"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,
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 4:30 PM ~ Ringtail at The 3Mangos Guesthouse
- 9:30 PM ~ Diego Dimarques at Slur Bar
- 6:30 PM ~ Bossa Bayon at Gigi Brasil in Siem Reap
- 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