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

Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday the 12th November 2015

A very busy time for the Phnom Penh music scene this week, with far more fantastic events than we can shake a stick at. Read about some of the highlights in our weekly wrap below, and check out the Leng Pleng Gig Guide for a comprehensive list of happenings.

Celebrating Timeless Music
pic: Elvis of Cambodia Facebook page , International Music Festival Facebook page
Following all that excitement in Kampot last week, it now falls to Phnom Penh to host the latest arts festival to be based in Cambodia. While the Kampot Writers and Readers Festival staged its inaugural iteration in 2015, the International Music Festival Phnom Penh has now reached its twelfth year. The classical music festival opens tonight (Thursday) at the Intercontinental Phnom Penh, continues over the weekend with a series of concerts at Meta House, and closes with an unprecedented symphony performance, back at the Intercon on Monday evening. The orchestral finale will feature Cambodian pianist Rong Sereyvann and the World-Ship Youth-Orchestra of Japan in co-operation with the Angkor Youth Orchestra, performing Beethoven's 5th Symphony and Mozart's Piano Concerto No.17. The organisers of the International Music Festival told Leng Pleng that Monday will mark the very first time a Piano concerto has been fully staged in Cambodia! For ticket details and further information, visit the festival website and Facebookpage.

A full festival-worthy list of top Cambodian singers will be lining up at Koh Pich Theatre in Phnom Penh on Saturday night to pay tribute to Sinn Sisamouth, the godfather of 1960's and 1970's Cambodian rock'n'roll. Sin Chanchhaya, son of Sisamouth, passed away in January this year – just two months after the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce officially recognised the Sinn family's copyright to 73 of Sinn Sisamouth's original songs (PhnomPenh Post, 21 January 2015). Sin Chanchhaya was a tireless campaigner for his father's legacy and the legal rights of his family to ownership of his intellectual property. The Sinn Sisamouth legacy lives on through grandson Sinn Sethakol, a superb singer in his own right, who will be performing on Saturday alongside Cambodian luminaries such as Laura Mam, Meng Keo Pichenda, Drakkar Band and many, many more. The event, entitled 'It's Time To Give Back' has been organised by the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce as a fund raiser for the families of Sinn Sisamouth, Ros Sereysothea, and other charitable organisations involved in maintaining the legacy of the Cambodian 'Golden Era' of rock'n'roll (KhmerTimes, 2 November 2015). Tickets for the event can be purchased at Smart Co. locations.

Returning Heroes
Scott, Greg and RJ: I guess Phnom Penh is the place to be!

November seems to be a good time to get back to Phnom Penh. Talented guitarist Greg Marino has returned to the city this week and will be hosting an open mic session tonight (Thursday) at Top Banana. RJ Marshall has also recently returned and has resumed host duties at the weekly Showbox open mic night (Wednesdays). Scott Bywater returned from Europe last month (we knew he couldn't stay away from the Phnom Penh music scene for too long!) and will be performing his latest compositions at Alley Cat Cafe this Friday. Welcome home guys!

Multiple Experimentation

Gregaldur – pic: Lop Loy Facebook
Several cutting-edge and experimental music acts will be performing live in Phnom Penh this week. Krom Monster will reprise their 'unique collision of Khmer instruments and contemporary electronics' at the Meta House this Thursday. Check out their tunes on Bandcamp. Kampot-based DJ Mute Speaker produces a fascinating fusion of unmistakably Cambodian instrumentation and groovy electronic beats – check out the awesome tracks available via the Mute Speaker Soundcloud page. He will be visiting Phnom Penh this weekend to perform a DJ set at Cloud on Friday night and at Eluvium Lounge on Saturday night. Just when you thought things could not get any more hip in Phnom Penh over the next few days, we have heard word that a Franco-Italian-Cambodian live music mash-up will taking place on Friday at the Lop Loy gallery. Headliner Gregaldur describes his music as 'crazy fairytale lo-fi pop', while Damani 'Danzo' Kelly and Morno will provide appropriately cool musical support.

Check out the latest music video release by Phnom Penh-based RFM Nation. The sunshine-soaked film was shot in the Boeng Kak Lakeside area of the city.


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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