Thursday, July 26, 2007


It becomes particularly telling when the winning band blurts out this revealing statement when asked to comment on its victory. Is it false modesty or a Freudian slip?
For most of last night’s Powerjam ’07 finals, I felt like I had been transported back to 1978, back to the good ol’ National Theatre and showboating hard rock!
But it was rollicking good fun and I was laughing all the way as Ridge, Retrogroove and Now Open entertained the audience with all the ‘right’ sounds and moves.
The ultimate winner Ivy’s Vendetta was, in comparison, bland and innocuous, a local version of Hootie and the Blowfish – a commercially successful band in the 90s but artistically vacant. You might even say that they were a safe choice. Now, when the MCs detailed the list of criterion the judges were looking at, they mentioned creativity, technical ability, and songwriting skills.
Taking that into consideration, then Allura should have won, no contest. The band’s rendition of Switchfoot’s Stars actually improved on the original and the energetic Ladeda caught the imagination of the crowd. Of course, the centre of attention was Inch, hyperkinetic with the voice and stage presence that could not be ignored. (Unless you happened to be the judges) The rest of the band – Mark, Aaron, Matt and Han Quan – were all on their game, tight without being flashy but providing the solid backing for Inch to do her thing.
When the results were announced you could sense the palpable disapproval within the audience and the consensus amongst most of the scenesters was that the judges got it wrong.
Of course, that depends on your perspective – as my buddy Beni astutely noted – Power98 needed to select a band to represent the station so it went for the safest option – kiasu syndrome to the nth degree.
Nothing new in the Lion City, I suppose…
The other highlight was of course, the Great Spy Experiment who graced the occasion with Class ‘A’ Love Affair and Siti in the City. Although hampered by the appalling sound and Saiful breaking two strings from the get-go (!), there was no denying the sheer power of the performance. Not the best way to hear Singapore’s finest band but beggars can’t be choosers…
Also, it was good to catch up with the scenesters like HYR, Ros, Brandon, Desmond, Edward & GSE of course…
Despite the disappointments over the results, the bad sound, Zouk’s awful acoustics and other minor hiccups (which I will not detail here), I enjoyed last night for very personal reasons. Everything came together nicely and I went home with a warm feeling in my heart.
Isn’t that what it’s all about…
… and there’s more …

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