For those making an early start to the weekend, there’s plenty to choose from. Of note is Blues Routes baptising the new Meta House stage with a special guest Sokim Keat on chapei, then there’s Vince & the Bassman at Sharky Bar and Thursday regular events Far East Society at The Bodleian and The Extraordinary Chambers at Oscar’s on the Corner.
On Friday it’s International Beer Day so The Box Office is throwing a party from 4 pm, with music from David Bell and Kirsty Day from 6 pm. Then you can follow the acoustic trail from Antonio Elchico at Botanico to Gonzalo Rodino at LF Garden, to Alli Geckirana at Farm to Table and to The Boxchords at Alchemy, while while there’s jazz with Intan Andriana and Metta Legita at The Bodleian. Rocking a little harder and a little later are The Uncomfortably White Brothers at Bassac Lane and K’n’E at Oscar’s on the Corner.
On Saturday night young artists Marie Tach and Sera Daro continue the Java Concert Series at Java Tuol Kork, Samsara and zargz are on at Botanico, there’s a Latin night at Cloud, and The Sock Essentials and Clay George are at Garage. Mirasol & Arone are at The K’s, Ernie Buck & the Cham Ticks take the stage at Alchemy, Peter Doyle performs at Sharky Bar, and it’s Chicago blues with Chi-Town at Oscar’s on the Corner.
Into next week, on Monday night there’s a party to mark the reopening of Sundance Riverside (and a couple of birthays) featuring music from Scott Bywater, and on Wednesday Bouchon presents Blues in the Night with Colin Grafton, Phil Javelle and Antti Siitonen.
Coming soon, look out for Miss Sarawan Duo at Java Tuol Kork, French classical duets at Chinese House, Hills&Bells at Botanico and the first anniversary party for LF Social Club featuring Havana Kings.
A big Leng Pleng cheer for Doch Chkae for their performance at Wacken in Germany, and best of luck to the Kampot Playboys and Reign in Slumber for their travels this week to Darwin and Malaysia respectively.
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The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature
The Uncomfortably White Brothers are one of the more unusual bands in today’s Phnom Penh – a duo that’s all about love and soul and being serious about being ridiculous. The core duo both have several outside projects each, but when they don their UWB hats they are transported to another realm. Ahead of their show at Bassac Lane on Friday night they talked to each other and Leng Pleng occasionally got a word in edgeways.
GB: We have sparse instrumentation – a guitar, two voices, a kazoo, sometimes a drummer, sometimes a drummer and a keyboard player, sometimes just the two of us.
EB: And just a little bit of chutzpah.
GB: As the Yiddish would say. We give 150%.
EB: But that’s not possible, so we realised that, and then we only give 100%, because that’s literally all we can give.
GB: If you want to see ridiculousness on stage…
EB: With silk shirts.
GB: But done seriously, then that’s who you come to see. You come to see us. It’s ridiculousness done seriously. We mean everything that we sing and we play. And let me just say that we are the only band to use the balcony at Bassac Lane to sing from.
Passing chords: a few things you might not know about…
Ariane Parkes. Singer and dancer; since moving to Phnom Penh from Berlin she’s made her presence felt co-founding ska band Chequered Past and the duo The Sock Essentials, and has discovered songwriting.
Your pet musical hate:
The Doors. And Led Zeppelin. And the musical Hair. And techno music, and…
A private musical indulgence:
People used to call me a music nazi but in fact I love it all; rocksteady and ska.
The year you came to Cambodia:
An early music memory:
My dad testing our enormous speakers by playing Donna Summer’s I feel love super loud, and – but that might just be my twisted memory – over and over again. My mother loved Mahalia Jackson, so I loved her, too. My brother listened to Kiss, so I loved them, too, when I was 6.
Your favourite food:
That’s difficult… as long as it’s vegetarian I eat anything. But Asian (which in this case means from South East Asia to China) and Jamaican are probably my favourite styles.
What you do on a night off:
I spend the days working by myself so in the evenings I like to be around other people. When I am at home, I like to watch the sky and the sunset, I take care of my plants, I try to play the ukulele (or new guitar) and sing or read.
The country you want to visit:
So many! I would love to go to Indonesia and Japan, and Australia and New Zealand. And Portugal, Iceland and Zimbabwe and Costa Rica. And Jamaica, always Jamaica.
A stage superstition you have:
Mmmmmhhhh… no, nothing. I am not superstitious at all in general. But the last 15 minutes before a gig I sometimes try to leave my body and hide away somewhere to escape the upcoming performance.
Something people might be surprised to know about you:
I was a skinhead girl hanging around with evil looking skinhead friends. I loved my steel toed Doc Martens, checkered shirts (all that ironing!), sometimes suit and tie, and I shaved my head. But I wouldn’t sing in a ska band until I was 30. My first band, when I was 15 and for many years, was an Irish folk band.
Steve Porte photo of the week
Bob Passion. French punk and all-round force of nature.
Let us know about your gigs: send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe out there, and see you around the traps.