Weekly Wrap – Commencing Thursday the 2nd August 2018

Did you miss us? Normal service is resumed on the Cambodian music scene this weekend with a full roster of gigs, teeming with quality!

The 99 Boyz are on a roll at the moment. The group that started 12 months ago as a loose acoustic jam between Mike Dynamo and Saska Chewan has become a unique and muscular powerhouse with the addition of drummer Kenneth Simmons, some clever sound-shaping (no bass player!) and some really off-the-wall cover song choices. Somehow, these Boyz have figured out how to turn cheese into gold, taking Top 40 songs from the 1990’s and mashing them up into bizarrely compelling rock-rap-RnB-pop renditions. Recent packed-house appearances at Alchemy and Duplex have seen the band mature into a full-on showbringer, with Dynamo swapping between sung vocals, raps and unrestrained audience admonitions to get the **** down! Check out The 99 Boyz at this month’s ‘First Friday’ live music party at Bassac Lane in Phnom Penh.

Pink is the new black: Scoddy at Mansion. Pic: Steve Porte

Clay George will mark the first anniversary of his taking over the reins at Street 110 watering hole Garage Bar this Saturday, with a live acoustic session. Scott Bywater will feature twice – with singer Ariane as the eclectic Sock Essentials and with new duo Main Street. Main Street comprises ‘Scoddy’ and the versatile Greg Beshers. Together the pair have worked up a repertoire of ‘American Heartland’ covers focusing on songwriters like Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Warren Zevon… ballads and rockers.

Since Clay George busied himself with the day-to-day demands of his loyal Garage Bar clientele, his gigging activities have largely been confined to Monday nights at Oscars with the Cambodia Country Band and occasional solo acoustic outings at his own venue. Occasional enough that it can become easy to forget just how strong the George repertoire of Americana originals is. See: ‘Cherry Bank Hotel’.

Following his album launch party at hip new performance space The Factory a few weeks ago, Peace Chong recently released the above killer music video on Youtube. Something about this creative Cambodian youngster tells us we’ll be seeing a lot more of him soon. This video is wonderfully zany.

Stylish setting: Chinese House as intimate concert venue. Pic: Youtube

Metta Legita has gathered together a superb group of musicians for the live launch of her debut album at Chinese House on Sunday evening. Two top Indonesian jazz players, Rudy Zulkanaen (double bass) and Brury Efendy (trumpet) will travel from Jakarta to join Phnom Penh stalwarts Stan Paleco (guitar), Toma Willen (drums) and Andrey Meshcheryakov (bass guitar). Led by Metta on keyboards and vocals, this ‘A-Team’ jazz band will perform her ‘Scenic Spirit’ album in its entirety, followed by a set of jazz standards. Metta has chosen a suitably atmospheric setting in the Chinese House first-floor dining room – with its superb acoustic and aesthetic qualities.

Leng Pleng chatted with Metta Legita last week to discover how her collection of excellent original compositions was created. Click here to read the Scenic Spirit album preview, and check out the title track, performed live in Indonesia, via the video link below. Scenic Spirit is now available on Spotify and iTunes.

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

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