Weekly wrap – Thursday 16 September 2021


What with the rain and the COVID it’s been a good time to stay in.  Leng Pleng continues to endeavour to uncover what’s going on musically in Cambodia as we tentatively eagerly await a resumption of country-wide live music.

Jazz returns to Green Pepper restaurant tonight, Thursday, with Gerard Evans and Phil Javelle – but book your table early.  7 pm start.

Also tonight, Phil O’Flaherty is back at Botanico, from 7 pm, with limited seating – bookings encouraged.   And learn more about Phil through his Passing Chords interview below.

And also also tonight, Intan and Friends are at The Attic at the Hyatt Regency from 7.30 pm, with Ema and Smey from the same time on Friday.

Scott Bywater has today launched his new mini-album, Greetings from Adventure Bay, on Bandcamp, recorded in Phnom Penh with Jan Mueller (AKA Professor Kinski), Nathan Fanoni, Veronika Janouchova and Marianna Hensley.  An accompanying lyric video for To Coin A Phrase is out now on YouTube, and you can read all about everything in our weekly feature below.

The Boxchords keep it coming with a new video on their Facebook page.  continue the Yellow Wall Sessions with more expected soon.  Also on YouTube, check out Roz Fischer and Pavel Ramirez performing two of Roz’s original songs:  Another Lifetime and You Don’t Get To Love Me.

The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature

Who is the narwhal? Scott Bywater introduces Greetings from Adventure Bay

Phnom Penh songwriter Scott Bywater sat down with our roving reporter Guillame Wheremount to explain the story behind his new  mini-album Greetings from Adventure Bay.

“Certainly with Jan [Mueller] at the helm there’s a certain pop-ish feel that may surprise some.  If you’re familiar with my serious singer-songwriter stuff from a place like Tacos Kokopelli or Botanico you’ll know that side of my work, and if you’ve heard Moi Tiet, or The Extraordinary Chambers on Thursdays at Oscar’s on the Corner you’ll know my rocky side.  But if you listen to my radio work on RadioOun.com you will understand that my musical instincts range across many fields, including pop.  It’s been interesting to see what the songs turn into as recorded tracks – there’s a long way between what you start out with and where it gets to.”

Read the whole article here

Passing Chords:  a few things you might not know about… Phil O’Flaherty

Phil O’Flaherty is a singer, guitarist and songwriter from Vancouver, Canada. He was born in Ireland and emigrated to Canada as a child. Phil fronted the Canadian Celtic band Scatter the Mud in the 90s; they toured Canada extensively and released two albums. When the band dissolved, Phil continued to play folk clubs as a solo artist and with a variety of short-lived ensembles. Moving to Asia in 2009 compelled Phil to interpret more popular forms of song. He turned to the American and British pop music that formed a huge part of his musical roots: Carole King, James Taylor, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Otis Redding etc. Through the Covid-19 pandemic, Phil has been focusing on writing and recording his own songs. He is hoping to release something in the near future.  He plays Botanico tonight, Thursday, from 7 pm, in a candlelight concert.

Do you have a pet musical hate?
This is an unpopular opinion, but I hate karaoke. I hate how it sounds, the over-the-top reverb, the way people sit around joylessly waiting their turn, the big screen and cheesy videos, the amplification. I had a notion once to start a non-profit that would travel the world encouraging people to trade-in their karaoke machines for high-quality ukuleles.

A private musical indulgence:
Dancing when no one is watching.

The year you first came to Cambodia:
I first came to Cambodia for a short visit in 2016. In 2017 I returned to teach at an international school for 3 years. I spent the first seven months of 2021 in Tokyo, but I couldn’t stay away from Cambodia so I’ve recently returned.

An early music memory:
When I was in grade 2, our teacher stood in front of the class and taught us a simple folk song called The Gypsy Rover. He just sang it unaccompanied. The story was compelling and we quickly learned it by heart. It was my favorite song for a long time.

The last thing you had to eat:
Muesli with yogurt.

A country you want to visit:

A book or movie you keep going back to:
I have a book of Seamus Heaney poems that I randomly dip into from time to time. I think poetry is hard work, but this is like looking at old photographs.

What languages can you speak?
English and…listen, I’m useless at learning languages. When I was at school in Ireland, the teachers tried to drill our native Irish into us, but it generally didn’t stick. I’ve tried learning Chinese, Japanese and French. Of those, only French has left a few remnants in my brain. Yes, I am ashamed.

Your primary instrument, and when you started playing it:
My primary instrument is the guitar/voice. I find it difficult to think of the guitar without singing, or singing without the guitar. I was fourteen when I started playing and singing.

Something people might be surprised to know about you:
I write songs, but I rarely perform them. It is my goal to perform more of my own material.

You have a time machine and a magic ticket to one gig or festival in the past. What do you choose?
I would have liked to see any of the John Martyn with bassist Danny Thompson gigs.

A question from the last participant: Do you think Spotify is beneficial for musicians and why?
I have music on Spotify but I do not think Spotify is beneficial for musicians or for music. Spotify really only pays the most popular artists. Independent artists and those with a small following are not sustained or nurtured by the Spotify distribution model. Unfortunately this model has replaced almost everything else. People will pay $3.50 for a cup of coffee, but they expect to get their music for free.


Steve Porte Photo of the Week

The Greetings from Adventure Bay team celebrates at a quiet listening party.

If there are things LengPleng should know about, please let us know.

See you (eventually) around the traps.

your correspondent,

Guillermo Wheremount




Weekly wrap – Thursday 9 September 2021


Leng Pleng is keeping its ears to the ground – if anything else comes up in the next couple of days we’ll do our best to broadcast it.

Leng Pleng readers may not be aware that the father of our beloved Oscar of Oscar’s on the Corner passed away this week.  While the Sunday gathering on Koh Dach will be restricted to a small number, friends and well-wishers are invited to pay their respects and deliver an envelope if they wish this Saturday evening from 6 pm at Oscar’s on the Corner.

Thursday jazz nights continue at The Attic with Intan and Friends.

On Friday night Lantern rooftop bar presents a latin dance party with live music from Gerard Evans.

On Sunday, twice – at 11 am and 1 pm – children’s entertainers Mimi and the Merrymakers will be performing at Botanico.  Seating is limited, book your table via the Botanico Facebook page.

Roz Fischer has taken the plunge to release, with Pavel Ramirez, perform two of her original songs for a YouTube video that was released this weekAnother Lifetime and You Don’t Get To Love Me.  Rumour has it studio time is planned.

The Boxchords continue the Yellow Wall Sessions with more expected soon.  The most recent addition was special guest Lisa Concepcion performing a cover of Need You Now. 

Steve Porte Photo of the Week


Colin Grafton harping on while sitting in with Grass Snake Trio, Botanico, Sunday 29 August, 2021.

If there are things LengPleng should know about, please let us know.

See you (eventually) around the traps.

your correspondent,

Guillermo Wheremount