As we head into the second half of October we seem to be accelerating on the drive through to the end of the month – check out the Coming Soon list below the Latest Gigs section – whatever your taste it looks like there’s plenty of it. And plenty of reasons to stay in (or come to) Phnom Penh for the Bon Om Touk holiday which this year coincides with Halloween.
But as for this weekend: kicking off Friday night Jazz and the City at Green Pepper this week is a tribute to Stan Getz, while Rondom are at Boran House, the Khmer Magic Music Bus are at Bouchon, Gareth Bawden is at Sharky Bar, and there’s a tribute night at Hard Rock Cafe. Checkered Past dance up the ska at Duplex, and Little Thieves do their first full band show at Oscar’s on the Corner, with house band K’n’E to follow.
On Saturday night, Ege Bar celebrate their second birthday with a big line up: Mirasol & Arone, Little Thieves, TheBlueSouls, Psykic Elektric and Face-Slap. Alchemy hosts a swing night with the Femke Quartet & Intan, while Don’t Ask Name Band is at Sharky Bar, and Gareth Bawden is at Botanico. The Zeppelin Café farewell shows continue with The Sock Essentials, and at Oscar’s on the Corner the night opens with a metal show featuring Doch Chkae and Blood Bricks, followed by K’n’E as usual.
Sunday regulars of course include Sunday Sundowner Sessions at Tacos Kokopelli, Smooth Sundays at Green Pepper, and the Big Baaad Jam at Oscar’s on the Corner – and remember to check our Regular Gigs section to pick up late announced line ups for such events as the Wednesday shows at Bouchon and Green Pepper.
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The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature
Phnom Penh has forged yet another let’s-give-it-a-shot all-originals band formed out of like-minded individuals in pursuit of something fresh, new and stimulating. Little Thieves came to the Leng Pleng office at Golden Home to talk about their journey and the excitement of playing as a full band for the first time this weekend.
Their ease in working together is in contrast to the disparity in each other’s musical influences. “If you were to draw a Venn diagram of influences for the four of us there’s actually very little crossover,” says Lewis. “All the bands that Gary knows, I don’t listen to them, and vice versa. I love it – I think it’s ridiculous, it’s fun, it’s heartfelt, and it has many different parts and sounds that create something unique.”
Passing Chords: a few things you might not know about…
Hi, I’m Mia. Some of you may know me as Mia Priest (my stage name).
I currently play bass in the New Wave/Funk Rock outfit Psykic Elektric. I have played in various notable Metal bands both in Singapore and Cambodia such as Impiety, Absence Of The Sacred, Abyssal Vortex, Blood Division and Nightmare A.D.. Scary names indeed. I have since sold out and now live a life of practicing hatha yoga, chilling at beach resorts and being surrounded by adorable puppies.
Psykic Elektric will be playing at the Ege Bar birthday on Saturday 17, Oscar’s on the Corner on Saturday 24, and Zeppelin Bar on Saturday 31.
A pet musical hate:
Songs that are made specifically to appeal to children like Baby Shark. Stuff like that makes my blood curdle.
A private musical indulgence:
I listen to a lot of Jazz, in particular alto/tenor saxophonists like John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz. Speaking of Stan Getz, I also enjoy Latin Jazz artists like Paquito D’Rivera, Luciana Souza and João Gilberto.
The year you first came to Cambodia:
I first came to Cambodia in late 2013 on holiday and moved here on April 2014. It was quite a spontaneous decision, but my lease was almost up in Singapore and I was tired of existing in a fast-paced and miserable society. I owned a gastronomic bar (with five other partners) that was falling apart due to several unfortunate circumstances, so that first trip here spurred me on to move over, where I enjoy the pace of life and where the cost of living is low compared to Singapore. I also have to mention that I travelled extensively through Southeast Asia in the past, and Cambodia is the only country that truly captures my heart. It is by no means flawless, but it is beautiful and forgiving.
