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Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday 26th February 2015



If the news of some recent venue closures, as mentioned in last week's wrap, prompted any chin-stroking ruminations on the state of the Phnom Penh music scene... stop stroking immediately! The rest of the world is still determined to get involved with the singularly awesome musical melting pot happening right now in Cambodia. Let us look over a few highlights from Timothy's glorious bag of weekly wonders:

Karen Keziah is a fantastic singer-songwriter hailing from Manila, Phillipines. She plays a special one-off show tonight at Equinox. Head down there to hear an independent spirit delivering soulful, melodious pop tunes with a folk edge. Check out the video below.


While watching a gig in Phnom Penh last week, I was puzzled to see a young lady setting her smartphone down on the stage in front of the band. I first assumed that she was attempting to shoot a video of the band's performance from a very artistic angle. I then realised that she was committing a 'dancefloor selfie' – recording herself and her friend as they cavorted around. If anyone decides to do that at one of my gigs I will grab the smartphone and put a stop to it immediately... and if I catch sight of a 'selfie stick' at a gig I will not be held responsible for my actions. Phnom Penh gig-goers have the chance to be a part of a real movie this Friday night at Sharky Bar, when French punk-rocker Didier Wampas will be filming his show for DVD release. Pogo-ing and 'moshpit' action is encouraged.

Ian Griffiths is a gifted accordion player from Canada, currently enjoying a short musical teaching and performance expedition in Cambodia. In a moment of weakness and against his better judgement, Ian began to answer my calls last week. I managed to persuade him to join myself and rockabilly reprobates The Jumping Jacks for a special gig at FCC – The Mansion on Saturday night. I am picturing a country music hoe-down, situated somewhere around the Mexican border. Joe Wrigley & The Jumping Jacks also play Slur Bar on Friday night.







Space Four Zero hosts a five-year retrospective of Cambodian Space Project photography, opening 6pm Thursday (also lead singer Channty's birthday!). This party will be a prelude to an amazing CSP 5th anniversary musical adventure tour from Phnom Penh to Kampot. "It gives us a good excuse to throw a big soiree for Channthy and celebrate five amazing years of CSP" says Poulson's business partner Tony Lefferts. “We will have drinks, tunes and some killer snacks.”


Friday night also starts at Space Four Zero from 6pm-9pm and then continues at a secret riverside location with a flash mob concert from 10pm to midnight. Cambodian Space Project co-founder Julien Poulson plans the grand opening of their latest venture — The Kampot Arts and Music Association (KAMA) - this Saturday night with a concert in front of the venue at 8pm. The idea behind KAMA is to encourage representation, presentation and promotion of Cambodian talents and arts to an international market. The CSP tour will end with a grand finale at The Barn at Otres Market on Sunday night. Read a personal account of the impact of CSP in this great article written for Leng Pleng by Susan Fletcher Haythorpe, 'Moving to the Music'.

A very groovy event will take place on Sunday afternoon when Lewis Pragasam will host an informal 'drum jam' at the all-new Starworks music academy, based on the same site as the Lyla Center in Boeng Trabek, Phnom Penh. Lewis is an international drumming and percussion master and the founder of Starworks, which promises to be a world-class music education and performance facility. The Starworks project is still very much in the early stages but you can drop by on Sunday for a glimpse of things to come (bring some percussion).



The distinguished line of international bands visiting Phnom Penh is extended this week with the debut of The Sleeves at Oscar Bar (Street 104). This band of guys from the UK are based in Hong Kong, first emerging 'from a seedy Mongkok tenement block rehearsal room in 2007'. Along the way, the experienced indie-rockers have supported such luminaries as Gary Numan and Peaches. Sleeves mainman Keith Goodman promises the Oscar gig to be a raucous and rocking warm-up for their shows next weekend at Led Zephyr, Bodhi Villa and Sharky Bar. Read more from Keith in the LengPleng Q&A.

To round the week off in style, Gabi Faja returns to Doors Phnom Penh on Wednesday with his GTS Jazz trio (Gabi, Toma Willen, Seb Adnot). This awesome group of musicians will perform 'renditions of Jazz standards with in a classical cross-over style'. As a bonus, the Aymen Ghali Quintet will also perform a Cuban-inspired set. This promises to be a really top-drawer night of jazz.

California-based Dengue Fever have an excellent new album out entitled The Deepest Lake. The LP has been ringing out here at Leng Pleng Towers all week. Check out the video below for single 'No Sudden Moves' and, as always, watch this space for an exclusive interview and news of the band's next trip to Cambodia.



