During September, Leng Pleng Towers has been inundated with news of some really awesome live music events – set to take place in Cambodia between now and the end of the year. Watch this space for more news about the Phnom Penh Reggae Festival, International Music Festival Phnom Penh, the Phnom Penh Jazz Festival and lots more! In the meantime, Ted, Timothy and myself will continue to bring you all the information we can about the local gig scene. This period of time in-between the end of the summer holidays and the end of the rainy season is always a little bit quieter in terms of live music and DJ happenings. We urge you to join us in supporting those dedicated live music venues still putting on the bands week-in, week-out. See you around the traps!
Class Brass: Euan Gray performing at Bouchon. pic: Trip Advisor user yingchua
Euan Gray & Phil continue the Sparkling Live Sessions at Bouchon Wine Bar this Thursday night. The classy keys and sax duo have enough musical acumen between them to render masterly renditions of almost any song in any style... and always come up with something interesting and surprising. Their act is perfectly suited to the elegant environs of the Bouchon venue, which continues to host great live music on a weekly basis. For this session, Euan & Phil will be tackling Soul and Jazz.
|Bat-Banging for twenty years: Sony & The Batbangers rock Sharky Bar – pic: Steve Porte|
Sharky Bar is fast approaching it's twentieth anniversary – an impressive milestone that further re-enforces the Phnom Penh venue's self-proclaimed status as 'Indochina's Longest Running Rock and Roll Bar'. Main-man Michael Hsu and his team continue to program a varied combination of local expat rock bands, Cambodian-language bands and visiting international artists, with some DJ nights also thrown into the mix. This weekend's schedule at Sharky Bar is all about quality Cambodian music. Yang Pov's Happy Band will perform on Friday and Menh 'Mr To' Sothyvann's STV Band will hit the stage on Saturday. Yang Pov is a talented singer-songwriter and music producer at Bosba Media – and for many years was the resident keyboardist in Bona Thiem's Memphis Pub band. Menh Sothyvann is a legend of Khmer rock, recently joining the Drakkar Band on their Don't Think I've Forgotten tour. The veteran lead-guitarist, known as 'Mr To', was one of the few Cambodian musicians of the 'Golden Era' period of the 1960's and 1970's to survive the forced labour camps of the Khmer Rouge (‘Music saved my life from the KR’, Phnom Penh Post, 2011).
Kheltica have a second home at Paddy Rice – pic: http://paddyrice.net/
Paddy Rice has been hosting regular live music since 2010. Many-a-band has been formed at the weekly open mic jam session on Thursday nights, and expat rock bands perform full shows on Fridays. This week, the estimable Kampot Playboys will be making a welcome visit to the Phnom Penh riverside venue. There is really no other band around doing what the Playboys do – fusing elements of Western heavy rock, Khmer traditional music, western folk music and forgotten fragments of 1980's Khmer rock.
|Chuck & Co. rocking the rooftop – pic: tripadvisor|
Several other Phnom Penh venues continue to support the live music scene here. Newcomers Farm to Table and Eluvium Lounge have established weekly acoustic solo spots over the past few months. Keep abreast of all the happenings via the Leng Pleng Weekly Gig Guide and via the Leng Pleng mobile app. Down in Sihanoukville, a new spot called The Venue has opened. Live music at The Venue currently takes place on Sunday nights at an open mic jam session entitled Electric Church, regularly welcoming talented musicians such as Brooke Palmer and Sonny Fournier. Management are planning further events soon... watch this space!
Leng Pleng looks forward to the end of the rainy season and the start of the high season, which usually heralds a lot of newly-arriving and returning expat musicians. You just never know who is going to walk through the door! Hopefully, we'll get to see Mr R J Marshall sometime soon. The well-known UK troubadour recently posted this cool tune on Soundcloud:
Whatever you're up to over the next few days... stay safe out there and... see you around the traps!