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

Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday the 6th October 2016

He Bopped. Hard. Charles Mingus pic via The Mingus Project

Take a jazz quartet, remove the chordal instrument (keys or guitar) and what are you left with? For the remaining drummer, bassist and horn player... quite a lot of hard work! For the listeners at Jazz Club Phnom Penh... Hard Bop Trio ! Seb Adnot (double bass), Toma Willen (drums) and Norman King (tenor sax) will reach for the limits of their extensive musical abilities during their performance tonight (Thursday) at Jazz Club. With Seb playing implied chords on multiple strings of his bass and Toma getting busy across the entirety of his drum set, the musical space normally occupied by a pianist or guitar player is not so absent. With no harmonic instrument to combine with, saxophonist Norman now has free rein to go absolutely bananas and push his playing to the maximum. The musicians love this format, which makes for a thrilling and impressive sonic expedition - à la the Sonny Rollins 'pianoless trio' of the late 1950's (Quora).

Steve Sutcliffe is one of the more talented members of the Phnom Penh music scene, possessing of a most annoying (to more ordinary musicians) ability to turn his hand to several different instruments with seemingly effortless skill. This Friday he will be the Fiddler on the Farm – navigating his way through a variety of swing, country and Celtic tunes at Farm to Table. Steve has assembled an acoustic backing band to help him along the way and, just to mix things up a bit, will also be bringing along a newly-acquired mandolin.

Passion for Punk: Bob rocks on at Oscars – pic: Jim Heston

The Venue is the live music and arts space in downtown Sihanoukville formerly known as Bhor Moto Garage. Any event here involving French rocker Bob Passion is bound to be a great party – the Garage hosted many memorable nights of hard rock and punk featuring the likes of Bob & The Schkoots. This Friday, Bob will be aided by his latest Sihanoukville backing band Saïssebok. The mixed evening of music will be opened by locally-based acoustic duo Max & Sten and also features Cambodian-language band Agni Agnaï

Diggy Dang is a founding member of Reggae Rajahs – India's foremost collective of reggae and raggamuffin DJs, producers and MCs. Their success as a jamaican-style 'soundsystem' reminds us that the production of awesome reggae and bass music - and rapping in patois – is a truly international phenomenon that has taken root in all corners of the globe. After all, we are living in a country in South-East Asia which can boast two top 'raggamuffins' from Germany (Professor Kinski of Dub Addiction) and from France (Kaztet Dee of Wat a Gwan). Kaztet has brought Diggy Dang over to Cambodia for a series of gigs – kicking off the party at Laundry Bar, L'After Bar and Funky Flashpackers this weekend in Siem Reap, before heading to Mestizo in Phnom Penh and Naga House in Kampot the following weekend. Positive vibes!

Warning: this is what happens when you mix booze and music in a small enclosed space.
They call it 'Good Times'. Pic: Steve Porte

Good Times Bar has established itself as a favourite Phnom Penh hang out for off-duty musicians. The muso-friendly combination of affordable drinks, late opening hours and convivial atmosphere have resulted in many impromptu acoustic jam sessions. Pavel Ramirez and Ace Zapa are regular performers. Owner Shuhei Murakami came up with the idea for the bar while hosting a Beatles-themed open mic session at a small Italian restaurant. A portrait of his former boss at Sharky Bar, the late Michael 'Big Mike' Hsu, looks down upon the patrons of Good Times from pride-of-place behind the bar. Scott Bywater will be hosting a 'Beatles-after-The Beatles' open mic session at Good Times this coming Monday – check out the fine poem inspired by the bar on his website thesilverpepperofthestars.

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


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