Weekly wrap – Commencing Thursday 3 October 2019


Ska band Checkered Past will play on Friday at LF Social Club, then next Saturday at Oscar’s on the Corner.  Since their arrival on the scene in the middle of last year, they’ve brought their unique horn-driven sound to a growing audience, but change is in the air.  Lead singer Ariane Parkes tells us:

“The shows in October will be the last for the original line up of Checkered Past.  Our guitarist Steve is leaving for Australia, so we hope you will come out this weekend and next to help us give him a big send off.  Then we’ll work hard to bring our new guitarist up to speed and hope to be back on Phnom Penh’s stages very soon.”

For after work acoustic options on Friday try the MiraSoul Duo at Farm to Table, 1 Girl 6 Strings at Alchemy, Ernie Buck at Botanico, The Boxchords at The Bodleian, or get into party mode with The 99 Boyz at Hub Street Cocktails.  Dancers get to choose between Checkered Past at LF Social Club and the Havana Kings at Bassac Lane.  Later and louder, Bob Passion and The Schkoots take on Oscar’s on the Corner.

On Saturday, Antonio is joined by sax man John at Botanico, Retro Carnival bring their disco revival to Alchemy, classic rockers Vinnie Vidi Vici celebrate singer Vinnie’s 50th birthday at Sharky Bar, and K’n’E rock Oscar’s on the Corner.  And/or the phenomenon that is Hypnotic Fist Technique return to LF Social ClubMike Dynamo says:

“Time may have passed, but the Hypnotic Fist ages like a celestial body.  Saturday night, we’re bringing with us the same hard hitting, live action, original music cultivated right here in the Kingdom of Wonder.  With the vacation at its end, let the high season begin as Technique Strikes Back at LF Social Club.  It’s time to remember what all the hard work is for.”

On the metal side, events continue to move at pace, and there’s a weekend double for those who like it louder.  The independent collectively-run record label Yab Moung Records has opened a record store and “DIY community house” on St 109, a little to the north of Orussey Market, and will throw the doors open with a party on Friday night.  “The idea came from the deficit of venues and  places for people who are into alternative music,” says founder Florian Greich.  Cambodia also doesn’t have a record store dedicated to metal and punk music, so we figured – why not?”   The night will feature the screening of a documentary about slumdog metallers Doch Chkae, and will be attended by members of the band as well as visiting Beijing based prog metal band Nekroma and Reign in Slumber.

“The target audience is everyone and anyone who’s into metal, punk and hardcore music, or whoever’s interested in the scene and music.  Everyone’s welcome.”  Yab Moung receives support from the NGO Moms Against Poverty Cambodia , and also has a Patreon page for others to assist in their efforts to build the scene and give a voice to young Cambodians.  On Saturday Cloud hosts a metal night with headliners Nekroma supported by Reign in Slumber and Dieu A Quitte.  All this on top of the recent opening of metal-themed bar The Chug Lab on St 376.

There’s plenty more coming in October, stay tuned to Leng Pleng to keep up.  Before the month is out we’ll have seen GC Riders, Vibratone, the opera Pagliacci, Psykic Electric and The Goldilocks Zone.  And then there’s November…

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

Antti Siitonen.  One of the hardest working musicians in the city, Antti is a powerful and versatile drummer who is also pretty handy with backing vocal harmonies.  He’s played in bands such as Road to Mandalay, Joe & the Jumping Jacks, Antti-Venom, The Far East Society, Moi Tiet, The Cham Ticks and Miss Sarawan as well as accompanying a range of acoustic acts with regular appearances at Bouchon’s Wednesday nights and Sundays evenings at Hops.

Your pet musical hate:

I used to have some when I was younger, but nowadays I don’t dare to have any because sometimes I have to play the music anyway.

A private musical indulgence:

Playing jazz.  I grew up playing jazz, and only played jazz until I was 15 years old.  You can really show your emotions and improvise – it’s all about discussing with the other musicians on stage.

The year you came to Cambodia:

May 2015.

An early music memory:

I’ve always been a drummer.   I had a couple of toy drums when I was three, four year old, and I was always banging those.  Then I started banging whatever was available.  I came from a musical family.  My father played in brass bands and singing in choirs, my brother is four year older than me, but he was always playing keys – we always had a piano in the house.  And I was always banging.

Your favourite food:

I eat anything, but sometimes when I get a really good fatty, juicy steak with bernaise sauce…

What you do on a night off:

Usually rest.  And I practice every day.  Doing my rudiments, and working on songs for upcoming gigs, sometimes 30 songs a week.

The country you want to visit:

New Zealand – I’ve learned so much cool stuff about it.  And Australia, because I have some relatives there, I’m the last relative who hasn’t been there.

A stage superstition you have: 

I don’t have one.  I do so many gigs every week – just go there and play, do your job.

Something people might be surprised to know about you:

I had a really nice career in the hotel industry in Finland.  I hit my career ceiling and I resigned, sold everything, and moved to Cambodia without knowing anyone to start a career as musician from zero.

A question from last week’s participant, Ernie Buck:
If you removed all of the empty space in every atom in every human body in the world right now, would the entire mass of the human population fit into (a) the size of an apple, (b), the size of a watermelon, or (c), the size of a cricket ball? 

That would save the world.  

A question for next week’s participant:

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?


Steve Porte Photo of the Week

RJ Marshall.  Singer-songwriter and guitarist, who spends half the year in Europe and half the year in Cambodia.   

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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