Weekly wrap – Commencing Thursday 31 October 2019


One cannot help noticing that it’s Halloween – it gets bigger in Phnom Penh every year – and it seems there are more parties than you can throw a stick at, starting from this evening.  In the thick of it are Sundance Inn and Saloon hosting Geography of the Moon, and Orphic’s party featuring Samsara.  With a little less blood and horror, Blues Routes offer up a Cambodian crossover at Meta House, jamming with Sokim Keat on chapei dong veng, and Mirasol and Arone are at The Bodleian.  Also there’s regular open mics at The Deck and Good Times Bar.  And keyboard wizard Chea Sophal begins his weekend lap of honour at Oscar’s on the Corner with his last appearance with The Extraordinary Chambers before moving to the countryside.

On Friday things really kick into gear.  It’s the return of the 308 Street Block Party, with 24 participating bars and restaurants, and a stage stacked with the Kampot Playboys, Hypnotic Fist Technique and Dane with Scoddy, plus DJs of all sorts.   For something a little quieter there’s Gonzalo and Paco at Botanico, Metta and Stan at Farm to Table, the Jeffro and Colin blues duo at Alchemy, and Intan, Phil and Antti at The Bodleian’s second anniversary party.  And for something a little later and more thumpy there’s the launch of the new Metatronic deep house to techno nights at Meta House and the Phnom Penh Underground’s CUBIK Halloween party at OneLove Rooftop.

Saturday is no less full of options – The Schkoots are playing at an afternoon garden party at Tchou Tchou School, and in the evening Miss Sarawan duo are at Botanico, David Bell and Kirsty Day are at The Box Office, The 99 Boyz celebrate the Day of the Dead at Alchemy, Geography of the Moon are at LF Social Club, and you can witness the debut of the Monster Mash Trio at The K’s.  Meanwhile, Cambodian cross-over pop/metal outfit SamRocker Band will launch their album Back to the Roots at Cloud (see our article below), Vinnie Vidi Vici rock out at Sharky Bar, and K’n’E do their thing at Oscar’s.

Also happening this weekend is the 16th International Music Festival Phnom Penh at Raffles – Le Royale – the theme is female composers, and three days of performances by world class players promises to live up to the high standards set by this annual event.  See our article below for more.

Clara, The Sidewalk Cellist, recently returned to Phnom Penh, tells us that commencing tomorrow, November 1st, a new series of programmes will be offered at Music Arts School in Tuol Tom Pong.   Lunch-time jam sessions, drop-in beginner piano class, chamber music reading and music appreciation sessions and more.  “Practicing space at Music Arts School is free for students and cheap for friends. Our beautiful ballroom is available for private functions, concerts, dance classes and more.  We want to be a community centre where people from all over the world can come and share their love of music.”

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The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature – Double!

SamRocker Band launch their album, Back to the Roots, at Cloud on Saturday evening, celebrating a return to the tougher sound of Sam’s earlier days.  She spoke to Leng Pleng about where the music has been and where it is going.

“The music that I write – it’s mostly based on my mood, my feelings.  I feel angry and I write an angry song.  When I feel sweet I write sweet songs.  I have my own kind of Sam Rocker genre.”

Read the whole SamRocker Band feature here: A heavy future.

Adding to the vibrant mix of musical entertainments this weekend is the 16th International Music Festival Phnom Penh at Raffles – Le Royale, a series of chamber music concerts by world class musicians.  Leng Pleng had a chat with Festival Director Anton Isselhardt.

“It is the 200th birthday of Clara Schumann – in her day, it was a revolution that a female could be so successful and so celebrated by the press and by the European audience.  She travelled all over Europe as a pianist, later on with her own works also.  And even in the shadow of her husband Robert and the huge number of European Romantic composers.”

Read the whole International Music Festival feature here: Clara, Bosba and more.

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

Geography of the Moon is a UK based duo made up of Virginia and Andrea.  They spent last European summer out in South East Asia playing everywhere and building a following.  Now they’re back – they played their first shows in Kampot last weekend and they’ll be in for Phnom Penh for their first performances tonight at Sundance and Saturday at LF Social Club.  In keeping with our doubles theme they both bared their souls for Leng Pleng this week.

Your pet musical hate:
Vi: Bad covers
A: Phil Collins

A private musical indulgence:
Vi: I still listen to Hole all the time
A: I can’t stop listening to Air

The year you first came to Cambodia:

An early music memory:
VI:Pink Floyd
A: Golden Hits, Beach Boys

Your favourite food:
Vi:Avocado, Goat Cheese, Mayo
A: Anything that doesn’t look like Phil Collins

What you do on a night off:
Vi & A: We watch cartoons

The country you want to visit:
A: Anywhere i haven’t been yet

Something people might be surprised to know about you:
Vi: Me and Andrea are not cousins (or brothers)
A: I’m not a real blonde

A question from last week’s participant, Graham Cain:
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?
Vi: Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin
A: Summertime Blues

A question for next week’s participant:
What’s your all-time favourite song ?


Steve Porte Photo of the Week

 Ritchy Boisson.  A fine drummer and multi-instrumentalist who we don’t see nearly often enough these days. 


Let us know about your upcoming gigs, events, news and interesting activities: gigs@lengpleng.com.

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

your correspondent,

Guillermo Wheremount




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