One of the longest running expat bands in Phnom Penh, Sangvar Day, bring their tenure to an end tonight, Thursday 13, at Cloud, 8 pm start. Consistently developing, ambitious in scope and always original, Sangvar Day revolved around a creative core of Julian Bras (guitar), Julien Mariani (drums) and Robin Narciso (vocals and guitar), mixing together their tough prog-flavoured euro alt-rock, hard enough to more than hold their own in a metal show. They recorded two albums – Sangvar Day and National Anthems, both available at sangvarday.bandcamp.com – they made videos, they toured in the region. In 2017 founder member Julien left for the Ivory Coast and the band played intermittently with a change of rhythm section. With Robin and Julian about to leave Cambodia, the time has come for one last farewell show to mark the passing of a significant musical figure in the landscape of recent years. Thanks and good luck, lads.
Sangvar Day at Golden Street Festival, 2017
Back in 2013, your correspondent used to occasionally visit a little bar called Aquarium, Philippine owned and a bit of a club house for the Filipino musicians, who might play some of the regular warhorses, but as the night grew late they often brought out the songs of home, singing in many of the 183 mother tongues of the nation – it was a delight. On Friday 14 at Farm to Table, to mark Philippine Independence Day, Ace Zapa and Mirasol Aguila present a night of music of a style that is rarely heard in these parts and should only be encouraged.
Also on Friday the acoustic roster is filled out with Ernie Buck at LF Garden, Duo Sympatico at Botanico, reggae with Randy at Red Bar, and the Boxchords at Alchemy. The Bodleian offers Into the Gold: Hippy Chic, Cloud gets loud with Vartey Ganiva, and new act Smile Band debuts at Bona’s Pub.
On Saturday find the newly renamed Arome Khmer at Futures Factory in the late afternoon, Euan Gray Quartet jazzing up Alchemy, Ronan Sheehan at Good Times Bar, Joshua Chiang at LF Garden, Jeffro at Botanico, an accordion concert by Heev Del’Akreuz at Cloud, and Moi Tiet storming the stage at Oscar’s on the Corner.
On Sunday late afternoon the Original Sessions presents rapper Mehdi ‘12me’ Benabdessadok on a boat cruise and all acoustic backing – check out our weekly feature below. Alternately, Pristine and Phil Javelle are at Hops, and the long-running open mics Sunday Sundowner Sessions at Tacos Kokopelli and later Sharky Bar give you a reason to not stay home.
Also of note this week, the release of a new three-track digital EP by Scott ‘Scoddy’ Bywater, Quietly Blue, now available at Bandcamp, featuring the title track, Melancholy Holly and Always Leaving. For those without online money who would like to make a purchase, contact scoddy directly.
The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature
Multi-lingual rapper Mehdi ‘12me’ Benabdessadok embarks on a very different Original Sessions on Sunday evening – a boat cruise and an all acoustic backing, with guitar and roneat. Leng Pleng dragged him away from preparations to ask a few questions.
“I’ve worked with a few live bands in France, but trying a real all-acoustic version of my show is a first for me. I feel very excited because yes, it’s a different feel. I feel closer to the audience, and I am also very eager to hear the mix of percussion, guitar and the [traditional Cambodian xylophone] roneat on stage.”
Tickets are only $7 but there is limited seating to get in quick – visit the Tickets section in your Pi Pay app.
Passing chords: a few things you might not know about…
Antonio Elchico, baby faced and angel voiced, plays around town solo and with his new project Antonio and the Experiment. Check him at his regular solo shows at Good Times Bar, Botanico and LF Garden.
Your pet musical hate:
Turning off the radio while she’s about to fall asleep.
A private musical indulgence:
The year you came to Cambodia:
An early music memory:
I had my first paid gig on stage in a bar at 16. I felt a bit nervous but it was so exciting.
Your favourite food:
What you do on a night off:
Relax, stay at home, watch some videos
The country you want to visit:
USA, Brazil and France
A stage superstition you have:
I never sing My Way by Frank Sinatra, it’s a song which has a curse on it.
Something people might be surprised to know about you:
I’m a one woman man, a faithful guy.
Steve Porte photo of the week
Steve’s comment: Scoddy, demonstrating why 16mm lenses are a bad choice for portraits…
Stay safe out there, and see you around the traps.