Weekly Wrap - Commencing Thursday The 12th October 2017

Festival season is just around the corner in Cambodia, with several mouth-wateringly massive musical events coming in November. More news soon regarding the musical portion of Kampot Writers and Readers Festival 2017, (Nov 1st-6th), including a suitably bodacious live concert by the Cambodian-based bands featured on Angkor PopA Homage to Iggy Pop. The events surrounding the recording of that album were riddled with adventure, mishap and controversy, and have since passed into popular folklore and legend as ‘The Night of The Iguana’ – click to read more!

Every Cambodian musical artist should be aware of the KWRF Songwriter’s Prize – which this year comprises an estimable package of cash, studio time and more. Check out the KWRF website for more details and note that the closing date for entries to the competition is the 28th October.

12ME and El Moreno will meet for a tantalising clash at the monthly Samai Distillery live music party tonight (Thursday). The gig will present a chance to hear two of the most original and skilful rappers in The Kingdom do their thing. While 12ME is on a French-Khmer hip-hop fusion mission, El Moreno is a master of Cuban reggaeton. Both artists are true stagemen and know how to turn a party into a frenzy!

Phil O’Flaherty is a newly-arrived artist performing his very first Cambodian gig at Botanico this Friday night. Phil’s repertoire of originals and covers tends towards the mellow side of acoustic pop, rock and traditional Celtic tunes, with an emphasis on interpretation over imitation! Be sure to check out Phil’s album ‘Too Fond of Walking’ via cdbaby.

More Irish and Scottish (and Bretagne!) music will be heard later on Friday at Jazz Club as the incomparable Kheltica take the stage. More of a family unit than simply a band, the Celtic music octet comprises bandleader and flautist Jean Claude, lead singer/guitarist James, a 14-year old fiddle prodigy named Alyssa and many wonderful players too numerous to mention here. At the Jazz Club gig, Kheltica will proudly welcome their newest member – oboist Noah.

While The Kampot Playboys continue putting the final touches to their forthcoming debut album, the fantastic fusionistas have found time for a quick trip to Phnom Penh for a return gig at Oscar’s On The Corner. Saturday night should bring the familiar and irresistible combination of a packed room, a sound system turned up loud and one of only a handful of genuinely exciting and original bands in the country doing their thing.

We’ll leave you with another taste of things to come as the organisers of the International Jazz Festival Phnom Penh prepare for the 2017 edition of their event, which through some corporate sponsorship – and a great deal of hard work and organisation – manages to bring truly wonderful international jazz acts to Phnom Penh. Here’s a video from last year’s festival, featuring the Giovanni Mirabassi Trio:

Whatever you’re up to over the next few days, stay safe out there and… see you around the traps!

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Joe Wrigley

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