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

Gig Guide - Week Commencing Thursday the 2nd of January 2014

Kheltica have all the qualities of a great Phnom Penh band. A large ensemble of musicians hailing from five different continents. A bizarre blend of styles and ideas that somehow coalesce into a unique and strong sound. A charismatic lead singer able to command the attention of everyone in the room. The guys from Kheltica have had a couple of days to recover from their New Year hangovers before taking the stage at Slur Bar tonight. Their full line-up includes multiple violins and vocals, piano, drums and percussion, mandolin, bass and whatever other instruments they can pick up from the music store on the way to the gig. The band that gives local sound technicians sleepless nights might struggle to squeeze on to the Slur stage this Thursday. In the spirit of goodwill, two-metre-tall guitarist Andre Swart has offered to play this one from the comfort of the bar.
www.kenedgar.com

No such standing room restrictions at Oscars 51, where the man who built a stage and sound system large enough to rival any Phnom Penh venue hosts three different bands over this coming weekend. Some unfamiliar names to Jack – Boom Baar, MWAUKA & The Gang and The Pulse. A little research has yielded the information that Boom Baar are a group of young Khmer guys performing original songs in the emotive rock/post-rock style, while MWAUKA & The Gang are the full backing group of one-woman tornado Esther MWAUKA. I was recently fortunate enough to witness the bizarre sight of this young French-Congolese lady leading several hundred people in a chorus of ‘We Will Rock You’ - from her position on a Siem Reap rooftop. 

Unfortunately I cannot tell you much about The Pulse other than that they are purveyors of ‘Classic covers and songs of request’. All of this activity at Oscars will be good preparation for a visit from The Cambodian Space Project next weekend. This gig should really put the new venue on the map. I only hope that Oscar’s PA system, sometimes driven to smoke-inducing levels of sound, will keep up with the pace!

The first live music of the New Year at Equinox this Saturday will be a night of contrasting styles. Both Billy Page and Adelisa are accomplished solo acoustic singer-songwriters. The similarities pretty much end there. Billy has a rough-edged, raw style and hits his guitar strings hard. Adelisa is a sweet-voiced Filipina songstress who melts hearts with her soft ballad style. At every gig, at least two male members of the audience fall in love with her. Billy Page is originally from the UK and has been touring South East Asia recently.

www.kenedgar.com
Another week – another national holiday in Cambodia. This Tuesday the 7th of January is the politically contentious ‘Victory Day’. If you are not aware of the meaning of this public holiday then I will leave you to find out for yourself. Politics is not within the remit of this column, and a brief, unlearned explanation would oblige me to use a lot of potentially biased language (the holiday has different names and significance depending on one’s political leanings). I mention it only because Tuesday will be a great opportunity to get down to Sihanoukville, where The Cambodian Space Project are going to be rocking Otres Market. The Market is a weekly happening of live music, general revelry and an opportunity for browsing stalls set up on Otres Lake. Normally taking place every Saturday, Otres Market will be in full swing for the holiday on the 7th.

In the meantime those crazy kids on Otres Beach will be keeping the Sihanoukville seasonal party vibe going through to Friday the 3rd with what The Cambodian Beach Project hyperbolically describe as ‘the most Epic Beach Party Cambodia has ever seen’. Hard-working decksmiths Polaak, CAB, DSN and Salmon Allstar will be joined at Ritchie’s Bar by Vietnamese MC Kimmese.

Jack’s party power is all but used up following the joyful craziness of Bondarnh Leng Pleng at Sharky Bar last week and a particularly taxing New Year’s Eve in Siem Reap. It was quite a shock for me to encounter Pub Street at 2am on January 1st. For a moment I thought I had been transported to the downtown area of some Mediterranean party destination. Dance music blasting from every bar at ear-drum-perforating volume. Throngs of loud, wobbling, drunken tourists packed shoulder to shoulder like cattle in a truck. Piles of plastic cups, broken glass and unidentified black sludge lining the 200 metres of pedestrianized avenue. Perhaps I’m getting old, but I could venture only partway into this melee before turning back, overawed, towards my hotel.             

