Donnie Pardell is a name that will be very familiar to gig-goers based in Sihanoukville - less so to audiences in Cambodia’s capital city. We are not sure exactly why, but some performers do seem to prefer the long sandy beaches, cheap beer and laid-back lifestyle of Kompong Som over the traffic-choked, hot and dusty confines of Ti Krong Phnom Penh. Donnie is, at time of writing, making his way up National Highway 3 for a brace of gigs in Phnom Penh. This talented singer and guitarist has a passion for classic rock’n’roll and reggae, mixing them together with a looper pedal and backing vocals and percussion by Steve Blakeburn to create ‘Loopy Reggae’. Donnie and Steve’s original and fun performance can be experienced at Farm to Table this Friday night and at Sharky Bar on Saturday.
Unrepentant French punks Bob Passion & The Schkoots have lined-up a potentially magnificent gig at Institut Francais du Cambodge in Phnom Penh on Saturday night. Bob and his band (Jan - drums, Benoit - bass) never give anything less than 100% on the stage, throwing themselves into fevered renditions of Bob’s original tunes. Last year, the band released their album ‘Straight to The Legend’ which married 1980’s-tinged classic punk with the slightly-zany-but-wonderful electro production techniques of Professor Kinksi. The energy of The Schkoots combined with a predominantly young and French-speaking crowd at the Institut on Saturday should prove to be a great combination.
Young Khmer singer-songwriter Sony Batbanger has become more active in Siem Reap recently, with weekly residences at tourist hot-spot Triangle Bar and arts hangout The Little Red Fox. Some major musical excitement is just around the corner in ‘Temple Town’ with the arrival of the second annual Chub Met Music & Arts Festival. While the festival will be comprised of many fantastic events, one of the more exciting nights will take place on Tuesday 21st February, when no less than five hard-rocking young Cambodian bands will take part in Battle of The Bands at X-Bar. A serious first prize of $1,000 cash together with studio recording time and music video production has attracted groups from Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang. Sony’s own band, Batbangers, will be rehearsing their very best original songs for the event. Watch this space for more Chub Met news over the coming weeks.
Phnom Penh-based singer-songwriter Scott ‘Scoddy’ Bywater is set to take the proverbial plunge into the recording of a full-length studio album - turning songs such as Stuck inside of Phnom Penh with the Memphis blues again (It’s not the Mississippi it’s the Mekong), The Long Division, and Phnom Penh Driving School into actual digital reality. While Phnom Penh gig-goers have been singing along to these tracks around the traps for several years now, they have not as yet been able to listen to bona-fide studio recordings of Scoddy compositions. To become involved in the project, and get to the head of the queue for exclusive lyric books, t-shirts and other ‘digital and physical paraphernalia’, check out the newly-minted crowd-funding campaign at Indiegogo or contact Scott directly via firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Bywater, along with his Riverside Raybans sidekick James ‘Ukulele’ Speck, will be taking part in a huge celebration at Meta House this weekend. The multi-faceted arts institution has been promoting, exhibiting, screening and staging cultural events of all descriptions in Phnom Penh for the past ten years - recently winning an APAC award for ‘Best Contemporary Arts Centre 2016’ (Apacinsider). Meta House (also known as The German-Cambodian-Cultural Center) has invited a cavalcade of DJs, VJs, dancers, poets and musicians to mark their anniversary this Friday and Saturday. Well done Meta and happy 10th Birthday!
A special ‘funk injection package’ was delivered to Leng Pleng Towers this week - courtesy of the newest and coolest duo in Phnom Penh: Professor Kinski featuring Mike Dynamo. We trust that these three awesome cuts of post-modern Cambo-funk are just the first fruits of a beautiful forthcoming relationship. Check out the tunes via the Bandcamp link above.
Whatever you're up to over the next few days, stay safe out there and... see you around the traps!