The first hangover of the New Year found me crammed into a 'luxury air-conditioned limousine bus' on the journey between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. There wasn't much luxury about it. The journey is particularly slow, dusty and uncomfortable at the moment due to the vast extent of highway roadworks taking place between Batheay and Kampong Thum. Roadworks is perhaps not the most appropriate word as it was tough to spot any machines or labourers along the 100km of ripped-up road. The road-surfacing and road-widening operation seemed to be as abandoned as the innumerable villagers and residents living in the pervading dust-clouds either side of the road.
In keeping with the doom and gloom of a New Year hangover, Leng Pleng is sad to report that one of the foremost live music venues in Phnom Penh will be closing its doors within the next few days. The Groove will continue its normal music program on Friday and Saturday before officially closing on Sunday January the 4th. Surely, maestro Ritchy Boisson and the house band will be joined by a few special drop-in guests this weekend to help see the venue off in style. It will be sad to note the absence of The Groove from future weekly gig listings. This classy establishment has seen a cavalcade of first-rate musicians pass through its doors since opening in the summer of 2013. Best wishes to Ritchy and The Groove team in their future endeavours.
Here’s a few photos from the globetrotting Ken Edgar:
|Stephane Routtier and Ritchy|
|l-r: Barry Spiers, Rhiannon Johnson, Ritchy and Greg Lavender|
|Ritchy & Phil|
Groove pics courtesy of www.kenedgar.com
Not a huge number of gigs to get excited about during a predictably quiet first few days of 2015. This being the Cambodian music scene, however, there are still a handful of events worth checking out. DJ Kenny Raw will be entertaining the Meta House crowd on Saturday night. Kenny is an internationally renowned tech-house DJ and created his own record label, Nightfalls Recordings, in 2014. Sample his stuff via the soundcloud link below.
If you missed Los Hermanos at Slur Bar last week, you have another chance to see this great band at Equinox on Saturday night. In other news, UK singer-songwriter Billy Page is back in Phnom Penh on Wednesday for the first of four weekly gigs at FCC – The Mansion. It will be interesting to catch up with Billy and check out his new compositions.
Take it easy and… see you around the traps!