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

Weekly Wrap - Week Commencing Thursday 20th March 2014

'It's a funny family. We are a little bit strange... but we always have a good sense of humour!'

- Roxanne Dumont will be accompanied at Slur Bar tonight by a special guest arriving directly from Siem Reap... her Dad! If Mr. Dumont has the same musical talent and positive energy as his daughter then a great gig is ensured. Roxanne told Leng Pleng that she loves to play songs by artists as diverse as The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash and (Spanish punk-reggae band) Che Sudaka. Tonight will be the last chance to catch the Belgian singer-songwriter before she leaves Cambodia for a couple of months. Wherever Roxanne plays, audiences will always respond to her groovy playing, sweet voice and permanent smile.

Photo: Slur Bar
The first goal of most expat musicians and gig audiences in Phnom Penh is to have a good time. Everyone usually prioritises enjoyment above other concerns - such as looking cool. This week we highlight a number of great singers and players who always give out a positive vibe at their gigs. Marsyas return to Equinox on Friday, with the excellent and funky guitarist Greg Marino. Greg is always on hand with his Fender Telecaster and Boss ME-50 effects processor, prepared to do whatever it takes to get the crowd moving – hot licks, goofy dancing or even getting dressed up in a tiger costume.  

Last time around the Marsyas boys almost had their groove interrupted by a persistent stage invader at Equinox. The over-stimulated young lady made unsolicited attempts at lead vocals on various instrumental funk classics before making a mid-song advance towards drummer Greg Lavender. 'Can I play drums on this one? I'm really good!'. Fortunately the invader was repelled and one of the tightest bands in the country continued their set without dropping a beat.

Good vibrations continue in Phnom Penh on Saturday with a number of great gig opportunities. Notably, The Submarine Brass Band return to Sharky Bar for the last in a series of Cambodian shows. The group of ten Parisian music students do not waste a lot of time with subtle dynamics. Their modus operandi is to get on stage and blast the room with a huge wall of funky sound that comprises of saxophones, flutes, trumpets, trombones, a pair of booming bass drums and one small man wrapped in the snaking coils of a sousaphone. It works! Think more New Orleans' Rebirth Brass Band, less Grimethorpe Colliery Band.


Miss Sarawan - http://kenedgar.com/

Khmer-rock revival time at Metahouse on Saturday when Miss Sarawan and DJANE Sao Sopheak team up to provide an evening of retro sounds. Like The Cambodian Space Project and Kok Thlok, the diminutive diva Miss Sarawan works her way through the 'Golden Era' songbook of Ros Sereysothea, Pan Ron and Sinn Sisamouth. She gives the repertoire a minimal, acoustic treatment, with an endearing stage presence and genuine love for the music. Later on in the evening, DJ Sao Sopheak will turn up the volume with some Khmer classics from the 1960's and 1970's. Visitors to Siem Reap should note that the excellent and numerous ensemble Kok Thlok will be at the Laundry Bar on Saturday night.

Rhiannon Johnson - http://kenedgar.com/
Rhiannon Johnson rounds off the weekend in style with a return to the Riverhouse Asian Bistro & Lounge. Rhiannon told Leng Pleng: 'Sunday will be a soul night... I am excited to play there again, it will be a little nostalgic. It was one of the first venues at which I sang. We used to play on Sunday nights when GTS [GTS JazzGabi Faja, Toma Willen and Sebastien Adnot] and Euan Gray would have have their open mic jazz night ...a lot of gigs came out of that time. It was always a great night because a lot of Phnom Penh musicians would descend on the Riverhouse. They would all be there... a really great feeling.'

Two of Asia's finest musicians will be accompanying Rhiannon on Sunday: master drummer Lewis Pragasam and keyboardist Phillipe Javelle.

Until next time, enjoy the great album Season 1 from Songkites, which you can download from Bandcamp via the link below.


Stay safe out there and... see you around the traps.


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