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

Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday 29th December 2016

2016 was the year in which shocking political events and unexpected deaths rocked the world, perhaps even rattling some of us expats settled permanently here in The Kingdom of Wonder! Time now to put the worst of events behind us and ‘party like its 1999’.

Master of fanfare: Big Mike pic by Steve Porte

Wherever you choose to enjoy live music this New Year’s Eve, you might hear a request for music by one of the following artists: George Michael, Leon Russell, Leonard Cohen, Toots Thielemans, Scotty Moore, Guy Clark, Papa Wemba, Prince, Merle Haggard, Phife Dawg, Glenn Fry and David Bowie - to name but some of the celebrity musicians of the world who passed away in 2016 (NBCnews). In the relatively tiny world of the Phnom Penh music scene, many experienced a huge personal and musical loss with the passing of the principal partner of Sharky Bar, Michael ‘Big Mike’ Hsu last May (click here to read more). The surviving partners of Sharky Bar have continued to carry the torch of live music at ‘the longest running Rock & Roll bar in Indochina’, albeit on a slightly smaller scale and with a little less ‘Big Mike’-style fanfare. Rock’n’roll is firmly on the agenda at Sharky this weekend, with gigs by The Jumping Jacks on Friday and The Chi-Town Players to ring in the New Year on Saturday night. 

Always situated at the heart of the party:
Kampot Playboys at KWRF 2016 - pic: Steve Porte

The outstanding New Year’s Eve gig is, without a shadow of a doubt, to be found on the banks of the Kampot River at the Banyan Tree. Kampot Playboys band leader Mark Chattaway has assembled a highly impressive line-up of acts, setting up a live music and DJ party of truly epic proportions. So unmissable is this gig that residents of Phnom Penh have been rumored to have chartered so-called ‘drunk buses’ to ferry their bodily forms from the backstreets of the city, directly to the Banyan moshpit, and back again. While the Playboys will be headlining sometime after midnight, the whole show starts in the early evening with sets by Phnom Skor, Professor Kinski and Graham Cain’s The GC Riders. Multiple DJs will also be performing to ensure a unceasing party zone. Michael Bridgett of Hypnotic Fist Technique gave Leng Pleng a few words to let us know exactly how awesome the party will be and why he is so excited about his band’s set:

“2016 has not been kind to you. You’ve lost beloved artists, your sense of safety, and even faith in your home country. You’ve watched as the news has become fake, the thrills have become dangerous, and the love has become as corrupted as the politicians that claim to serve us.

No… 2016 has not been kind to us.

So here… on it’s last day, we, the Hypnotic Fist Technique shall not be kind to 2016. With our collection of sound, lyrics, and attitude, we shall be the boot of retribution that plants a steel toe right in the ass of this accursed year. Along with the legendary Kampot Playboys, Phnom Skor, GC Riders, Professor Kinski, and the rest of the crew, we shall be the mighty kick that hits 2016 where the good lord split it, sending it spiraling into a forgotten past.”

Hypnotic Fist Technique at Showbox - pic: Steve Porte
Wow! Cheers Michael… see you on the drunk bus!

Phil.E.Stein is Phil Brandon, a rock’n’roller with a long history of performing live and recording in Australia. Phil will be teaming up with an expert blues rock band for a special gig at FCC’s The Mansion on New Year’s Eve. Much more than just a covers merchant, Phil.E.Stein has recently completed a soon-to-be-released album of his own material. Check out the video below for his track ‘Greed’.

For appropriate recovery and relaxation in Phnom Penh on New Year’s Day, one could do very well in attending one of two excellent acoustic music sessions taking place in the early evening. The venue formerly known as Alley Cat has now re-opened under the name ‘Tacos Kokopelli’. The Sunday Sundowners session will be taking place as normal this weekend.

Rocking on into the New Year: Jeffro Sills

Just south of Sihanouk Boulevard, Jeffro Sills will be bringing his refined acoustic guitar picking skills and strong voice to the new weekly Sunday session at Zeppelin Cafe. Jeffro has a wide range and repertoire but as regular readers will know, his first love is the blues.

Very best of wishes and seasons greetings to all readers of Leng Pleng, and a heartfelt thank you for continuing to explore the Cambodian music scene with us for the past several years. We will leave you with an original song by one Liza Owen - a
‘half British half Cambodian singer, songwriter, musician and model from London.’ - whom we hope will be coming to The Kingdom of Wonder to perform sometime in 2017!

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



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