Weekly wrap – week commencing 30th May 2019

The Hot Club de Phnom Penh, with its new line-up, is back from a tour of Hong Kong and will play at Farm to Table on Friday. The latest addition to the group is Daniele
‘Pepito’ Vilella
, “a highly skilled guitarist with a passion for travel and impromptu collaborations.” Sounds like he’ll fit right in. Born in Rome, he studied guitar at the Conservatorium of Jazz in Brisbane, Australia and has toured extensively throughout Asia. Leng Pleng is told Hot Club will be recording an album shortly – watch this space for updates.

Meanwhile Hypnotic Fist Technique play their last show before a low season break until September at LF Social Club – see the Leng Pleng weekly feature below.

Also on Friday Miss Sarawan Band are closing their Sabay Jong Jam campaign with one last big party with special guests Joe & the Jumping Jacks, Vartey Ganiva, Clay George and an opening acoustic set by hot new Khmer name Vosa Em.

And you’re not missing out in Kampot either, with the Kampot Playboys testing out some new material at Banyan Tree on Friday night.

On Saturday the ska of Checkered Past is back, as they make their debut appearance at LF Social Club. Plenty of room for dancing, folks. In a more jazz groove on Saturday night, the Metta Legita Project features Euan Gray at Alchemy, while a Latin Guitar Night at KWest Restaurant features Diego Dimarques with Phil Javelle, Intan Adriana and Antti Siitonen.

Late on Saturday sees the return to Phnom Penh stages of Tep Modyka, known as Srey Ka, after touring in the USA – she’s back out the front of K’n’E at Oscar’s on the Corner.

This year’s Musica Felica summer charity concert will be held on Sunday 2 June at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, featuring choral works of Saint-Saëns, Karl Jenkins, Mozart, Bizet and others. Tickets ($10/$5) are available from Sofitel or from choir members.

In other news, our friends Geography of the Moon, who toured through South East Asia over the past two high seasons with their psychedelic folk, playing almost every possible venue, have released an EP, The Sunshine Makers Club, now available for purchase at Bandcamp.

Geography of the Moon in Phnom Penh back in February 2019

The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature

Hypnotic Fist Technique plays one last show on Friday at LF Social Club before taking a low season break. Leng Pleng sat down with rapper Mike Dynamo to get the lowdown.

‘After Mike’s three years in the city, the transience of the scene is strongly felt. “A lot of the people that loved us two years ago aren’t here anymore. That’s the Phnom Penh thing. You are always campaigning, running for office every year. We want to be the best band in the city. Now I go to the open mic and I don’t know who is there anymore.”’

Read the whole feature here.

Passing chords: a few things you might not know about…

Oscar, of music venue Oscar’s on the Corner, is one of the great characters of the Phnom Penh music community. After years of performing four to five nights a week leading the house band, he now restricts himself to Monday nights with the Cambodia Country Band and occasional fill-ins, and once in a while he’ll get up and sing. He’s a generous, shy and humble man, with a strong dedication to building live music and supporting musicians. He doesn’t mind a drink either.

Musical pet hate:
Heavy metal. For me, not for the bar, but for me.

Your favourite food:
In the morning, bread, and then evening soup, spicy soup or something with rice.

An early music memory:
When I was 12 or 13. My dad played bass and keyboards and guitar, Khmer-style. Daddy go somewhere and take the little boy along. I saw they play drums – I like! My grandfather played the traditional drums, kun peak. Later I played some weddings, I could not read the notes, just listen to the tape, no YouTube, nothing. Some friends of mine had been to music school, so they could read and write, and could play just pop songs, like Unchained Melody or Hello, classic songs for weddings, not rock’n’roll.

A country that you would like to visit:
Australia or New Zealand, any western country. Mix with my culture and see what happens!

Favourite place for a family holiday:
The beach. Sihanoukville for my holidays before. And Kep.

Something people might be surprised to know about you:
Before I started the bar I was just a simple tuk tuk driver. Waiting for customers at two o’clock, three o’clock, outside Martini, Walkabout. Sometimes sleep in the tuk tuk, try to sell something to customers. Then I sold my old car and started up Oscar Bar.

Steve Porte photo of the week

Steve’s comment: Tracy Farrell. Bass and vocals for Road to Mandalay. Moved away for work.

Stay safe out there, and see you around the traps.

your correspondent,

Guillermo Wheremount




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