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

Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday the 21st July 2016

Kampot Rock!

Kampot Playboys will tonight play their first gig in the capital for three months – at Duplex on Street 278. Phnom Penh gig-goers have missed their unique Cambodian-rock fusion sound, which meshes together a high-energy rock rhythm section with 'Khmer Violin', folk accordion and skanking electric guitar! The Playboys repertoire is comprised of decades-old 'lost' Cambodian rock songs, some traditional songs and many original compositions. The band always put on a rocking show, but tonight's performance at the 'Duplex Taverne Belge' may reach particularly high spirits - as today is Belgian National Day.

Listen to Kampot Playboys live tracks via Soundcloud

Why worry? Mr laid-back:
Diego is back in town... pic: supplied
Diego 'El Gypsy' Dimarques will be back in Phnom Penh this weekend. The charismatic Gypsy-Flamenco singer-guitarist – who has been living and performing in Siem Reap for some time – will be at D22 (Phnom Penh Tower) on Friday and at Mao's Club on Saturday. Diego is one of those relaxed, personable performers who 'makes it look easy' with languid, silky Spanish guitar lines and earthy, soulful vocals. Don't miss the chance to see a master of his craft.

More Latin lines on Saturday from new arrival Norman Kinga tenor saxophonist from the UK, recently resident in Thailand. Norman has, fortunately for us, decided that Koh Samui will have to do without his formidable sax skills (...and flute! and clarinet!). The Kingdom of Smiles' loss is the Kingdom of Wonder's gain, as Phnom Penh welcomes another world-class musician into the fold (Cambodia's more 'welcoming' visa conditions may have something to do with it). Catch Norman King performing with Sabor Latin Trio at new city venue Mestizo on Saturday night.
Rocking on: JADmeister appear regularly at Sharky Bar – pic: Jim Heston
Scott Bywater will be bringing his acoustic trio to Sharky Bar on Friday night. Chuck Villar (cajon/percussion) and Adrien Gayraud (bass guitar) accompany 'Scoddy' (vocals/guitar) for a set comprised mostly of original material. The trio is a more mellow alternative to the full-scale, electric-guitar dominated rock band format of Bywater's Moi Tiet (who will appear at Oscar's this Saturday). Sharky Bar has continued to operate as 'Indochina's longest-running rock'n'roll bar' since the tragic loss, in May, of their principal partner Michael 'Big Mike' Hsu. Since then, it has been largely business-as-usual with regard to having live music at the bar three nights per week (band on Friday, band on Saturday, open jam on Sunday) – albeit accompanied with slightly less 'Big Mike'-style fanfare and hype than we were used to! Also, the Sharky music policy has become a little less experimental, with the program comprising of classic rock and blues (Chi-Town Players, JADmeister, Pavel Ramirez) and pop covers (Euphoria, Metro Band). Bywater's evening of original songs will be a welcome departure from the norm, and the bar are also planning a Battle of The Bands event for August (to take part, contact Alex via Lioha-h@mail.ru).

The unique and original sounds of Krom have recently been put forward for the Grammy Awards nominations. Krom, via their U.S.-based label Musik & Film, are entered into the Best World Music Album category for 'Mekong Delta Blues' and the Song of the Year category for 'Lil Suzy' (http://musikandfilm.com/musik-and-film-records-nominates-cambodia-band-krom-for-grammy/). Check out the video below for an introduction to the music of Krom.

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

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