As befits a new year, this weekend is all about endings and beginnings, ins and outs.
What’s out? This is the last weekend for baby faced multi-band bass player Vincent Noble Biputra who is leaving for new adventures. On Saturday night he plays his last show at Oscar’s on the Corner with Spiked Gravy, an outfit with Arone Silverman and Ricky Haldeman, who are opening for the first gig back for Little Thieves. Quoth Arone: “They’ve been kind enough to give me the green light on shredding, so it should be a real fun one!”
Also out is Ege Bar, before the move to a new space and concept. The last jam will be held tonight, Thursday, and for the final party TheBlueSouls (with new bass player Alejandro) will play the venue out on Saturday night.
What’s in? Well, Zeppelin Café is back. The iconic late night hangout has opened in its fifth location in Tuol Tom Pong (#26A, St 446), with a space that will be familiar to those who knew it in its Street 51 days. 11.30 am to midnight (closed Tuesdays).
Also in is a new Thursday night open mic, hosted by Teyob Cat, at The Big Easy on St 172, commencing tonight. And Azure in Tuol Tom Pong are beginning a new series of Saturday night shows with Swing Time – and next week it’s the welcome return of Maki Orkestr. Also The Pavilion is continuing its experiments in live music with Son Cubano on Friday.
Jazz/blues/bossa nova combo Blue Wave (Mary, Takeshi, Keiko and Colin) continue their northern tour at Genkiya Japanese restaurant in Siem Reap tonight, followed by Fellini Italian restaurant on Saturday. Their nice twist includes playing Japanese songs that made it to the Cambodian Golden Era playlist and are widely regarded (like English language songs Hey Jude and Venus) as Khmer originals.
Siem Reap-based singer-songwriter Dean Wolf Bailey is back in Phnom Penh for shows at Oscar’s on the Corner (Friday) and Shenanigans (Saturday) this weekend, before touching base in Siem Reap for a show at Laundry Bar (as part of the Laundry Bar Music Fest) and ending up finally at Pomme Battambang on the 22nd.
Now available is Around the Traps 2020, a collection of interviews from Leng Pleng from a time when Phnom Penh really was the live music capital of the world. Subjects include Vanntin Hoeurn, Intan Andriana, Funan Beat Empire, Mirasol Aguila, The Goldilocks Zone, Ariane Parkes and Joe Wrigley. $7.50 each, with a discount for those included (in or on) the book. Email us to secure your copy.
Leng Pleng is experiencing some issues with its email: please use firstname.lastname@example.org for contact for the time being.
Passing Chords: a few things you might not know about…
Dean Wolf Bailey. Singer-songwriter from Stockport, UK, now based in Siem Reap. Dean has been an active singer-songwriter since he was 15, starting out with his first band Blackout in 1995 before going solo at 21. His debut album I’ve been high, which he sold around Stockport and Manchester pubs, was well received locally and gathered him a half-decent following in his home town and led to gigs all over the northwest of England, including Manchester Academy, The Ritz and his favourite venue in the world Band On The Wall in Manchester. He is currently working with 60 Road Studios in Siem Reap to record his favourite tunes, and tours Cambodia every couple of months. His new single Sophie is out now on all digital platforms. He plays in Phnom Penh this weekend at Oscar’s on the Corner on Friday and Shenanigans on Saturday.
A pet musical hate:
Hate is a strong word, but I’m not a fan of that Dalek music that sounds like a dodgy ringtone. Maybe that’s just me becoming an old grumpy sod. Oh, dubstep as well. Pass me the shot gun!
A private musical indulgence:
I don’t mind diving on the cajon now and again if one is kicking around and there’s a jam going on at an open mic or whatever. It’s easy enough to play and I get a kick out of it.
The year you first came to Cambodia:
I moved to Cambodia in 2012.
An early music memory:
Listening to my dad’s record collection. Dire Straits was the first band I ever fell in love with, when I was about six. I still put them on today. I mean, Sultans Of Swing still sounds as good today as it ever did, right?
The last thing you had to eat:
A prawn tikka masala from Simon’s in Kampot. That place is top drawer!
A country you want to visit:
I really want to go to Colombia, and I want to tour South America one day. I was trying to stitch it together last year, then the apocalypse had other ideas!
A book or movie you keep going back to:
I absolutely love Operation Odessa, a true crime doco – just insane, funny and gripping. I mean you can’t go wrong with a story of a Russian mobster, a Miami playboy and a Cuban spy all linking up to sell the Cali cartel a submarine to smuggle 40 tons of the Devil’s dandruff. What could possibly go wrong? I highly recommend it!
What languages can you speak?
I speak English, and I can get around Siem Reap with the amount of Khmer I know, but I should be way better given the length of time I’ve been in Cambodia.
Something people might be surprised to know about you:
I used to fly around the world playing paintball. I was pretty good at it and had some of the best times of my life playing in those international tournaments.
You have a time machine and a magic ticket to one gig or festival in the past. What do you choose?
I would have loved to have been in the crowd when Jimi Hendrix came out in the early morning at Woodstock and smashed it! It would of been nice to catch Joe Cocker the day before as well. What a voice that man had!
A question from last week’s participant, Gone Marshall: Is music a ‘discovery’ or an ‘invention’?
I think music was a discovery that set the world on fire, and continues to, every day!
The Box Office in Phnom Penh is seeking bands, solo acts and DJs to book for their new look extra room with a small stage. Contact them here.
Want to list? Contact us at email@example.com.
Leng Pleng also recommends the Facebook page Phnom Penh Open Mic as a resource for finding fellow players.
Steve Porte Photo of the Week
This time last year, Ronan Sheehan of The Goldilocks Zone at their Original Sessions performance at Meta House, 19 January 2020.
Let us know about any musical activities we haven’t captured: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe out there, and see you around the traps.