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

Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday the 9th June 2016

Boutique scene

Boutique gig venues are on the increase in Phnom Penh. There are hundreds of options for dining and drinking in elegant surroundings in the city, but not so many that provide good quality live music on a weekly basis. For the uninitiated, Leng Pleng has rounded up some of the best choices here. All of these destinations are full-time bar-restaurants and part-time music venues. For many visitors, appreciating the band may be a fifth-placed priority behind eating, talking, imbibing and paying rapt attention to a four-inch smartphone screen. However, for those Leng Pleng readers seeking some fantastic live performances, pull up a chair close to the stage and get involved.

pic: Bouchon Bar Facebook

Phil Javelle is the resident maestro at French wine bar Bouchon – with live music sessions taking place most Wednesdays. As you would expect from the multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist Phil, the styles of music played are wide-ranging with a variety of guest artists in attendance. Jazz, Pop and Soul are all well-represented and the standard of performance is always very high.

pic: Est. Bar Facebook

Smooth groove is the style when Ritchy & Friends set up for their weekly Wednesday session at Est. Bar. Ritchy Boisson (drums/vocals) has two of best players in town in the form of Larry Martinez (keyboards) and Andrey Meshcheryakov (bass guitar). On Fridays, Jeffro and Colin lay down some blues on guitar and harmonica. 

The FCC recently moved all their live music events from the open-air surroundings of the French colonial Mansion to the more weather-proof environment of the Rooftop Bar. The past gig posters adorning the walls evoke colourful memories of the many fantastic nights of music that have taken place at the famous riverside hotel (Dengue Fever, Dub Addiction, Cambodian Space Project). Solos and duos play here on Wednesdays (Pavel Ramirez, Scott Bywater) and Fridays (Josh and Pervez) with band shows happening semi-regularly on Saturdays.

At the more northerly end of the Sisowath Quay riverside, Riverhouse Asian Bistro is another long-time staple of the live music scene in Phnom Penh. While the heavy beats pound away in the upstairs nightclub, the music in the Bistro is a much more refined affair – with accomplished pop acousticos (Ace Zapa) and jazz crooners (Clay George and Larry Martinez) providing the soundtrack to air-conditioned lounging on well-upholstered chairs. Live music happens on Fridays and Saturdays.

Farm to Table is a relative newcomer to the Phnom Penh music scene (opening in early 2015) with a very unique set-up. The child-friendly restaurant features a sandpit, organic vegetable garden, a disused tractor and a flock of chickens! The Friday sessions featuring acoustic solos (Robin Narciso, Euan Gray) are very popular.

Duplex Taverne Belge is situated in the backpacker-heavy area of Street 278 and Street 51. The Duplex stage and soundsystem is located right out front, which sometimes has the unexpected consequence of attracting long conga lines of boozy revellers from the Top Banana guesthouse on the other side of the street. Duos and bands (Kristen & Pavel, Joe & The Jumping Jacks) play Duplex most weeks, on either Friday or Saturday.

Have we omitted your favourite regular boutique music venue? drop us a line and tell us all about it! gigs@lengpleng.com

Genial Dave Flack is happiest with a beer in his hand and live music in his ears!
One Leng Pleng reader who will definitely be seen 'around the traps' this weekend is Mr David Flack. He and his wife Hayley are two of the most fervent supporters of live music in Phnom Penh. Dave is rarely seen without his camera and provides something of a photographic Phnom Penh live music diary via his Facebook page. Thanks a lot Dave, and many happy returns on your birthday!

All performers, entertainers and professionals involved in the industry should have a look at this recent call placed on www.bongthom.com by Hollywood Asia Studios. It is a new organisation based in Phnom Penh, currently hiring generally.

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


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