox
  • The Grass Snake Union at Equinox
  • Kasey Taylor at Pontoon
  • Kok Thlok at The Show Box
  • DJ DSN at The Show Box
  • Joe Wrigley, Mealea Lay and Keith Kenny * at Equinox
  • Gabi Faja and AI Iawasaki at The Doors
  • GTS Sextet at The Doors
  • The Klezbodians at The Doors
  • Vibratone at The Doors, The Slur Bar
  • The Underdogs at Equinox
  • Sangvar Day and The Adobo Conspiracy at Equinox
  • Jaworski 7 at Equinox
  • Frisco Tony, The Beatniks, Dr. Wah Wah, DJ Nights and DJ Nicomatic at Meta House
  • Laura Mam at The Village
  • The Cambodian Space Project at Equinox
  • Rhiannon Johnson Trio and Ritchy & Barry at The Groove
  • Nostalgie at Slur Bar
  • Rom Bak Battle at Slur Bar
  • Hydrophonics and DJ Tech 12 at Pontoon
  • DJ Phatt Controller, DJ Cab, DJ Polaak and Salmon All Star at The 3Mangos Guesthouse
  • DJ F.U.D at Meta House
  • DJ Flo Trallala, DJ Wez-T and DJ Chris Quixote at Meta House
  • DJ JO at Meta House
  • DJ Tonle Dub, DJ Mercy and DJ Chris Quixote at Meta House
  • DJ Flo Trallala, DJ Wez-T and DJ B-Fox at Meta House
  • Dina Chhan and Invisible Agent at Meta House
  • DJ Flo Trallala, DJ Wez-T, DJ Funkelastiks, DJ Lefty and DJ Lion at Koh Rong Samloem in Sihanouk Ville
  • DJ Phatt Controller, DJ Polaak and Salmon All Star at The Show Box
  • DJ Cleo-P * at The RiverHouse Lounge
  • Antonio Pineda, James Speck, Tim King and DJ Nicomatic at Meta House
  • DJ Dan Beck, The Kimchi Collective, DJ Simon C Vent and Steve Goddard at Otres Beach in Sihanouk Ville

Gig Guide Archive