Weekly wrap – commencing Thursday 8 October 2020


This week we are welcoming back to the live music scene Bunthoeurn Thiem, former manager of Bona’s Pub, who has opened a bar on St 23 (near St 172) called Little Susie.  Live music will ensue!

Friday sees the opening of the 17th International Music Festival of Phnom Penh, a tribute Beethoven’s on the occasion of his 250th birthday.  Concerts will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Raffles Le Royale, with a Sunday matinee at Meta House.

Elsewhere on Friday Gareth Bawden plays for a Foodie Friday event at Tacos Kokopelli, Jeff Baker is at Sharky Bar, Jazz and the City do gypsy Jazz at Green Pepper and Christophe Horvath is at LF Social ClubRocket Science, a new chamber pop imagining of songs by singer/songwriter Ariane Parkes (Checkered Past, The Sock Essentials), make their debut at Cloud, while Rondom are at Boran House, Khmer Magic Music Bus continue their October Fridays residency at Bouchon, and Aguita E’Coco go late on the rooftop at Good Times XJoe Wrigley does a rare solo performance at Oscar’s on the Corner early before K’n’E  finish the night.

Saturday afternoon Villa Grange in association with Ponytails Bar is hosting a pool party featuring the Rusty Nails Band.  Later on Gonzalo Rodino is at Botanico, there’s jazz with Intan & Stan at Green Pepper, Latin with Aguita E’Coco at Duplex, and rock with Don’t Ask Name Band at Sharky.  Europunks The Schkoots wind up the dance at Oscar’s on the Corner, followed by house band K’n’E.

October will be the last month for Phnom Penh’s legendary Zeppelin Café, after 19 years of operation in four different locations (the last is on St 278, near the corner of St 57).  Only infrequently a live venue, Zeppelin has nonetheless been an important part of the music scene, well known for the taciturn owner Jun spinning discs in front of an enormous collection of vinyl records, mostly hard rock in style, for its rock memorabilia, for its general late night appeal, and for its fabulous dumplings.  Head on down to Zeppelin to say goodbye (or hello and goodbye) – Saturday nights through the month will be live music nights, culminating on Halloween.  This weekend it’s Gone Marshall plus Fathers of Medicine.

Into the week, Sundance’s open mic is back on Tuesdays, and the Wednesday special at Bouchon is Blue WaveMari & Takeshi with Colin Grafton.

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…

Adam Lane.  Drummer for hire, who’s played with everyone from Kheltica to Chi-Town, K’n’E to 9999 Arts Group, Fender Benders, Blues Routes, Major Minor, and Vinnie Vedi Vici.  He’s currently behind the kit for new band TheBlueSouls.

A pet musical hate:
Dark, claustrophobic music like shouty metal, hardcore techno, or drill rap.

A private musical indulgence:
Old school funk, soul and jazz.  Anything released on the Blue Note record label, the sleeve designs alone are works of art.

The year you first came to Cambodia:
I first came here in 2005 to visit Angkor Wat. I was so taken with the resilience and friendliness of the Khmer people that decided to move here for a while in 2007. I wanted a break from the rat race of the West and live a freer, less materialistic life and have time to pursue my own goals. Then the financial crash happened and I ended up staying.

An early music memory:
Discovering The Beatles’ White Album, Revolver and Sgt Pepper’s in my father’s predominantly classical record collection when I was about 11 years old.  Such fun, interesting songs.  I used to listen to those albums over and over again, and from that moment on I wanted to play drums like Ringo Starr.

The last thing you had to eat:
Rice with a spicy mango and seafood salad.

What you do on a night off:
I hang out with my daughter, practice or listen to music, meet with friends.

A country you want to visit:
Cuba, for the music.

A book or movie you keep going back to:
Stick Control, by George Lawrence Stone – at first glance it looks the most boring book in the world, but actually it’s a bible for drummers.   Any Alfred Hitchcock movie.

What languages can you speak?
English, school French, Spanish – I studied for four years at night school just before moving here but, unsurprisingly, it’s not been very useful. I can speak a little bit of Khmer.

Your primary instrument, and when you started playing it:
Drums.  My parents initially encouraged me to learn acoustic guitar when I was at primary school, then I experimented with electric bass, but really I just wanted to learn to play the drums.  At about 12 I assembled my first drum kit out of plastic buckets and a cardboard box.  By the time I was 15 I’d managed to save enough money from my weekend job delivering milk to buy a second hand drum kit.  At 17 my parents paid for some lessons.  Aged 19 my band was invited to record one of our songs at the home recording studio of John Paul Jones, of Led Zeppelin.  We spent five days there, he engineered and produced the track.  I used an old Ludwig drum kit belonging to John Bonham to record with.  I’ll never forget his kindness and hospitality.

Something people might be surprised to know about you:
Before moving to Cambodia I worked for 20 years in the world of design and advertising in the UK.  I was a creative partner in my own graphic design consultancy, and we did work for large multinational corporations to pay the bills, and small arts and music organisations to keep things interesting.  I got to design record sleeves and promotional material for music concerts and festivals – and the great thing was I’d get given an access-all-areas VIP pass to the event.

You have a time machine and a magic ticket to one gig or festival in the past.  What do you choose?
It’s a difficult one, but I’m going to say any Stevie Wonder concert, because he always had the most amazing musicians playing with him.

A question from last week’s participant:  if you were a song, what song would you be, and why?
My Way by Frank Sinatra. It’s not necessarily the easy way, but you have to plough through and keep going. Be true to yourself and do what you believe in regardless of what other people might think.

Musician/s seeking Musician/s

New to town is Maxim Deshinin.  “Hi, everyone: musicians, singers, bands, booking companies, event agencies, bar-hotel-restaraunt owners, art & creative peoples in PhnomPenh & Cambodia. I am a professional violin player. I play all music styles:  classical/Latin/jazz/rock/EDM/trip& hip hop.  I improvise, compose and read music; I can do a solo programme and can play with duo/trio/quartet/band/orchestra. Looking for events, gigs, weddings, birthday parties etc. Let’s cooperate!”   Find him here.

Graham Kemish is an experienced and versatile violinist keen to play with any individual or group in Cambodia.  For the full dossier contact him here.

Singer-songwriter Gone Marshall is seeking collaborators (percussion and/or bass) who would like to play existing originals and select covers. Contact him here.

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

For listings in this section please email: lengplenggigs@gmail.com

Steve Porte Photo of the Week

Daria Morozova in front of Maki Orkestr during their debut show at Alchemy, Saturday 3 October. 

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

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

your correspondent,

Guillermo Wheremount










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