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

Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday the 19th November 2015

Born in the U.S.A: Jeffro Sills – pic: Steve Porte
Guitarist Jeffro Sills will be in fervent blues action this weekend with a triology of Phnom Penh gigs. Jeffro will be playing in partnership with the esteemed percussionist Lewis Pragasam at their weekly 'Pro Jam' set at The Irish Place tonight (Thursday). The set-up is bijou and acoustic (guitar and cajon) and the atmosphere is loose and convivial. Pro Jam could be described as 'kind of like an open mic but not really' – I guess that means you have to be pretty good to get up and jam with these guys. Jeffro honed his impressive blues, country and soul guitar-playing skills in the nightclubs of Chicago. Check out Jeffro's full electric band set at Sharky Bar on Friday night with The Chi Town Players and an acoustic solo set at Two Chefs on Saturday. Two Chefs is a new venue situated near the Phnom Penh riverside on Street 266. A house duo plays most nights, with a guest feature act appearing each Saturday.

In The Groove: Ritchy and Phil duo – pic: www.kenedgar.com
The 'boutique' Phnom Penh music scene is alive and kicking, with several cool events popping up each week in smaller venues like The Irish Place, Two Chefs, and now est. Bar – where Ritchy & Phil will be playing 'acoustic pop through the ages' this Friday night. Both multi-instrumentalists and vocalists, Ritchy Boisson and Phil Javelle have been key principals of the Western music scene in Phnom Penh since 2009.

Over the last few years, several medium-to-large scale Western-audience-orientated live music venues have opened and closed in the city. Sharky Bar and FCC – The Mansion are two of the longer-term survivors with a weekly schedule of shows and the capacity to host a larger crowd. Dub Addiction will make a triumphant return to the Cambodian music scene this Saturday at the FCC. Dub Addiction have created their own crazy fusion of Cambodian raggamuffin reggae and their live shows are always similarly crazy and fun. Check out their fantastically-good recorded albums via Bandcamp. Meanwhile on Saturday, Mekong Messengers will be making their comeback gig at Sharky Bar. Singer Kristen Rasmussen took a year off performing to focus on her beautiful bouncing baby boy. Fortunately for Cambodian audiences, she will now once again be regaling us with one of the most powerful and beautiful voices in the country, singing a repertoire of classic American country, soul, blues and rockabilly.


Former Equinox general manager Anthony Mrucagz posted the above video this week – distilling four-and-a-half years of great gigs into twenty minutes, featuring a soundtrack of home-grown Cambodian music. The fact that the Street 278 building which housed the legendary Phnom Penh venue is still lying empty, abused and unused, seven months after Equinox was forced to close, makes the loss of Equinox sting a little keener. Anthony Mrucagz will shortly be leaving The Kingdom to return to the U.S.A. Leng Pleng wishes him all the best, and props for his major contribution to the Cambodian music scene.

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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