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

Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday the 6th August 2015

What do you do in Phnom Penh during the rainy season? The Cambodian music scene forges on during August, September and October, albeit a little diminished in players and punters. South-East Asia is not the most popular tourist destination during the monsoons. To make matters worse at this time of year, many expats become possessed of the strange notion that spending a few weeks or months back home in the Western World is a good idea. Television Ted and I say 'poppycock' to this idea and batten down the hatches at Leng Pleng Towers, bedding in for the season. We wouldn't want to miss any great gigs!

Rhiannon Johnson – pic: www.kenedgar.com

Rhiannon Johnson will be giving a special live performance at Samai Distillery in Phnom Penh tonight (Thursday). Samai is a specialist rum-maker, only opening its doors to the public once per week. In keeping with the boutique and salubrious setting, Rhiannon has chosen the crème de la crème of Phnom Penh-based expat musicians to accompany her on the gig: Phil Javelle (keys), Euan Gray (sax) and Lewis Pragasam (drums/percussion). Smooth and sultry soul and funk will be the order of the day.

pic – Aura Thematic Hostel Trip Advisor

Eluvium Lounge is a rooftop bar on Street 19. The newly-furbished live music venue has kicked-off a weekly open mic night, to take place each Thursday between 7pm and 10pm. Eluvium has a stage, a drum kit, a small PA and – most importantly – an awning to protect open mic-ers from the rains. Enjoy.

Slur Bar is once again hosting live music on several nights of the week. Under new management, the music policy has changed to focus on local Cambodian bands. The pick of these is Batbangers Band, a fine Khmer-rock group who will be playing at Slur Bar on a regular basis. Slur Bar management let Leng Pleng know that they are working in conjunction with Lewis Pragasam's Starworks Academy (based in Boeng Trabek, Phnom Penh) to develop and promote young Cambodian talent. Sounds cool! Check out the Leng Pleng weekly gig guide below to find out the latest information about the Slur Bar live music schedule.

The wooden-structured Bodhi Villa was always a cool place to be during a Kampot rainstorm. Bodhi closed earlier this year, after eleven seasons of raucous Friday night live music parties. Kampot Playboys lead singer Sok Chiet (also owner of Madi's Bar) has since taken over the reigns at the riverside venue. This coming Friday, a riverbed-shaking re-launch party will be held. Goodbye Bodhi, hello Banyan Tree. Live music comes courtesy of legendary local Cambodian-Western fusion kings Kampot Playboys and awesome rock covers power-trio Mr Mammoth. Leng Pleng has also heard a rumour that there will be a special Banyan Tree opening party performance by a scaled-down iteration of raggamuffin specialists Dub Addiction. Also, DJs Mute Speaker and Korsan will be spinning tunes long into the night.

In case you had forgotten the awesome, camera-wobbling power that Friday-night Bodhi gigs could muster, here is a video clip of the song '2000 Riel' taken during a Grass Snake Union gig a few years ago. Party on!

Whatever you're up to over the next few days, stay safe out there and... see you around the traps!

Joe Wrigley

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