After four days of almost non-stop intense rock music, the Happy Monday Northern Lights gig at Earshot was a suitable and timely comedown. Featuring acoustic performances from some of the finest pop musicians our neighbours can offer, it was a welcome two hour-plus chill out as melodic pop held sway.
Working late on a Monday night is par for the course so unfortunately I missed Ben Harrison's set but arrived in time for Zack Yusof of the Deserters. Zack solo is sweeter than the Deserters jagged pop edge and betrays a twangy Neil Young-Teenage Fanclub vibe, which is aces with me. Standout tracks for me were Last Chance and Confusion, not to mention a sparkling version of Wilco's What Light.
Warren Chan (Ferns) and Reza Salleh, I had witnessed only at Saturday during the Baybeats afternoon sesssion at the Singapore Art Cafe so it was familiar territory and twice the pleasure. Warren's fragile high-register vocals, sublime chord progressions and self-effacing charm left a smile on many faces. A couple of new songs illuminated the proceedings with wit and musicality delivered in a unique fashion.
Reza, certainly has the chops to be a mainstream attraction, a star in the making. Superb guitar skills, silky smooth vocals and smouldering good looks. Add quality tunes to the equation and you'll believe that the pop world could be at his feet. "Malaysian pop's last hope" was Warren's candid assessment. Trust me, Reza probably possesses one of the better larynxes in the region and not to be missed live.
In between Warren and Reza, Singapore's own Fahmie and Mojo (out of Pinholes) entertained in their own special way with a few of the band's numbers and even though as you probably know, the Pinholes are never technically proficient but their personality shines through to paper the tiny cracks. All this and a crackin' Shake and Bake encore. The Pinholes rule, ok!!!
Thanks to Zack and Reza for passing me their EPs for review... will keep you all posted. Thanks to Ben for putting this cool event together...
...still there's more...
Just in - photos of the gig here.