Weekly wrap – commencing Thursday 10 September 2020


The coming Pchum Ben holiday is already being felt this weekend, but there’s still plenty on, whether you want it soft or loud.   It’s swing jazz at Green Pepper, Son Cubano at the Elephant Bar at Le Royale, Alchemy brings us the Antonio Trio, Lee & Ron are at Moon Night Pub and Band@Work do the seventies at Hard Rock CaféOscar Acoustic welcomes the return of Gareth Bawden at Oscar’s on the Corner, followed by house band K’n’E.  The big loud event of the night is an audiovisual extravaganza at Cloud featuring Blood Bricks and The Goldilocks Zone that promises to be well worth the $5 on the door.

Come Saturday Gareth Bawden is at V-Lounge restaurant at Rose Condos, Blues Routes are in the garden at Botanico, Romeo & Pidou are at Moon Night Pub and Kiss Bang Bong are at Alchemy.  Live music returns to LF Social Club with Poca de Feo, and the Cambodian sounds of Arome Khmer play at The Rush PubKenny Smith is back in town with The Fender Benders at Oscar’s on the Corner, and the big loud event for Saturday is a fist in a pocket:  Hypnotic Fist Technique and Pocket Change team up for a double header, the rhythm section swapping vocalists back and forth – sounds like a blast, that also promises to be well worth the $7 admission charge.

As ever, the open mic Sunday Sundowner 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 brings jammers together.  For an additional Sunday treat, Intan & Arone are doing a Smooth Sunday at Green Pepper.

Oscar’s on the Corner wants you to know that as usual there will be no Pchum Ben interruption next week; Cambodia Country Band, The zargz Experience, The Extraordinary Chambers and K’n’E will be performing as usual, with an Oscar Acoustic performance by Scott Bywater in the early slot on Friday.

LengPleng is pleased and proud to present another Phnom Penh original that has been released this very day: a video for the new song Cheap Charlie by Sochi & Stan, featuring many well known faces and scenes.  Check
it out here

Gone Marshall’s first album, the neopsychedelic garage The Crunch, has been reworked into a retro first person shooter game for Windows/PC.  Seek out tracks from the record while avoiding or destroying zombies and bad guys; download it here for free.

Look below for Leng Pleng’s new regular section: Musician/s seeking Musician/s – the Classifieds section on our site needs major surgery so we’ll do it out in the open for a while.  The section may also include buying/selling instruments and equipment.

***Leng Pleng is experiencing some issues with its email: please use lengplenggigs@gmail.com for contact for the time being. ***

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

Photo credit: David Flack

Gareth Bawden.  New to the scene, singer-songwriter Gareth has been attending open mics since arriving, and has recently started playing acoustic gigs.  You can catch him this weekend at Oscar’s on the Corner on Friday and at V-Lounge restaurant on Saturday.

A pet musical hate:
Breaking a string while playing, dropping the pick, forgetting lyrics.

A private musical indulgence:
90s grunge.  I’ve been going back to my old albums from the past, like Stone Temple Pilots, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana – the albums that made me really fall in love with music – I thought maybe it would inspire me and how I write now.   You’d think you might move away from it, but for me that’s not the case; I’ve still got a love for that music, even if I’ve changed in terms of I wouldn’t have written that line.  It’s almost as if you’re giving a nod to who you were – I remember you, teen Gareth.

The year you first came to Cambodia:

An early music memory:
My dad giving me a guitar when I was 14.  I played a bit of trumpet at primary school, but later my dad had this old guitar and he asked if I wanted to have lessons, and I said sure.  It was an old slightly beaten nylon string classical guitar, and it took me a long time to upgrade from that.

The last thing you had to eat:
Some tofu with a little sauce, a nibble before coming out.  Earlier I had bananas and peanut butter before my workout.

What you do on a night off:
I’ve started gaming with my kids:  Milo, Molly and Ella.  We all play Fortnite together – they’re on their Nintendo Switches and I play on my PlayStation – you call have to survive out of 100 people on an island, it can feel really good when it’s your family that beat everyone else.  Otherwise I do a bit of singing, write a song, watch shows.

A country you want to visit:
Thailand.  While I’m in Asia I’d like to get a look at places in Asia.

A book or movie you keep going back to:
Fight Club, the movie.  Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro.  An amazing book, I wrote a song inspired by that.  I like the dark, dystopian narratives.  All dark and depressing, but apparently that’s my thing – grunge music and dystopian narratives where humanity is on the edge of destruction.

Your primary instrument, and when you started playing it:
My voice.  I was in a choir before I started playing guitar and trumpet; guitar has always been a back up for the vocals.  I remember being told that if you audition for the choir you get free mince pies – that sounds awesome!  And I was the last one to audition, and I was grateful because no one else was listening by that time.

Something people might be surprised to know about you:
I lived in Canada for ten years; I once lived in China for nine months.  And I have three children – sometimes people don’t think I’m old enough to have three kids.  I like to go out and try to be myself away from my family – I’ve always sung and played guitar and as I grow older it’s more important to do that.  Open mics have always been there, they’re like my church.  Each one has its own particular vibe, and friendships and community develop; if you go every week it kind of grows.

You have a time machine and a magic ticket to one gig or festival in the past.  What do you choose?
I’d go to a festival with lots of grunge bands – Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, that’s what I’d go to.  They’re all gone now, or they’ve changed and they’re not what they were.  Somewhere in the early 90s.

A question from last week’s participant, Veronika Janouchova:  which of your musical heroes would you like to play with on stage?
The ones that are still alive?  I was always a big fan of Jeff Buckley, maybe Chris CornellThom Yorke from Radiohead, I’d probably just faint, fall off my stool.  “Are we really singing Fake Plastic Trees together right now?”


Musician/s seeking Musician/s

Do you need a violinist for your rocking teenage combo?  Graham Kemish is an experienced and adventurous fiddle player keen to play with any individual or group in Cambodia.  For the full dossier contact him here.

Singer-songwriter Gone Marshall is seeking collaborators who would like to play existing originals and select covers: 1) a percussionist, who can play out either on a full kit or even a basic snare, cajon, portable kit, plastic tub or distended (*amplified) beer belly, depending on the situation and mobility needs for live events and happenings; 2) bass player or bass keyboardist to deliver the low end.  Contact him here.

Leng Pleng also recommends the Facebook page Phnom Penh Open Mic as a resource for finding fellow players.

For listings contact:  lengplenggigs@gmail.com

Steve Porte Photo of the Week

Trumpeter ska bliss for Lauren Tipton with Checkered Past at Cloud, 4 September 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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