The big gig of the weekend is Friday’s album pre-launch for Khmer cross-over band Miss Sarawan at Bassac Lane. Sabay Jong Jam was recorded earlier this year at 60 Road Studios in Siem Reap, and pre-release download codes and band merch will be available for purchase at the gig. Our congratulations to the band.
“We don’t have physical CDs yet, but those who helped with the crowdfunding campaign have received the digital album,” says band co-founder Joe Wrigley. “Getting the album done as the same time as the crowdfunding was a very intense experience, but everything went right, it came together well, and I feel very, very good about the outcome.”
Elsewhere on Friday an evening of Argentinian music at Farm to Table with Paco de Feo and Gonzalo Rodino, jazz at The Bodleian with Metta and Intan, a pub sing event led by Antonio and Justin at Botanico, the Boxchords are at Alchemy and K’n’E at Oscar’s on the Corner.
On Saturday Clay George performs with Hills&Bells at Garage Bar, the 99 Boyz are at Alchemy, Ernie Buck is at LF Garden, the Hot Club de Phnom Penh bring jazz manouche to Botanico, while Checkered Past are downstairs at Cloud and Chi-Town are upstairs at Oscar’s on the Corner.
Also of note to mention: a special gig next Wednesday at Cloud – veteran Thai folk singer Cyan Wyachai.
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The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature
Have bass, will play
Phnom Penh’s not-so-new-now ska band Checkered Past returns to Cloud on Saturday night. Band leader Jon Banules sat down with Leng Pleng to talk about the development of the band and his own musical journey.
“After I’d been in Bangkok for about six years someone said if you want to play in a band you’ve got to play bass or keyboards. There are so many guitars. And I think that’s helped more than anything: have keyboard, will play; have bass, will play. I think that helps a lot in a band to be a little versatile, for whatever sound the band needs.”
Passing Chords: a few things you might not know about…
Scott Bywater. Poet and singer-songwriter who to his chagrin will probably be best remembered for writing Phnom Penh Driving School.
Your pet musical hate:
Queen. Four gifted musicians somehow completely lacking any taste.
A private musical indulgence:
I’m particularly fond of the 1973-75 work of Frank Zappa.
The year you came to Cambodia:
To visit, 2007. To live, 2008.
An early music memory:
Learning the Great American Songbook by singing around the piano with my family.
Your favourite food:
I think of coffee and red wine as food.
What you do on a night off:
The country you want to visit:
I’m keen to get to Chiang Mai in Thailand.
A stage superstition you have:
These days I feel uncomfortable being on stage without my battered hat.
Something people might be surprised to know about you:
In my 30s I studied law for a couple of years and worked as a paralegal.
A question from last week’s participant: why don’t you dance with me?
I only dance about once a year, now that the South East Asia Soul Revue isn’t playing, so catch me on the right night.
A question for next week’s participant:
Do you know the way to San Jose?
Steve Porte Photo of the Week
Sophal, the always-smiling keyboard master with the Cambodia Country Band, the Extraordinary Chambers, K’n’E and Miss Sarawan.
Let us know about your gigs: send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe out there, and see you around the traps.