Weekly wrap – Commencing Thursday 20 February 2020


Tonight the weekend opens early with a Geography of the Moon show at Sundance.  Also it’s the last chance this week and next to catch the Thursday nights of Havana Kings at Sora Sky Bar, as their residency comes to a close at the end of the month.  Other options for Thursday night include open mics at Ege Bar and Good Times Bar and of course The Extraordinary Chambers as usual at Oscar’s on the Corner.

On Friday night, Jeffro Starks and James Speck get together as the Jeffro James Duo at Alchemy, Ernie Buck is solo at Botanico, Geography of the Moon are at Farm to Table, The Goldilocks Zone take on Bassac Lane, Pavel Ramirez is solo at Mojito’s, and at The K’s a Brazilian Carnival night featuring “a mix of Semba, Kizomba and Bossa Nova” performed by Philippe Javelle and Cecile Dahome.  Sinville Roadshow are at LF Social Club, Mirasol and Arone get together as Soul Nouveau at L.A.B., Band@Work bring you a Music Icon Tribute night at Hard Rock Café and Checkered Past play their last for a while at Oscar’s on the Corner.

Come Saturday there’s still plenty on.  The Sock Essentials complete their No Matter What February Is mini-tour at Botanico, Mary and Takeshi play jazz at Cloud, there’s a Latin guitar and flute concert at Kwest with Anton Isselhardt and Pongpat Ponpradit, The 99 Boyz are at Alchemy, and Mirasol joins Band@Work for a special night at Hard Rock Café.  Later and louder, Sinville Roadshow are at full strength (including Colin Grafton on harmonica) at Sharky Bar, while Geography of the Moon add drummer Ernie Buck for a big show at Oscar’s on the Corner.

Out of town, Hot Club de Phnom Penh hit the road this weekend for a Saturday night at Magic Sponge in Kampot, then a Sunday afternoon with Christian Herve at Stray Cats, Kep.

Up and coming alt-Cambodian act Vartey Ganiva this week released a single, Chob Cher (Stop Hurt) on Yab Moung Records, and it’s available on Bandcamp.  A “sludgy anthem, depicting the cynicism of love,” they say.  A video will be unveiled next week.

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

Photo: David Flack

Peter Doyle.  Pete is an around-town troubadour and balladeer who worked in the music industry in Australia for many years until he developed a very expensive habit:  “Having kids”, he explains, “I decided I needed a more regular income.”  Much later, during his time as owner of the late lamented Gym Bar (2011-2017) he began to put music on in the bar and slowly returned to performance himself.  “I picked up my guitar again and I thought gee, I miss this.”  Once the Gym Bar closed he began to gig more regularly around Phnom Penh.

Your pet musical hate:
Narrowmindedness – people who only listen to one type of music or one genre without exploring what else is out there.  There’s so much out there, some great stuff.

A private musical indulgence:
I have a very broad taste in music, so I tend to go through different moods – I’ll be listening to classical because that’s the way I feel today, another day it will be hard rock.

The year you first came to Cambodia:
January 2011.  Just clicked over the anniversary.  I never thought I’d be here this long, but I just fell in love with the place.

An early music memory:
When I was 11 or 12 I went with my older brother and sister to my first international concert:  Slade.  At that time they were renowned as the loudest band in the world, and they weren’t wrong.  I was blown away, and I think that was one of the reasons I got so into music.

Your favourite food:
I have a big weakness for Italian food.  I’ll give anything a try once, but that’s always my go to.

What you do on a night off:
If there’s nothing particular on it’s always a good opportunity to go and see someone else around town playing – when we’re working we don’t get to see each other play too much.  But often I’m quite happy to stay at home, feed up and read a book.

The country you want to visit:
Having been working in South East Asia for almost 20 years I’ve seen most of this area.  I’ve got a bit of a fascination with some of the South American countries, I’d like to get down there and have a look at some of those places.

A stage habit or superstition you have:
No.  It’s funny, I’ve worked with a lot of people that do, and it always amazed me.  I’m just happy to get up there and do it.  Not needing my lucky socks or whatever.  There was a guy who refused to go on stage until he had at least one glass of port – he reckoned it loosened his throat, that was his excuse.  And another guy would only come on stage from the left hand side.  Go figure.

Something people might be surprised to know about you:
In my younger days I was pretty into sport, and although I was never at the elite level, I have represented Australia in rugby union and my state, New South Wales, in cricket.

A question from last week’s participant, Brin Wood:  is being a musician a blessing or a curse?  And why?
Of the two choices I would say it’s a blessing, because if you’re lucky enough to be able to do something you really enjoy doing, and people get some enjoyment from that, to me that’s a blessing.  If it’s a curse why bother doing it?

A question for next week’s participant: has playing music in Cambodia influenced what or how you play and if so, how and why?

Steve Porte Photo of the Week

Oscar’s on the Corner, 15 February 2020

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

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

your correspondent,

Guillermo Wheremount




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