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

CLICK HERE FOR LATEST GIGS

JOE WRIGLEY

Weekly Gig Guide - Commencing Thursday the 26th February 2015

Latest Gigs

Thursday  26-Feb-2015
  • 7:00 PM ~ DJ Wah-Wah at The Doors
  • 7:30 PM ~ The Three Ladies of Pop music at The Cabaret Restaurant
  • 8:30 PM ~ Phil Javelle and Izabelle at Mao's
  • 9:00 PM ~ Keren Keziah at Equinox
  • 9:00 PM ~ Bob Passion , Didier Wampas * and Kanlat Rikrié at The X-Bar in Siem Reap
  • 9:00 PM ~ Rhythm'n'Soul at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
  • 9:00 PM ~ Linda Asha Aboalla at The Harem Lounge
  • 9:00 PM ~ Dj Kraut Funder at Meta House
Friday  27-Feb-2015
  • 6:00 PM ~ The Cambodian Space Project at Undisclosed Location
  • 8:00 PM ~ Kok Thlok at The Cabaret Restaurant
  • 8:00 PM ~ Izabelle and Devi Vanhon at Rehabb Public House
  • 8:30 PM ~ Bob Passion , Didier Wampas * and Kanlat Rikrié at Sharky Bar
  • 8:30 PM ~ Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan and Pervez Smart at BaoBab Bar & Grill
  • 9:00 PM ~ Linda Asha Aboalla at The Harem Lounge
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Nicomatic and DJ Wah-Wah at Meta House
  • 9:00 PM ~ CHI - TOWN at Paddy Rice
  • 9:00 PM ~ Divergent Band at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
  • 9:30 PM ~ Joe Wrigley & The Jumping Jacks at The Slur Bar
  • 11:00 PM ~ DJ Tech 12 at Pontoon
  • 11:00 PM ~ DJ Shaman and DJ Alan Ritchie at The Pontoon Pulse
Saturday  28-Feb-2015
  • 3:00 PM ~ The "WET" Party - Pool Party at The Eighty8
  • 5:00 PM ~ Papa Dub and Delhi Sultanate & Begum X at Jasmin Valley Amphitheater in Kep
  • 8:00 PM ~ The Cambodian Space Project at KAMA in Kampot
  • 8:00 PM ~ Laura Mam at Bonchon
  • 8:30 PM ~ Joe Wrigley & The Jumping Jacks and Ian Griffiths * at FCC - The Mansion
  • 9:00 PM ~ Cookies N Creme at Sharky Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ Dj Moudy at Meta House
  • 9:00 PM ~ Phil Javelle and Izabelle at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
  • 9:00 PM ~ Bacano at The Slur Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ Linda Asha Aboalla at The Harem Lounge
  • 10:00 PM ~ Phnom Penh Underground at Dusk till Dawn
  • 11:00 PM ~ DJ Illest at Pontoon
  • 11:00 PM ~ DJ Flo and Dj Thorsten Karger at The Pontoon Pulse
Sunday  1-Mar-2015
  • 4:00 PM ~ Drum Jam at Soundworks
  • 9:00 PM ~ The Cambodian Space Project at The Otres Market in Sihanoukville
  • 9:00 PM ~ Rhythm'n'Soul at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
Monday  2-Mar-2015
  • 9:00 PM ~ Divergent Band at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
Tuesday  3-Mar-2015
  • 8:00 PM ~ DJ Alan Ritchie at The Cabaret Restaurant
  • 9:00 PM ~ Unity Band at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
  • 10:00 PM ~ The Sleeves(International Band) at Oscar Bar
Wednesday  4-Mar-2015
  • 8:00 AM ~ GTS Jazz , Luis Arambarri , Aymen Ghali and Ian Griffiths * at The Doors
  • 7:00 PM ~ Miss Sarawan at FCC - The Mansion
  • 9:00 PM ~ Tres Camotes Band at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
Coming Up
  • Cookies N Creme at Sharky Bar
  • Bokor Mountain Magic Band at Equinox
  • Bacano at Equinox
  • The Frogs at Equinox
  • OSMOSIS at Sharky Bar
  • The Sleeves * at Sharky Bar
  • Music A la Carte at K-West, K-West, K-West and K-West
  • Potato Stars at Equinox
  • Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan, Joshua Chiang and Pervez Smart at Paddy Rice
  • Worldship Orchestra at CJCC
  • WorldShip Orchestra at Ecole Paul Dubrule in Siem Reap
  • Jazz & Soul at Cabaret Restaurant
  • Memphis Band at Cabaret Restaurant, Cabaret Restaurant
  • Jazz concert for children at Cabaret Restaurant
  • Miss Sarawan at The Cabaret Restaurant
  • Ritchy at The Cabaret Restaurant, The Cabaret Restaurant and The Cabaret Restaurant
  • Tamaraka Quartet at The Cabaret Restaurant
  • Maia and Bona Thiem at The Cabaret Restaurant
  • Creative Artists Night at Equinox
  • Joe Wrigley & The Jumping Jacks at Check-in Cowboy
  • DJ Star, DJ Lefty, DJ Maily, DJ Kiss and Dj Jerry at The Riverhouse Lounge, The Riverhouse Lounge
  • Leeroy Thornhill * at D-Club
  • DJ Blue and DJ Gang at Pontoon
  • DJ Illest at Pontoon
  • DJ Shaman and DJ Alan Ritchie at The Pontoon Pulse
  • DJ Flo and Dj Nora Haidee at The Pontoon Pulse
  • Rock Night at D-Club
  • DJ Alan Ritchie at The Cabaret Restaurant, The Cabaret Restaurant
  • DJ Leonie * at Epic Club

Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday 19th February 2015

Oscar – pic: Jim Heston
As many Leng Pleng readers will already be aware, Oscar Rock Cafe (to use but one of the venue's several different monikers) has recently changed ownership and ceased to be a live music venue. Best wishes and best of luck to Oscar, one of the true characters of the Phnom Penh music scene, as he continues to operate (and perform music at) the original Oscar Bar on Street 104. It would be tempting to point to the closure of his Street 51 venue, and the recent winding-up of The Groove and Memphis Pub, and jump to an easy conclusion: the appetite for live music in Phnom Penh is declining. Yet, on the other side of the Tonle Sap, a brand new music venue has opened it's doors. The venue is called Sunset Boulevard and forms part of the newly-developed strip of buildings leading to the huge Sokha Hotel complex at the end of the peninsular. Early investigations would suggest that there is not currently a huge amount of live music happening on the 'other' riverside, with activity focussed almost exclusively on affordable seafood barbecues but... watch this space (as always).

Didier Wampas
Away from the capital, the Cambodian music scene continues to grow. There are several new venues including Lightbox and KAMA in Kampot and Seb Adnot's Le Pain de Jade in Kep. The latter venue is the location for this year's Kep Music Market festival and will feature six bands playing over three consecutive nights. Kheltica and Manu Pezard Quartet open proceedings on Thursday and Papa Dub will support visiting trio The Love Below on Friday. As their OutKast-inspired name suggests, the Saigon-based group purvey a sexy blend of live r'n'b, hip-hop and funk. All three members of the band contribute vocals and special guest soloists are involved whenever possible. The Music Market concludes on Saturday night with headlining act Didier Wampas. The politically-minded French punk is a strong showman who is never short on high-energy and high-volume performances. Wampas is suitably supported by his Sihanoukville-based compatriot Bob Passion. Check out the video below for a preview of the acts appearing at Kep Music Market.


The Love Below will return to Phnom Penh for a jazz-inspired set at Doors on Saturday night, before concluding their Cambodian tour at Cabaret on Tuesday. Didier Wampas and Bob Passion will also be playing gigs at Bhor Garage in Sihanoukville on Friday and Madison Corner in Battambang on Tuesday. Kheltica also play Bodhi Villa in Kampot on Friday.

The music scene in Phnom Penh continues to produce some very pleasant surprises. Bring Your Skillz is a weekly open-mic night held at Slur Bar. The tone of the night has changed ever since gypsy-jazz enthusiast Aymen Ghali took the reigns as host. If somebody would have told me that I could go and see a free-form, genre-bending concoction of live jazz, reggae and Khmer-rock on a quiet night in Phnom Penh with some of the best musicians in the city queuing up to join in, then I would probably not have believed them. However, this great jam session has definitely taken off over the last few weeks. The open-mic proceedings reached an awesome high-point last Monday night when a number of professional musicians from Australia sat in to perform pitch-perfect Paul Simon covers. It was quite something to hear a full band (complete with three-piece horn section) give a storming rendition of 'You Can Call Me Al' – even though they had never played together before. You can hear Aymen Ghali and visiting (Canada-based) accordion maestro Ian Griffiths perform a stirring blend of gypsy-jazz, Eastern-European waltzes and Spanish folk tunes each Friday at Stockholm restaurant.
There is some serendipity in the scheduling of three great gigs in Phnom Penh on this Friday. If you are well-organised enough (unlike myself who is usually way-too-easily distracted by alcohol-fuelled conversations at the bar and/or offers of fried food) then you will be able to easily catch all three. Following the early show by Ghali and Griffiths at Stockholm, Cambodian 'Golden Era' songstress Miss Sarawan plays a gig with her band at Sharky Bar. Later, the KlapYaHandz collective takes over Slur Bar for a night of alternative Khmer music. Check out the KlapYaHandz Youtube channel for loads of great videos, including AGO's version of 'Sday Snea Aphorp' (originally sung by Sinn Sisamouth):


