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Monday, October 01, 2007

DANCE WITH ME

Why support local bands? Simply put, because they’re our bands. Not Japanese, not American, not British, OUR bands.
Now, it must have been cool to have been at the Cavern in the early sixties to watch the Beatles when they were just a “local” band to the kids in Liverpool. Did any of those kids ever imagine the huge impact that the Beatles were going to have in the years following? Unlikely. And at that point in time, it didn’t matter; the Beatles were their band. One of their very own.
I keep reading and hearing about why and how Singaporeans will not support local bands. Do Singaporeans prefer foreign because it’s perceived to be better or because of the more recognizable brand name? Fine in itself but imagine what a thriving local music scene would mean to us, as Singaporeans.
Imagine having our very own Beatles or Led Zeppelin or Police or Oasis or Coldplay in our own back yards? Impossible? It’s up to us, really…
Last night, the Fire Fight gave me enough reason to believe that with the right support, the boys could really set the music scene ablaze, not only in Singapore but in the region
as well.
The mostly teenage crowd at Home Club – sizable for a Sunday night – were thrilled by the familiar indie anthems, awestruck by the passionate musicianship (the rhythm section of Jbarks and Iain was out of this world!) and touched by Josh’s ability to connect with his audience.
Closing up the exhilarating set with the popular Train Song, Josh and Jon put down their guitars and leapt into the crowd, to dance with the fans – no grander statement of the unity between band and audience. It felt like a symbiotic relationship – giving and taking – that left all witnesses breathless at the end.
This is what music is all about – touching hearts and moving feet – and right in your hometown. No need to wait for the next big foreign act to fly in or to make that expensive trip to LA or London.
The music's out there right where you want it - whether it's the Great Spy Experiment at the Prince of Wales on Friday, 5th Oct or Allura at the Esplanade on Saturday, 6th Oct - what you get out of the Singapore music scene is as much as you're willing to put into it...
... and there's more ...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

BEAUTIFUL

It's been six months since I was in New York for the Singapore Day event, playing with top notch local musicians and being fired up to get involved in the Singapore music scene once again, both as performer and as observor.

Since then, it has been a tremendous time - making new (great) friends, receiving encouraging responses from young crowds and just feeling good about the life decision that I made in April.

Last night at the Arts House, a rather packed Earshot witnessed the debut of Kevin Mathews and the Groovy People and it was an absolute blast!

It has been a blessed experience playing with Benita and Adam. Adam is going to be a top musician and even at 20 years old, has the potential to be one of the best drummers in Singapore. He picked up the songs at the first jam and actually added his own touch to the decade-old material and made it all so exciting for me. Benita has been providing the important link between Adam and me, with her keyboard and backing vocal work. Not having our own keyboard, we had to borrow one from the Karl Maka (thanks, Ken and Jonathan!!!) and it was literally the first time she was playing the keyboard at the gig itself and she did well to adapt. You see, during our jams, she would play piano but now she had to play organ but, barring a few hiccups, managed perfectly. Thanks, Beni, you're a Godsend...

Set list time -
Never Liked the Beatles

Beautiful

Here

I Love Singapore

My One & Only

Gum
The gig itself was pure fun. I could see that the audience was getting into the songs - singing along, smiling, bobbing heads and showing appreciation - wow, applause is such a rush! And it all went by so quickly and smoothly - in a flash.

At the end, it felt so good - not only because of the compliments and positive feedback, but because I feel confident that there will be greater things in store for the Groovy People.

I must apologize to the other bands viz. The Karl Maka, Uberskank, V and Super Illegals, that with all that was going on, I never had the opportunity to sit down and properly review the gig but by all accounts you all rocked!

I just wanna thank Ben Harrison and Natalie Tan for having us, Inch and Bonk for good company, Fahmy and Modjo for making an appearance and for those who missed us, this is only the beginning, I promise ...

... still there's more ...