Arriving this week for a Cambodian tour are the hardrocking GC Riders, led by Graham Cain. The band formed in Sihanoukville in 2016 and had a few good years together – and many roof-lifting gigs – before life inevitably led them to go their separate ways. They recently found themselves gathered together in Da Nang, Vietnam, and regrouped for a handful of performances, then decided to come do a last hurrah in the country of their origin. Tonight they’re at Sundance Inn & Saloon, on Friday at Oscar’s on the Corner, and on Saturday at Sharky Bar – then they’re off to Kampot for a series of shows, including some solo gigs by Graham, and back to the capital early next month for more. Welcome back fellas, rock hard.
Also beginning their 2019/2020 tour are Geography of the Moon, a vibrant semi-acoustic duo from the UK who will be around for some months, to the delight of their Cambodian fan base. They’re in Kampot tonight at Plantation, tomorrow at Banyan Tree, and on Tuesday at Karma Traders, before heading to Phnom Penh for more shows.
In Phnom Penh on Thursday you can find Ms Daisy with the Boys at Orphic, jazz with Intan Andriana and James Atkinson at The Bodleian, and regular gigs for Havana Kings at Sora Sky Bar and The Extraordinary Chambers at Oscar’s on the Corner.
On Friday early it’s Ernie Buck at Farm to Table, Christophe Horvath at LF Garden, and Marianna & Joe at Botanico. Later and louder, Psykic Electric play their first full show at Cloud (see our feature article below), Major/Minor are at Alchemy, the new band Wilson Rockstars join Pocket Change at Bassac Lane and Retro Carnival are at Duplex.
Come Saturday there’s children’s entertainment at the Farm to Table Halloween Farmers’ Market with Mimi and the Merrymakers. Later, Phil O’Flaherty is at Botanico, Vanntin Hoeurn comes to Cloud, 1 Girl 6 Strings are at Ege Bar and Indie Indica are at LF Garden; while Vibratone are at Alchemy (see our other feature below), Samsara are at The K’s and K’n’E are at Oscar’s on the Corner.
Also this weekend at the Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wonderful 28 Lifestyle, Wine & Dine expo will feature music from Havana Kings, 99 Boyz, Sareen Wong, and Intan Andriana on Friday, and Coconut Band, September’s End, Plugger, Orphelia So, and Hashtag on Saturday.
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The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature – Double!
This weekend we have two significant all-original gigs back to back – Joshua Chiang’s funk/new wave outfit Psykic Elektric at Cloud on Friday, and the reggae force of Vibratone at Alchemy on Saturday. This week Leng Pleng talked to two contrasting singer-songwriters about their work and their journeys.
Joshua of Psykic Elektric: “Music and illustration – both are forms of storytelling, and I don’t think I’ll ever give up storytelling.
Maia of Vibratone: “I didn’t realise how much my work fit with reggae until after I started singing and playing it, and writing the lyrics.”
Passing Chords: a few things you might not know about…
Graham Cain. An Australian troubadour who cut his teeth busking and wound up touring and playing extensively throughout Europe and South East Asia. After many years in Cambodia he relocated last year to Da Nang, Vietnam, where he continues to perform – and he’s now in Cambodia for a tour with his band GC Riders.
Your pet musical hate:
Breaking an important string on my guitar, like a E or A, which throws the whole guitar out, on the last song, only to have the audience and venue ask you to play one more. By the time you have changed the string or retuned your guitar everyone has lost interest.
A private musical indulgence:
Trying to play an acoustic Led Zeppelin song in my room where no one can hear me make all my mistakes.
The year you came to Cambodia:
My first year in Cambodia was 2012.
An early music memory:
Watching my sister being the first up contestant playing her banjo in front of hundreds of people, and the media, at a music competition for homeless musicians in Australia. (Note: she was not homeless).
Your favourite food:
Roast leg of lamb with Vegemite gravy and homemade mint sauce.
What you do on a night off:
Spending a quiet evening at home, resting my voice, adding new songs to my list, catching up with old friends on social media.
The country you want to visit:
Bhutan is a country I have a great desire to visit. I’m waiting and hoping they will let solo travelers visit without restrictions.
A stage superstition you have:
Playing Hotel California backwards.
A question from last week’s participant, Jedil Robello: You have $10,000 to spend on a video for a song you have written, what would the video look like?
In my video, the song is catchy and comical. It depicts my countrymen and women in all sorts of work manner, leisure manner and party manner, being silly, singing the song, landscapes of Australia and our indigenous people and animals, even politicians looking at the camera.
A question for next week’s participant:
If you had the chance to go back in time to claim a song as yours, just as rock and roll was exploding, just before the Beatles and the Stones, which song would you take?
Steve Porte Photo of the Week
James Speck and Michelle Neukirchen at the Same Brick Different Pay event at Meta House last Friday, performing an original composition inspired by Sopheak Sao’s film Strength, about female construction Cambodian workers.
Let us know about your gigs: send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe out there, and see you around the traps.