Weekly wrap – commencing Thursday 3 September 2020


And welcome to September.  A busy night on Friday with the usual wide variety of choices.  The Boxchords are at the Himawari, there’s a Queen tribute night by Band@Work at Hard Rock Café, and a party at Mini Banana marking both their ten year anniversary and a rebirth that will feature live Khmer music and DJs.  Jazz and the City at Green Pepper has James, Euan and Rhiannon joining Intan for a night of jazz and soul.  For duos there’s Mirasol & Arone at  Alchemy, Anthony & Femke at Ege Bar, and Kairon and Stan’s Son Cubano at Bassac Lane.   Boran House hosts a night of Cambodian music provided by the Cambodian Disabled Musicians’ Association, while Checkered Past make their long awaited return with a show at CloudOscar Acoustic presents Rob Narciso early, then K’n’E will go late at Oscar’s on the Corner.

On Saturday, the grand opening of the Odom Garden space (off Norodom Blvd, near Topaz) will feature, among other activities, two separate performances by kids’ entertainment outfit Mimi and the Merrymakers.  Later on you can experience A Taste of Africa at Alchemy with live music, dance, poetry, DJs and of course food.  Botanico host Antonio & Gerard, new act Rondom are at Cloud, and Aguita de Coco turn Ege Bar Latin for the night.  The Schkoots bring their nice fresh punk to Oscar’s on the Corner early, to be followed by house band K’n’E.

As ever, the open mic Sunday Sundower Sessions at Tacos Kokopelli will dish up a variety of performers from 5 – 8 pm, then from 9 pm at Oscar’s on the Corner The Big Baaad Jam continues.  And there’s an open mic or jam session almost every night through the week in Phnom Penh –  check out our Regular Gigs page.

Not going out?  Check out Kampot Radio – and for bonus points subscribe on Patreon for access to  shows in podcast form, as well as bonus interviews and other content.  Check it all out here – there are some free taster shows for you to sample.

Leng Pleng has been contacted by Verity, a violin teacher who offers lessons for all ages.  Check out the reviews!

Note that Leng Pleng is experiencing some issues with its email: please use lengplenggigs@gmail.com of the Facebook page for contact for the time being.

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

Veronika Janouchova.  The saxophone player for Phnom Penh’s ska band Checkered Past, formerly with the Bassac Bongs, more recently with the expanded Simmer and PRERNA, and a keen jam session participant.  Catch Checkered Past back at Cloud this Friday night after the extended break.

A pet musical hate:
I have quite a few, actually.  I do not enjoy playing in jam sessions where there is way too much noise, way too much music.  Also I don’t like ot when people play a song for just 30 seconds and then skip to the next one.

A private musical indulgence:
I really enjoy a good bass line.  But I don’t even play the bass.  I love to listen to Marcus Miller live concerts.  Quite surprising for a sax player I guess.

The year you first came to Cambodia:
2018.  I’ve been here for two and a half years.

An early music memory:
When I was say five, six years old, my parents were already preparing me for a career as an amazing classical pianist.  I didn’t really enjoy playing the first few years, and they tried to find different incentives.  One was to write the notes on the piano keys, then write the letters on my fingers, so I would be more motivated to try to learn.  It was the only way that it fun enough to me to stick to piano for the first few years.

The last thing you had to eat:
Katy Peri Pizza at around 2 am.

What you do on a night off:
Go to a jam session, or hang out with friends, maybe stay home and read a book.

A country you want to visit:
At this moment, any country!  I just can’t wait for the borders to open and so I can go somewhere.  I still haven’t been to Laos and Vietnam, so those are the first two ones that I’m thinking about going to, because I can avoid aeroplanes.

A book or movie you keep going back to:
There are books I keep trying to read and can’t get finished.  I studied International Relations, and piled up books that I really want to read.  There a few books by Timothy Snyder that I’m trying to get back to, or books on democratisation, but when you’ve spent your day at work and come home and practice… I can’t really seem to get beyond page 50.

Your primary instrument, and when you started playing it:
I would say the saxophone is the one that I enjoy playing the most at the moment, and I started playing that when I was 18.  My first instrument was piano.

You have a time machine and a magic ticket to one gig or festival in the past.  What do you choose?
Woodstock: for Jimi Hendrix.  There was also a festival we used to have in the Czech Republic, the biggest reggae and ska event in all of central Europe at the time, and I attended at 16 – my parents were so unhappy to let me go; we partied for three days straight, maybe sleeping for an hour each morning, I’d go back to that.

Something people might be surprised to know about you:
I started playing saxophone in a marching band, when I was in Louisiana.  At the time the only thing I played was piano.  When I joined the marching band they first had me play xylophone, and I hated it.  Then I was almost about to start playing the trombone, but they were missing a mouthpiece, and at the same time one of the saxophone players decided she wanted to switch to clarinet, so her sax was available.  So I wound up practicing saxophone in a shed surrounded by alligators in rural Louisiana.  It took me about two weeks to get the first note out; within a few weeks we had a parade in New Orleans, so I played sax in New Orleans!

A question from last week’s participant, Marianna Hensley:  What is it about making music that inspires or motivates you to keep doing it?
Music has a really special place in my heart, and I cannot imagine living without it.  It’s something that makes me happy and keeps me going, and I love to discover new things, try new things.


Steve Porte Photo of the Week

Fiddler Graham Kemish at Botanico sitting in with Marianna & Joe, Saturday 29 August, 2020


Let us know about any musical activities we haven’t captured:  gigs@lengpleng.com.

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

your correspondent,

Guillermo Wheremount









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