Weekly wrap – Commencing Thursday 12 September 2019


Tonight for the early weekenders, there’s plenty to choose from.  Mirasol with Blues Routes singing the blues at Meta House, Jared Bibler at Sundance Inn & Saloon, meanwhile on riverside The Sock Essentials are playing Orphic Bar, and Mathias Aspelin is at KWest as usual.  And there’s the regular gigs at The Bodleian for The Far East Society and The Extraordinary Chambers at Oscar’s on the Corner.

On Friday night, there’s the punk attitudes of The Schkoots at Cloud, you can find jazz with the Hot Club de Phnom Penh at Farm to Table or with the Aymen Ghali Quartet at Alchemy, while Scoddy Acoustic Trio is at Botanico and the Irish folkiness of The Riel Capital is at LF Garden.  Further afield, Mirasol Aguila joins Euan Gray and Larry Martinez at The Bodleian, and The Fender Benders get all bluesy at Oscar’s on the Corner.

On Saturday night, The Uncomfortably White Brothers do their thing at Alchemy, Phil O’Flaherty is at Botanico and The Fender Benders take to the stage at Sundance Inn & Saloon.  Also Oscar’s on the Corner hosts a metal show featuring two bands from Taiwan, one from Slovakia, and local heroes Reign in Slumber and Doch Chkae – see the weekly feature below.

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The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature

Test your metal ears

It’s another big weekend in Cambodian metal, in a year that has already seen an unprecedented level of travel and exchange within the loud community.  On Friday 13, Reign in Slumber and Doch Chkae will play in Ho Chi Minh City with bands from Slovakia, Taiwan and Vietnam.  The next day five bands will pile into a bus and back come up the highway to play Oscar’s on the Corner on Saturday night.  Rado Uhlik from Sedem Minut Strachu (Noisecore from Slovakia) answered some questions for Leng Pleng.

Three out of four of us can’t play any instrument, we can’t tune the guitar, and except for our drummer we are total musical analphabets, so we just want to make as much noise and chaos as possible, and we want to present it as a cabaret, show, not music.” 

Read the whole feature here.

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

Photo credit: Anne from Mindbridge Media.

Shira Kaliski.  Born to two South African classical pianists and music teachers, she was destined for a world in music when her parents named her Shira, which means ‘the song’ in Hebrew.  Shira came to Cambodia on the recommendation of her best friend and is working as a singing and piano teacher at Soundskool in Phnom Penh.  She also runs an open mic at Hey Hey Bar in Tuol Tom Pong every Thursday night, and has established a new duo One Girl Six Strings performing jazz standards.  Watch out for them at Cloud next week.

Your pet musical hate:
I cannot stand autotune. I prefer looking up singers performing acoustic sets so I can actually hear their natural voices we don’t need to edit everything.

A private musical indulgence:
I’m a big fan of a singer called Regina Spektor.   She likes to use her voice as an additional instrument within a piece of music rather than it being the focus, which creates beautiful sounds and experimental creations.

The year you came to Cambodia:
This year, 2019.  I found it frustrating that I couldn’t make a living as a musician in London and decided to move here because my best friend lives here.

An early music memory:
My dad has always and still enjoys music from the 1920s to the 1950s, and I would play a CD of George Gershwin songs he owned again and again.  I particularly remember dancing along to an upbeat rendition of Nice Work If You Can Get It at the age of 10 in the living room, feeling so happy in my own little world.

Your favourite food:
Proper Jewish (most people know them as New York-style) toasted bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese.   Not so easy to find in Cambodia.

What you do on a night off:
I like to paint, play ukulele or listen to some Spotify recommendations. When I’m feeling super lazy I’ll go down the YouTube rabbithole on my phone.

The country you want to visit:
The Philippines.  I’m very much at peace in a beach setting with lots of nature and I’ve been told the Philippines not only have incredible musicians (who I’d love to jam with and listen to) but also beautiful beaches.

A stage superstition you have:
I don’t have a superstition but I don’t like to eat or drink any dairy products before singing, it always feels like it stops me from singing higher notes.

Something people might be surprised to know about you:
I have a dream of one day performing in an opera in one of the famous opera theatres such as the Royal Opera House in London.  Did you know that your vocal chords aren’t fully grown until you are in your 30s, which is why most opera singers won’t start performing until that age, and why we see 30 year old playing 18 year olds?

A question from last week’s participant.   Do you know the way to San Jose:
I don’t know the way to San Jose but luckily I have GPS on my phone.

A question for next week’s participant:
What’s the most unusual instrument you’ve seen played live?


Steve Porte Photo of the Week

Tom Hommeyer playing sitar at Cloud last month.

Let us know about your gigs: send information to gigs@lengpleng.com.

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

your correspondent,

Guillermo Wheremount



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