The Cambodian Space Project will head to the iconic Chaktomuk theatre tonight (Thursday) in Phnom Penh. The CSP’s current ‘Spaced Out in Wonderland’ Cambodian tour will visit four different provinces over the next few weeks. The whole deal was kicked off in fabulous style last night at Chinese House – where a packed house of revellers were whipped into a ‘Kosmic’ and psychedelic frenzy by the spaced-out grungey guitars and Cambodian Golden-Era stylings of the Project. The band premiered some new songs, including a never-heard-before original that was chosen as a final encore when the highly enthusiastic crowd would not let them leave the Chinese House stage! Another audience will join the CSP tonight for a special show to wrap the Cambodian International Film Festival. Khmeng Khmer will open proceedings at 8.30pm on an outdoor stage erected in the grounds of the beautiful Vann-Molyvann-designed Chaktomuk building. Catch the CSP on the coast this Monday night when they return to Otres Market in Sihanoukville.
Hypnotic Fist Technique is the Cambodian-based band that had everyone talking following their block-rocking appearance at Golden Street Festival a couple of weekends ago. The hip-hop-funk-RnB-soul-rock-fusion sextet was so slick and dynamic and colourful that many onlookers simply assumed that HFT were a touring band visiting from the United States or Europe! Not so – as this exciting new act were born out of the Wednesday-night open mic scene at Showbox in Phnom Penh. The band will be preparing to rock another block this Friday night when they headline an event staged across several venues on Street 308 in the Tonle Bassac area of the city.
Another Golden Street favourite gaining momentum at the moment is Complicated Business – an acoustic trio of Irishmen playing a very wide range of classic covers. The band boasts musical acumen, handsome good looks and the dubious distinction of having their very first gig shut down by local law enforcement! Complicated Business will be returning to ‘Golden Street’ 278 for a gig at Duplex on Friday night.
We were on a holiday in Kratie when the band was formed. Over a few too many pina coladas by and in the hotel swimming pool, we decided that we would put a band together. Our first rehearsal was later that night in the hotel room. I think we were naked apart from guitars for most of it, but a bond was formed no doubt. Our first proper gig was at Salty Dog’s tattoo shop on 172. It was a lot of fun but unfortunately because of the noise the police came and told us we had to close it down – much to the annoyance of ourselves and the crowd. So we played one last song and headed on our way!
Jack Dodd, Complicated Business
Saturday night will belong to Road to Mandalay at Alchemy. The alternative rock trio were born in the ‘Shark Cage’ rehearsal room at Sharky Bar in Phnom Penh in June 2015 – under the watchful eye of the late Sharky principal Michael ‘Big Mike’ Hsu. Now the band are set to release their debut five-track EP – the product of some very hard work in the Links recording studio and more than eighteen months of writing, rehearsing and gigging only their own material. CDs, t-shirts and even speciality booze will all be available for purchase at the Road to Mandalay launch party this Saturday. For much more info about the making of the record and the background of this home-grown Phnom Penh band, read the Leng Pleng interview right here
We’ll leave you with a vid sent to us by Batbangers – previewing an original song which showcases the band’s new, heavier, sound. The piece, filmed at Mad Monkey in Kampot, also captures something of the Batbangers energetic live performance. This music and these stage antics helped the group win the $1,000 first prize at the recent Chub Met Festival Battle of The Bands: