|Scott Bywater - pic: Ken Edgar|
Scott Bywater makes a return (of sorts) to Equinox tonight. The author of 'Phnom Penh Driving School' is hosting a film screening of 'Searching For Sugar Man' – the fantastic documentary telling the story of cult singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez. According to the venue, Scott will be hosting the movie 'in absentia'. Exact details are a closely-guarded secret so we will have to wait and see what happens tonight...
DJ U this week begins a regular Friday night residency at new Phnom Penh nightclub D'beat. The venue is also kitted out for live music with Sinville Roadshow and Miss Sarawan already having played small live shows. Manager Rory McCabe told Leng Pleng that the venue has plans to host more live bands soon. As always, watch this space for developments. Sinville Roadshow add an extra live date at Sharky Bar this Friday. The band regularly perform each Thursday at Sharky's Ladies Night. Any opportunity to hear super-talented Californian lead-singer Tiffany is a good thing.
Aquarium Bar hosts the special live music event Music Not Missiles this Saturday night between 8pm and 10.30pm. Joshua Chiang, Robin Narciso, Chino De Nogales and Sophie Rose are just a few names from a long list of Phnom Penh musicians gathering to give a benefit concert for the humanitarian effort in Gaza. The United Nations says that more than 17,000 buildings in Gaza have been destroyed or severely damaged, and that there are at least 475,000 internally displaced people as a result of the recent conflict between Palestinian and Israeli forces (source: BBC). Oxfam are working in Gaza to provide safe drinking water, emergency food vouchers and medical services to those affected by the conflict. All proceeds and donations received at the Music Not Missiles event will go towards Oxfam’s Gaza Crisis Appeal. The cover charge is a bargain $3 for a concert featuring more than ten performers.
|Miss Sarawan - pic: Ken Edgar|
The Music Cafe is a brand-new venue opened in Battambang. Miss Sarawan play two dates there as an acoustic duo this weekend. Battambang has a growing scene that is becoming home to an increasing number of small art galleries, coffee-houses and bars. As testament to the local arts scene that has a substantial reputation for producing some of Cambodia's best-loved artists over the years, the streets of Battambang are once again becoming a meeting place and performance space for a growing artistic community. Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS) is a renowned performing arts school and social support organisation based in Battambang. PPS organises the famous 'Battambang Circus'. Ros Sereysothea, the 'Golden Voice' of Khmer-rock, was born in Battambang. Read more about the spiritual home of Khmer music in this great piece from the Leng Pleng archives, 'Welcome to Battambang', written by Julien Poulson.
Miss Sarawan will evoke the sounds of the 'Golden Age' of Khmer-rock at The Music Cafe this Saturday and Sunday. The owner of the café, John McLaughlin, told Leng Pleng that the regular weekly program features a variety of acoustic music that includes classic rock and country as well as traditional Khmer folk music: 'There will be an open mic night for those who bring their own instruments... We also plan to feature Apsara performances 2-3 times per month in order to support the local dance schools and Khmer culture.' Miss Sarawan returns to Phnom Penh for a date at Slur Bar on Wednesday – merging Khmer-rock with the jazz manouche stylings of guitarist Aymen Ghali.
|Sunday Sundowner Sessions - pic: The Alleycat Cafe|
The Sunday Sundowner Sessions is a regular weekly open mic session hosted by Joe Wrigley that takes place at The Alleycat Cafe off Street 19 in Phnom Penh every Sunday. This week, the restaurant is celebrating the first anniversary of the event with a free buffet for performers. Sundowners was previously hosted by Scott Bywater at Rubies Wine Bar. The Alleycat Cafe is a magical, intimate space for live music where everything sounds good and everybody listens. Tucked away down an alleyway near The Latin Quarter, the Alleycat is hard to locate and thrives on the loyal patronage of a group of hardcore expats. The history of the Cat is intertwined with the recent history of the Phnom Penh music scene – the restaurant was the venue for the very first Cambodian Space Project gig and is owned by a former manager of Pontoon (back in the days when it was actually a pontoon on the Tonle Sap river). Importantly, it is one of those unpredictable open mic sessions where one never knows who is going to next walk through the door.
“Phnom Penh said goodbye to another great musician last week, as Brent Clark left for Australia. Brent, A.K.A. 'Saxophone Brent' was ever-popular at the Sharky and Paddy Rice open mic nights, as well as being a member of RNA, 2Shots&aChaser and many other bands. He was always up for a jam with his sax, guitar, vocals and occasionally the drums. I’m sure he’ll find a stage in his home town, where he and his family can continue to enjoy the good music. He’s a great guy and a great musician.” - Tim Holland, bassist, SD
Until next time, stay safe out there and... see you around the traps!