Weekly Wrap – Commencing Thursday the 25th Oct 2018

Oscar’s On The Corner will host a packed night of music this Friday as Mia Priests Indierawk Fest gets off to an explosive start. OH Dirty Fingers are a fascinating band from Shanghai, recording on the Maybe Mars imprint, describing themselves as ‘the rising bastard lords of punk in China! This challenging group also claim ‘jail time, death threats, and more hangovers that anyone who’s ever come into contact with their live show could struggle to remember.– sounds just about right for a Friday night at Oscar’s, Phnom Penh!


Phnom Penh band-on-the-rise Khmeng Somrae will build the atmosphere at Oscar’s on Friday during a support slot filled with chunky 1980’s Khmer rock riffs, huge rawk beats and hair so big it could put Twisted Sister to shame. Some of the hair is real, some is not, but the attitude of this band of Khmer youngsters is 100% genuine and refreshing as they pay tribute to a oft-forgotten and fascinating period of Cambodian music. While the presence of Khmeng Somrae and OH Dirty Fingers would be enough to create a superb night in and of itself, Indierawk promoter Mia is doubling down with the addition of Checkered Past – a new band created by Ariane Parkes to solve the long-standing problem of having zero live Ska music in Phnom Penh. We haven’t bounced along to that fast two-beat skank since the days of Jahzad, after all! Ariane, singer of a 10+ members Ska band in Germany, has scaled down her concept to a sleek 5-pax unit (including horn section!). Bring on the rawk… and at $2, its hard to argue with the price of entry (the house band are playing too!)!

New Faces on the Scene: Khmeng Somrae. Pic – supplied


Speaking of Ska music, a skilled practitioner known on the stage as ‘Miserable Man’ is back in town this week. Currently keeping things on the low-down in Kampot, Miserable will hit Phnom Penh during the first weekend of November for a bevy of gigs. Anyone who witnessed his impromptu performances at Stage Bar and other venues in Cambodia last year will remember the unique sound and performance style of this Italian-English gentleman. Producing his very own take on the ‘one-man-band’ formula, MM accompanies himself on acoustic guitar, beat box and mouth-trumpet! With plenty of studio albums, EPs and tours under his belt, Miserable is an accomplished and experienced performer. Look out for his special Original Session appearance at Sundowner Social Club, a Ska night (with Checkered Past!) at Bassac Lane and an appearance at the Early Years Behind Bars fundraiser at Chinese House. Consult the Facebook event page to buy tickets for the fundraiser, which features a cavalcade of top Phnom Penh musicians, and is expected to sell out – like last year – well ahead of time.

Soundskool will herald the launch of their new Russian Market location with a concert by Syra Run on Saturday afternoon. Phnom Penh musos may also be attracted by some instrument and equipment giveaways during the event. Anyone who has tried to buy music gear in Phnom Penh will know how difficult it can be to get hold of genuine quality imported items. Props to vendors such as Soundskool who eschew the plethora of fake merchandise available and only sell on-brand imports.

The Phnom Penh momentum of The Uncomfortably White Brothers continues to build like a steam train as each gig seems to bring a new venue and new set of followers. The UWB ‘take no prisoners’ approach to performing results in a ‘Greater than the Sum of its Parts’ musical outcome, as Greg Beshers thrashes his ‘half-dozen’ twelve-string guitar with total gusto while lead vocalist Ernie Buck wheels around the stage with complete abandon. The next few days will see the Brothers take in two fresh stages (Hops on Sunday, Bouchon on Wednesday – Halloween special) and a new band member – as super-talented keyboardist James Atkinson debuts with this 1970’s-inspired acoustic soul outfit.

Continuing his fascinatingly fresh style of Khmer rap, Peace Chong recently teamed up with young stars Smallworld Smallband to produce this cool collaboration. Check out the MV below.


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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