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


JOE WRIGLEY

Weekly Gig Guide - Commencing Thursday the 19th February 2015

Latest Gigs

Thursday  19-Feb-2015
  • 7:00 PM ~ DJ Star , DJ Bee , DJ Snow Y , DJ Maily , DJ Kiss and Dj Jerry at The Riverhouse Lounge
  • 8:00 PM ~ Tamaraka Quartet at The Cabaret Restaurant
  • 8:00 PM ~ Kheltica and Emmanuel Pezard Quartet at Le Pain de Jade in Kep
  • 8:30 PM ~ Phil Javelle , Anya and Devi Vanhon at Mao's
  • 9:00 PM ~ zargz and Ten-Tipz at Sharky Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ Open Mic Night at Equinox
  • 9:00 PM ~ 9999 Arts Group at Meta House
  • 9:00 PM ~ Rhythm'n'Soul at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
Friday  20-Feb-2015
  • 6:00 PM ~ Aymen Ghali and Ian Griffiths at Stockholm
  • 7:00 PM ~ Bob Passion , Didier Wampas * and Kanlat Rikrié at At Bhor in Sihanouk Ville
  • 8:00 PM ~ Lion Dance Show & Live Music at The Cabaret Restaurant
  • 8:00 PM ~ Papa Dub and The Love Below * at Le Pain de Jade in Kep
  • 9:00 PM ~ Miss Sarawan Band at Sharky Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ Salmon All Star , Phat Controller and CAB at Meta House
  • 9:00 PM ~ KlapYaHandz at The Slur Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ Divergent Band at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
  • 10:00 PM ~ Kheltica at The Bodhi Villa in Kampot
  • 11:00 PM ~ DJ Blue and DJ Gang at Pontoon
  • 11:00 PM ~ DJ Shaman , DJ Alan Ritchie and Dj Indra 7 at The Pontoon Pulse
Saturday  21-Feb-2015
  • 8:00 PM ~ Bob Passion , Didier Wampas * and Kanlat Rikrié at Le Pain de Jade in Kep
  • 9:00 PM ~ OSMOSIS at Equinox
  • 9:00 PM ~ The Love Below * at The Doors
  • 9:00 PM ~ Dj Nora Haidee at Meta House
  • 9:00 PM ~ 9999 Arts Group at Sharky Bar
  • 9:00 PM ~ Delhi Sultanate & Begum X at Sky River in Siem Reap
  • 9:00 PM ~ Phil Javelle and Izabelle at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
  • 9:30 PM ~ zargz and Ten-Tipz at The Slur Bar
  • 10:00 PM ~ Phnom Penh Underground at D-Club
  • 11:00 PM ~ Tim Coates and Dj Saint Vincent at The Pontoon Pulse
  • 11:00 PM ~ DJ Illest at Pontoon
Sunday  22-Feb-2015
  • 8:00 PM ~ Etienne Chenevier * and Steve Retallick at Meta House
  • 9:00 PM ~ Rhythm'n'Soul at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
Monday  23-Feb-2015
  • 8:00 PM ~ Bona live band at Kep Sur Mer in Kep
  • 9:00 PM ~ Divergent Band at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
Tuesday  24-Feb-2015
  • 8:00 PM ~ The Love Below * at The Cabaret Restaurant
  • 8:00 PM ~ Bob Passion , Didier Wampas * and Kanlat Rikrié at Madison Corner in Battambang
  • 9:00 PM ~ Unity Band at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
Wednesday  25-Feb-2015
  • 7:00 PM ~ JD-Reinstone at FCC - The Mansion
  • 9:00 PM ~ Tres Camotes Band at The Riverhouse Asian Bistro
Coming Up
  • Keren Keziah at Equinox
  • The Three Ladies of Pop music at Cabaret Restaurant
  • Kok Thlok at The Cabaret Restaurant
  • Gabi Faja, Toma Willen and Seb Adnot at The Doors
  • Bob Passion, Didier Wampas * and Kanlat Rikrié at The X-Bar in Siem Reap, Sharky Bar
  • Bokor Mountain Magic Band at Equinox
  • Bacano at Equinox
  • The Frogs at Equinox
  • OSMOSIS at Sharky Bar
  • The Sleeves at Sharky Bar
  • Joe Wrigley & The Jumping Jacks at FCC - The Mansion, The Slur Bar
  • Music A la Carte at K-West, K-West, K-West and K-West
  • Potato Stars at Equinox
  • Cookies N Creme at Sharky Bar
  • The Cambodian Space Project at Space Four Zero, Space Four Zero, Kampot Traditional Music School in Kampot and The Otres Market in Sihanoukville
  • Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan and Pervez Smart at BaoBab Bar & Grill
  • Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan, Joshua Chiang and Pervez Smart at Paddy Rice
  • CHI - TOWN at Paddy Rice
  • DJ Tech 12 at Pontoon
  • DJ Illest at Pontoon
  • DJ Shaman and DJ Alan Ritchie at The Pontoon Pulse
  • DJ Flo and Dj Thorsten Karger at The Pontoon Pulse
  • Dj Kraut Funder at Meta House
  • DJ Nicomatic and DJ Wah-Wah at Meta House
  • Dj Moudy at Meta House
  • DJ Wah-Wah at The Doors
  • The "WET" Party - Pool Party at Eighty8
  • Phnom Penh Underground at Dusk till Dawn

Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday 12th February 2015


Tim Hall – pic courtesy of artist
Tim Hall is a ‘musician, sculptor, songwriter, player, teacher and producer’ from Sydney, Australia. Check out his great website to learn all about Tim’s incredible musical journey - from winning a local band competition at his first gig with university mates in 1990 to winning three ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) awards in 1998 with band ‘The Whitlams’. The journey has encompassed huge stadium gigs, such as supporting Kylie Minogue on her ‘On A Night Like This’ tour in 2000, as well as a great deal of song-writing and production work. Fortunately for the Cambodian music scene, Tim has recently been seduced by the charms of the Kingdom of Wonder. He currently resides in leafy Battambang. I encourage you to take the opportunity to sample his extraordinary stage presence, performance skills and great songs at Meta House this Friday and at Java Cafe & Gallery on Saturday night. Tim Hall gave Leng Pleng a little background information about his Phnom Penh gigs:
The two shows will be very different. Friday night at Meta I'll be doing a set around 9pm then another around midnight. The first set will be solo and unaccompanied. Using a phase loop pedal, I'll be layering up vocals to create tracks. Then at 12 I will take the mic and sing mash-up style over Nico's DJ-ing. This is great fun as it adds a live element to dance music. Saturday at Java will be starting at 7.30pm and once again I'll be doing two sets. I will be performing originals, singer-songwriter style, with an acoustic guitar. I'll throw in a few covers, done my own way, to host a night focusing on the theme for Valentine’s Day, ‘Heart & Soul’.”
Mekong Messengers – pic: Charles Fox
This weekend will provide the last chance to catch ‘Americana Deluxe’ band Mekong Messengers ...for a while. Congratulations to lead singer Kristen Rasmussen who will, in a few months, be introducing a new addition to her family. Unfortunately for us, that means we will not get to hear her fantastic voice ringing out around the traps – at least not for several months. There are not many singers in the region who can belt Dolly Parton, Etta James and Linda Ronstadt numbers with the poise and power of Kristen (the boys up on stage with her are not bad, either!). Equinox will host the Messenger’s farewell gig this Saturday night.
Euan Gray – pic: www.kenedgar.com
My approach to Valentine’s Day is usually to refuse to recognise it. I approach Christmas Day similarly. This behaviour does not usually go down too well with my other half, who mistakenly believes that the number of hints she drops about Valentine’s Day will be positively related to the number of presents she receives. At least I can be sure she is not with me for my money (I don’t have any). Perhaps this year I will soften and splash out on half-a-dozen coconut sweets and a new krawma from Psar Olympic. If I were a slightly more lavish type, I might splash out and take her to Euan Gray’s gig at The Doors on Saturday. The multi-talented and multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter seems comfortable in any musical situation. This weekend he will deliver a solo set of his own excellent original songs, in what the press release promises to be a ‘warmly-lit, intimate setting’. Steamy!
Mute Speaker will be at the Lotus Bar and Gallery tonight in Battambang, playing ‘a live mix of traditional Khmer music mixed with pre-recorded ambient sounds and his own beats.’ Mute Speaker, AKA Rob O’Hara, created a very cool album last year entitled Radio Bokor. The British underground DJ describes Radio Bokor as ‘an album of instrumental beats constructed from chopped-up songs from the 'Golden Age' of Cambodian music (1960's to 1975)’. Check out the result on bandcamp. There will also be live video mixing by Oliver Stoned during the gig at Lotus. Sounds like a cool event.
Whatever you're up to over the next few days, stay safe out there and... see you around the traps!  

CLICK HERE FOR LATEST GIGS  

JOE WRIGLEY

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