Greetings, Leng Pleng-ers! As anticipated, there will be a slight drought of gigs this coming weekend due to the three-day National Holiday – around which some of your favourite venues will be closed down or operating on a reduced schedule for a few days. As you read this compressed weekly wrap, Television Ted, Timothy Man of Keys and myself will be found somewhere in the Sisowath Quay melee, hunting for cold cans of domestic beer between boat races.
Like the Tonle Sap river however, good times and good music do not stop flowing in Phnom Penh. Duplex welcomes two visiting bands this weekend – kicking off on Friday with dreamy folk duo Morgane & Jeff and continuing on Saturday with Danang, Vietnam indie-rockers Com Them. Morgane Gaudin and Jeff Mailfert are a French couple with a love for Americana. This acoustic pair have melted hearts during their recent Phnom Penh sojourn with impeccable harmonies and hip song selection. The Duplex gig represents your last chance to catch them in the city before they jump back into that iconic Volkswagen Combi van and head on down the road. Com Them are a hard-edged covers trio fronted by Phnom Penh singer-guitarist Randy Cataluna – reunited this Saturday with the band of brothers he left behind in Danang, when he relocated from Vietnam to Cambodia earlier this year. Com Them will be augmented at Duplex by legendary Vietnam expat lead guitar player Paul Popp.
The Cambodian music scene is in for a treat after the Water Festival holiday is concluded, with a visiting band from India set to shake up Oscar’s On The Corner on Friday 30th November. Check out the video below for a taste of the superlative F16s and read the Leng Pleng band interview by Scott Bywater to find out more:
The last couple of years has seen an acceleration in international touring bands passing through Phnom Penh – to our benefit! – as part of a South East Asian tour circuit concentrating on Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Bangkok, but also including shows as far afield as Singapore, Hong Kong and even Japan. On the 30th of November, Chennai-based band The F16s will be playing Oscar’s on the Corner as part of their first tour outside India.
Since forming in 2012, the band has toured extensively throughout India, crafting a richly textured and sonically full sound – they call it dance/punk with a penchant for the weird. They deliver an acoustic/electronic melange: drums, bass, keyboards and guitars teased into slick grooves and then thrown into a reverb machine and occasionally poked with a stick to see if it will get angry.
Leng Pleng had some questions for the band as they were making final preparations for heading off for two shows at The Esplanade, Singapore, the first stop of the tour.
You formed in 2012, recorded your first album in 2016, and now embarking on your first international tour – quite a ride. How did the band come together?
We knew each other during college. All of us played for different bands in the city and would meet each other at gigs. The current lineup is the way it is after much trial and error, with people joining and leaving the band all the time.
A flip through your album Triggerpunkte reveals a range of styles from the dreamy to the screamy – can you select three tracks to best illustrate the F16s sound and feel?
Dreamy to screamy is a great phrase, please allow us to use that!
[Note: Moon Child achieved over a million hits on Spotify, appearing on the US Viral 50 list in 2017.]
Click here to read the full interview with the F16s – written by Scott Bywater.
Whatever you’re up to over the next few days, stay safe out there and… see you around the traps!