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Saturday, September 01, 2007

LIGHT MY FIRE!

Been awhile since I last posted cos it had been an awfully hectic work week.
So it was nice to be able to unwind and relax last night at Singapore Art Cafe for the second week in a row.
Highlight for me was Farid Long and friends (including Mani, Mark Magendran & Faz) who belted out choice covers and one original (yay!) which had a killer bridge. Farid is a real trooper and like me, you could call him a veteran of the local scene, having provided us with classic Singaporean tunes like Love You Aida and The 5 Cs. Good stuff (cannot bluff)!
I did a brief three song set - Here/Beautiful/My One & Only - and felt that my vocals came across much much stronger. Not forgetting Jonathan's fine keyboard accompliment, I think Jon's really getting the hang of my songs. So cool!
As usual, the rest of the night was left to the usual earnestly performed covers and the rare treat of Inch playing guitar!
Also, met this gentlement by the name of Henry Loo who runs a site called Songs I Write which allows songwriters to showcase their songs and to get comments and feedback from site visitors. Interesting... please check it out. Henry himself sang two Beatles covers and one original last night called Loneliness, which had some intriguing personal lyrics.
A fabulous respite from the torrid week that was...
... and thanks to baby girl for the beautiful, wonderful company as always...

Monday, August 27, 2007

WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS

The missus has never been to a live concert on the bay so I figured that Rosli Mansor and band at the Powerhouse stage would be a fine introduction.
I first witnessed Mansor's fret wizardry at Deafcon IV so I knew that skilful guitar work would be on display.
I went also to support Adam Shah who was playing drums (and did a great job, I might add).
And it was a good set though I could not name you most of the songs and Mansoor tends to stand like Noel Gallagher (i.e. motionless) whilst playing like Joe Satriani.
Two songs I recognized were Rescuing Rukia with its Santana-esque melody line and the George Harrison-penned Beatles classic While My Guitar Gently Weeps, which were dispatched with aplomb.
Many of Mansor's fans greeted his every move with loud cheers and enthusiastic applause - this Yamaha guitar teacher certainly has a following here and no surprise when you consider Mansor's abilities.
Which proves again my belief that there are indeed many talents on our little red dot. Getting that through to the masses is the real challenge.
... and there's more ...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

MUSING ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON

So let's talk about Friday.
Try as I might, I could not get out of the office till about 6.25pm. Thank goodness, I work rather close to the Esplanade so I made it to the Singapore Art Cafe in good time for a quick rehearsal with Jon. Was introduced to Syltra and Andrew (whom I met before at Timbre) and Jon and I ran through the songs in double quick time.
Friday nights at SAC is jammin'nights from 7 - 9 pm. Mainly covers, I must stress, as Syltra, Andrew and a group called Soul Sessions covered different songs. Andrew and friends delivered smooth jazz which was a treat. Andrew has a silky larynx with cool stage presence - potential! Syltra hits the high notes rather well but overall, okay.
I'm sorry but I want to hear original songs which tell me something about the songwriters and the bands. Covers reveal nothing...
Naturally, I was the odd one out (as usual), with my shiny grey hair and my own songs but glad to report that the audience appeared to enjoy my set. Trouble is, my voice was in bad shape, didn't warm it up properly and I personally thought the vocals were awful.
Setlist -
Feel the Same Way
Beautiful
Here
My One & Only
Conclusion - I need to perform more, whether solo acoustic or with a band. I actually want to perform more cos since coming back from New York, the crowd responses have been very encouraging... yay! So who knows, maybe a regular spot at SAC? Perhaps...
Again, music at Singapore night spots invariably means covers. And it's a totally different crowd and musicians you get from so-called indie gigs. Kind of folks you might get at Timbre, Wala or Balaclava etc - looking for a good time and live bands belting out familiar material.
*Sigh*
After all these years, we're still no closer to a Singaporean audience that will accept songs made in Singapore. Sad. But I refuse to be discouraged... in three years, this will all change...I believe...
If only, everyone involved or interested in English music in Singapore could get together to support each other, we could have the vibrant music scene, we all crave for...
Weekend has been quiet on the gig front. Decided to stay at home to catch up with my CD review pile up. Deadline for Pop Culture Press is looming so I sent off about eight reviews so hopefully that keep them happy for now...
...man, I wish I do more for the Singapore music scene...but there's more...

FLOWER SHOW RIOTS

We are about one week away from the release of Flower Show Riots, the debut album from my favourite Singapore band, The Great Spy Experiment. You can find my glowing review here and believe me, it's probably the most important Singaporean album of 2007. Why? I'll elaborate further on the release date i.e. 3 Sep 2007.
In the meantime, I would like some comments about the cover - any idea what it's about?