If you’re around any of the venues in Siem Reap tonight, I hope we will get the chance to say hello. I’ll leave you with a taste of UK singer-songwriter Billy Page performing at the famous 12-bar club in London. Seeing this video brings a tear of nostalgia to my eye, as the last time I visited this Soho venue I was ejected from the premises. Perhaps I was having a little too much of a good time but I did feel that the security staff overreacted. I was just getting into the music and expressing myself – whilst swinging semi-naked from the wooden beams above the dancefloor like an overweight Tarzan. 





Wherever you are - stay safe, Happy New Year and don’t do anything Jack wouldn’t do.

- JACK DIAMOND,
small and sweaty internet cafe, Siem Reap.


Latest Gigs

Thursday  2-Jan-2014
  • 9:00 PM ~ Louise Norup and Barry Speirs at The Groove
  • 9:30 PM ~ Kheltica at The Slur Bar
  • 11:00 PM ~ DJ Rob Bianche , DJ Shaman and Kimmesse Emotion at Pontoon
Friday  3-Jan-2014
  • 9:00 PM ~ Phil and Guest at The Groove
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ DSN , DJ Cab , DJ Polaak and Salmon All Star at Ritchies Bar in Sihanoukville
  • 9:30 PM ~ Boom Baar at Oscars 51
  • 9:30 PM ~ Joe Wrigley & The Jumping Jacks at The Slur Bar
  • 10:30 PM ~ DJ Tim Coates and Mikus at The RiverHouse Lounge
  • 11:00 PM ~ DJ Gang and DJ Rob at Pontoon
Saturday  4-Jan-2014
  • 5:00 PM ~ CamboJam at Shinta Mani in Siem Reap
  • 9:00 PM ~ Billy Page and Adelisa at Equinox
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Funkelastiks and Alan Ritchie at Meta House
  • 9:00 PM ~ Phil and Guest at The Groove
  • 9:30 PM ~ MWAUKA & The Gang at Oscars 51
  • 11:00 PM ~ DJ Illest and DJ Eclectik at Pontoon
Sunday  5-Jan-2014
  • 9:30 PM ~ The Pulse at Oscars 51
Tuesday  7-Jan-2014
  • 8:00 PM ~ The Cambodian Space Project at The Otres Market in Sihanoukville
Wednesday  8-Jan-2014
  • 7:30 PM ~ Gabi Faja , Philippe Javelle and Barry Speirs at The Doors
  • 9:30 PM ~ Lady and the Tramp at The Slur Bar
Coming Up
  • Marsyas at Equinox
  • Jahzad at Equinox
  • Vibratone at Equinox
  • Diego Demarques Trio at Equinox
  • Jaworski 7 at Equinox
  • Sonic Detergent at Equinox, The Slur Bar
  • The Wanderlusters * at Equinox
  • Double-Whammy at Doors
  • Pop Music Quiz Night at Equinox
  • The Cambodian Space Project at Oscars 51
  • X-Pat Sound System at Meta House
  • DJ Tonle Dub, DJ Mercy and Tba at Meta House
  • Sapbai Hanukkah Klezmer Band at Meta House
  • Reggae & Dub at Meta House
  • Swagger at Meta House at Meta House
  • Electric Universe at Meta House
  • Belgian Beats at Meta House
  • DJ Cut Killer at Pontoon
  • DJ F.U.D and DJ JO at Meta House
  • DJane Sao Sopheak at Meta House
  • DJ Gang and DJ Rob at Pontoon
  • Dennis Shaw Aka D-Rakkas at The RiverHouse Lounge
  • Dr. Wah Wah and DJ Nico at Meta House
  • The Cuban Brothers * at Code

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