An early music memory:
Michael Jackson’s Dangerous was probably the first album that really got me into music as a child. Before that I just listened to what my parents put on: The Carpenters, The Beatles, The Bee Gees, ABBA, along with popular hits on the radio at the time (late 80’s/early 90’s) by Tears for Fears, Madonna, Bryan Adams, Richard Marx, the usual schtick back then.
The last thing you had to eat:
Myojo-brand Curry Instant Noodles with dumplings and fried onions. My diet is garbage.
What you do on a night off:
Mostly at home, either watching YouTube or doing some graphic design work. If not, I’ll be out supporting a friend’s band or having some food somewhere with friends.
A country you want to visit:
Taiwan. I want to see if it is as progressive as many people claim it to be. I also heard they have fantastic vegetarian buffets and a great landscape for cycling and sightseeing.
A book or movie you keep going back to:
Almost all John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, Lana and Lilly Wachowski, Charlie Kaufman, Darren Aronofsky, Paul W.S. Anderson, Kevin Smith, Sam Raimi, Ridley Scott, James Cameron, Harmony Korine, George Romero movies. Although I have watched Mallrats and the re-make of Dawn of the Dead more times than I’d like to admit, Terminator 2: Judgment Day is still my favourite movie of all time. Linda Hamilton is a total badass. As for books, Salman Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet struck me as a fantastic read. I haven’t read many books in a while, the last being Candide by Voltaire (which was a lovely gift from photographer extraordinaire Steve Porte).
What languages can you speak?
My native tongue is English (you can thank the British Imperialists for that). I am able to speak Mandarin as a secondary language in terms of fluency as I learnt it in school. I am able to speak very basic Malay (I rarely use it and have forgotten much of it) and Khmer on an objective level (as in I am able to obtain specific things, go to specific places and ask about specific needs, rather than using it for banter and conversation).
I am currently learning Dutch, which is much easier than learning German (which I first learnt in 2007 when I was in Nürnberg).
Your primary instrument, and when you started playing it:
I would say vocals first, then I moved on to the guitar. I started singing at my uncle’s wedding when I was around six or seven years old (I did Unchained Melody *cringe*) and sang throughout my childhood. I tried picking up the guitar when I was 12 but was told that I sucked, so I didn’t play it much until I turned 17 and formed my first band, The Myopian Patients that played Hardcore Punk. I formed the band mainly because no one else wanted to be part of my band since I was “just a vocalist”, so I started picking the guitar back up again and wrote songs. I got better and started writing Metal tunes and wound up forming a Metal band, which then got spotted by a popular Metal band after releasing our debut album. I was offered the position of lead guitarist in their band, recorded several releases with them and played on 2 European tours. Surreal.
Something people might be surprised to know about you:
Not too sure, to be honest. Most people are just shocked that I’m in my mid-to-late 30’s because I look like I just graduated from college. Asian genes. ^_^
You have a time machine and a magic ticket to one gig or festival in the past. What do you choose?
Wow! That’s a hard one. The Chelsea Wolfe/Emma Ruth Rundle tour? Roadburn 2017? Wacken 2006/2007/2008? The Taylor Swift 1989 tour?!!
A question from last week’s participant, Adam Lane: if you had the opportunity to get up on stage and perform one song with the artist or band who originally wrote it, alive or dead, what song would you choose?
Down in a Hole by Alice in Chains. Either that or Black Me Out by Against Me!
New to town is Maxim Deshinin. Hi, everyone: musicians, singers, bands, booking companies, event agencies, bar-hotel-restaurant owners, art & creative peoples in Phnom Penh & Cambodia. My name is Max Deshinin, a professional violin player. I play all music styles from 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.
Leng Pleng also recommends the Facebook page Phnom Penh Open Mic as a resource for finding fellow players.
Steve Porte Photo of the Week
Selected audience footwear at The Schkoots, Oscar’s on the Corner, Saturday 10 October.
Let us know about any musical activities we haven’t captured/tell us about your new project/ask for help finding folk to play with: email@example.com.
Stay safe out there, and see you around the traps.