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Saturday, May 26, 2007

POP CULTURE ALIVE AND KICKING IN SINGAPORE

Literally… but more of that a bit later.
By now, you may or may not be bored with my reflections on the New York trip last month (too bad…) but apart from it being an inspiring experience, I got to meet wonderful musicians who also happen to be cool folks as well.
…but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
Back in December last year, Encik Aidil out of Couple (www.myspace.com/couple) invited Popland to play in KL and there I met the Pinholes (http://www.thepinholes.com/) and the go-go rock wiz that is Famie. During a break, he played this wonderful song, which he informed me was Great Spy Experiment. (www.myspace.com/thegreatspyexperiment). I was intrigued – what an enthralling sound – shoegazing, yes but with a hard rock edge. I liked it immediately.
However, being the lazy sod that I am, I didn’t follow up with GSE until the Singapore Day event when Ric mentioned that GSE would be invited. Then, it clicked – YES!
So, came the preview show, and when GSE went on I was exhilarated. Exciting music. And I was chuffed to be on the same stage as this impressive band but more than that got to know them a little as well – Saiful, Song, Fandy, Khai and of course, Mag – all kind souls. Not to mention, the ever-cheerful Mike See, GSE’s PR manager.
So … with a renewed vigor about all things musical, I jumped at the chance to see GSE at Home Club last night.
Reached there at about 9.45 and was warmly greeted by Haffiz, the theatrical frontman of the Pinholes, then Saiful and Song as Malaysian band Bittersweet (www.myspace.com/bittersweet) performed on stage. Boasting a 80s Britpop influence, one particular tune – A Perfect Match – caught the ear. It’s a cool track. I must get hold of their album for review…
Then Famie came along and invited me to the Pinholes gig at the Art House today – may just check it out. After Bittersweet, came 15 minutes of inconsequential rap before another Malaysian band, Laila’s Lounge (www.myspace.com/lailaslounge) took to the stage and proceeded to demonstrate their early Verve-like shoegazing brilliance. Whilst the rest of the band basically gazed at their erm shoes (!) the singer was rather interesting. He looked like Hossan Leong, had Noel Gallagher’s eyebrows, sang like Ashcroft and provided some operatic touches during the instrumental breaks, which I thought was refreshing.
Then another rap act, before the big one. The crowd swelled and GSE then blew us all away with positive vibes and palpable fervor. Thrilling and when the band launched into Class A Love Affair, the audience went ape shit!
And… this particular guy in the front got so carried away somehow tried to body surf his way through the crowd, his legs were flaying about next to me and I really have to thank God that he almost kicked me full in the face but somehow his shoe merely brushed my cheek and I was unscathed. Crazy!!!
Inch, who was standing next to me, looked at me quizzically. Not sure what happened myself but there you go… God is good to me!
Before you know it, it was over but wow – what a gig! It was intoxicating to feed off the energy of the kids as the music swept them along. The power of pop indeed!
I dashed off at the end of the set and brisk walked over to Timbre for more sedate surroundings and caught the tail end of Timmy’s set.
Went up at about 1.30am to sing My One and Only and Never Liked the Beatles and the night (morning?) was complete. A good start to the weekend, methinks.
… oh yeah, there’s more…

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