Notable this week is the return of open mics – the legendary Wednesday jam that came from Show Box to LF Social Club has now resumed at new venue Boran House on St 310 (between 105 and 113) in BKK2, also on Wednesdays Lone Star Saloon’s open mic is back on, and a new one commencing next week at The Box Office hosted by Hugo St Leger. Ege Bar and Good Times Bar continue their Thursday nights, and the long running Sunday Sundowner Sessions at Tacos Kokopelli and Sharky Bar open mic continue over the weekend. A special this week is an open mic at Cloud on Saturday night hosted by Alisha and John.
Tonight at Farm to Table is a special concert by the Carrie Herbert Trio (with Metta and Andrey) entitled Courageous Spirit (may be sold out – check with the venue), while Antonio & Gerard are on at Sundance, and AM Radio (Mirasol and Ace) are at new venue Moon Knight Pub.
On Friday Poca de Feo is at Farm to Table, and Femke & Anthony appear at the grand re-opening of the Craft Beer Garden on the riverside, an event that will continue through the weekend. The Jazz and the City series at Green Pepper, this week with Euan and Andrey joining Intan and Metta, is booked out yet again – book early for next week’s Swingin’ the Blues with guest Colin Grafton. New venue Boran House has a grand opening featuring DJs, rap duo Initial Dynamo and singer JAXX. Meanwhile Oscar’s on the Corner offers a double feature with Scott Bywater acoustic early from 8 pm, and K’n’E rocking out from after 10 pm.
Saturday the 4th of July has encouraged a lot of activity. Alchemy presents Major/Minor and the Dusty Denims (Gonzalo and Ken), and Tacos Kokopelli hosts the welcome return of Simmer (RJ and Christina) augmented to a four-piece with Nathan and Veronica. The Box Office is offering a contrarian night of British music with David and Hugo, while Robin Narciso is at Botanico
and new band Rushy Bluesy, featuring some familiar faces, is on at Sharky Bar. Oscar’s on the Corner offers fast improving new band of old fellas The Conspiracy Theory from the early slot of 9 pm, followed by K’n’E into the early hours.
Also on Saturday night is a farewell concert for scene veteran Rhiannon Johnson (with many friends and special guests) at Penh House but that is unfortunately booked out.
For the metal/punk crew, a new band Blood Bricks brings together Ned Kelly, Vanntin Hoeurn, Rob Narciso and Boom Baar. They have already recorded a demo, Thrown Over, that you can sample on Bandcamp. Look out for their debut in a few weeks.
Leng Pleng urges you to get out there, have a good time, and support businesses and musicians who have been in mothballs for too long. Remember that some gig fees are not what they once were, and that good tippers are better lovers.
The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature
The Adventures of Rhiannon Johnson
After eight and a half years in Cambodia, singer Rhiannon Johnson is moving on to her next adventure. She will front one last big gig on Saturday night at Penh House that is already booked out; she reminisced about her life and times in music in Phnom Penh for Leng Pleng this week.
“I started out doing pop duos with Euan Grey, and did a three-part-harmony act for a while with Euan and Charlie Corrie (I absolutely love singing harmonies!) Jazz has been the main genre I’ve focussed on, playing with talents such as Barry Speirs, Gabi Faja and Toma Willen. Jazz was perfect for a variety of events and venues over the years. The days of Durian have a special place in my heart though. We were a seven piece funk band (with a horn section!) and we brought the house down with every show!”
Passing Chords: a few things you might not know about…
Robin Narciso. Originally best known for fronting inventive and original hard rockers Sangvay Day, Rob also performs acoustic at several venues around the city. Look out for him loud again with new band Blood Bricks debuting later this month.
Your pet musical hate:
Boy bands. Justin Beiber. Ed Sheeran!
A private musical indulgence:
Frank Zappa and Primus.
The year you first came to Cambodia:
An early music memory:
My parents were really in to 70s music, they were that generation that really were hippies, so I grew up with a lot of that stuff. I remember the intro to Shine on you crazy diamond by Pink Floyd – thought it was going to be classical music and then it turned into this rock opera. My dad is cool after all, I thought. And my mother made me listen to Careful with that axe Eugene from Ummagamma also by Pink Floyd, at seven, eight years old. Cool parents for music.
Your favourite food:
Good pasta made in Napoli.
What you do on a night off:
Watch movies, play basketball and football with friends. Lately I’ve been trying to watch old films that before as a kid I didn’t want to watch. It’s more intense but I’m loving it. Seven Samurai by Kurosawa, Vertigo by Hitchcock.
The country you want to visit:
Bhutan, for the hiking. It’s really hard to get in.
A book you have always meant to read:
Lolita. I started it and wasn’t able to continue it. The idea that a book like that is famous in this world, and continues to be accepted as a classic, is fascinating, so I want to know why.
Something people might be surprised to know about you:
My first public performance was a duet, Summer Nights, from Grease. I must have been 15, the girl was 14, she was really short.
A question from last week’s participant, Gerard Evans: What inspired you to be a “working” musician?
Well, I’m not [laughs]. It’s a side, that’s all. But once in Indonesia, where I travelled with my parents, we found this group of young Indonesians, and every night they would go on the beach and play music. Sort of a bunch of hippies, my parents loved it for that. We would just sit around the bonfire. I thought that’s a really cool thing to do, and I wanted to do it. And this becomes a human activity that you do with other people, you make friends this way. It’s a different way to get to know people, you get familiar with them without necessarily knowing too much. It’s a beautiful thing.
Steve Porte Photo of the Week
Saska Chewan, who had his farewell performance with the 99 Boyz last weekend, playing here with them at Duplex last September.
Let us know about any musical activities: email@example.com.
Stay safe out there, and see you around the traps.