A quick dispatch this week from my temporary office located on Otres Beach in Sihanoukville. While Timothy is manning the news-desk at Leng Pleng Towers, and Television Ted is off in Western Australia taking part in a crocodile-wrestling competition, it remains for me to highlight a few essential gigs taking place in the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Check www.lengpleng.com or download our mobile app to keep abreast of the very latest NYE gigs information as we receive it.
I’ll be eating my Christmas dinner today at Wish You Were Here Guesthouse on ‘Otres 1’ Beach, Kompong Som, where Miss Sarawan will be regaling revelers with her acoustic treatments of Khmer rock’n’roll classics from around 7.30pm.
There will be a big Boxing Day party on Friday to celebrate the 9th anniversary of Bodhi Villa in Kampot. The musical line-up is not clear at time of writing but one can be sure of a great atmosphere and packed dancefloor - as Bodhi impresario Huge Monroe has announced the imminent closure of this legendary riverside venue and is volubly determined to ‘go out with a bang’.
Two awesome gigs are taking place in Phnom Penh on Saturday. The reformed Los Hermanos return to Slur Bar for an evening of funky, Latin-flavoured rock and pop. The band comprise of four top-class musicians in Luis Arambarri (drums), Dima Verba (bass), Chris Kebeck (guitar) and Jimmy B (saxophone). It would be tough to find a more experienced and technically excellent group of players in Cambodia. These guys are so good they could probably jam ‘jingle bells’ for ten minutes and come up with something great (but I hope they don’t try).
Up at Sharky Bar on Saturday night, the resurging legends of Cambodian psychedelic rock’n’roll, Drakkar Band, continue the run of comeback gigs which began earlier this year at a concert for the Phnom Penh premiere of feature music documentary Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten. Drakkar band leader Mr Tana and guitarist Mr Touch Chhatha contributed heavily to the film, documenting the ‘Golden Era’ of Cambodian music – the period running from the mid 1960’s until 1975. Drakkar drummer Mr Ouk Sam Ath is another legendary figure of this time. Famous Cambodian guitarist Mr To and singer/guitarist Hong Samay have also been collaborating with the reformed Drakkar Band. The gig at Sharky’s on Saturday will feature classic original songs composed by the band, classic rock covers and also a jam session with local musicians. This will be a special night.
Season’s greetings from Leng Pleng and whether you’re in Sihanoukville, Kampot, Phnom Penh or anywhere else in the world... enjoy the music and... see you around the traps!