“Phnom Penh is like a blank canvas where you can pretty much create whatever you want, be it art, music, film. There's a revival happening and I've fallen in love with Cambodia like so many of us here. It's a truly special place”.
- ANTHONY LEFFERTS, Space Four Zero, Founder.
|Dara Puspita - pic courtesy of Space Four Zero|
Space Four Zero is a new live music and arts space opening this week in Phnom Penh. The party kicks off on Thursday evening with the opening of an exhibition entitled Dara Puspita: The Greatest Girl Group That N(Ever) Was. Dara Puspita were an all-girl rock'n'roll group formed in 1960's Indonesia. Cambodian Space Project return from their international travels to play a special show at the venue on Friday night. Space Four Zero main-man Anthony Lefferts told Leng Pleng that he expects the gig to be a 'big ole shindig'. Read the full Q&A with Anthony here.
The conclusion of the Buddhist festival of Pchum Ben this year falls on weekdays, with plenty of gigs happening in Phnom Penh over the weekend. The three days of national holiday (22-24 September) are normally marked by an exodus of city-dwellers to their home provinces – it might be wise to check with your venue to see if any of the regular gigs you would usually expect to attend have been affected.
Phil Javelle brings Velvet Nights back to Riverhouse Asian Bistro this week. The series of gigs will feature multi-instrumentalist Phil as host with a succession of specially-invited guests. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Euan Gray will join on saxophone and vocals. The Phnom Penh gig scene has missed Euan in recent months as he has been spending time in his homeland of Australia. With leading roles in Cambodian-based Songkites and The Ragamuffin Project, Euan is an accomplished musical educator and creative arts therapist as well as being a great songwriter, singer and player. The Rooftops lead singer told Leng Pleng why he is looking forward to the upcoming gigs with Phil:
|Euan Gray by Ken Edgar|
"The best thing about playing duo with Phil is that anything is possible. Phil can go from jazz to pop to classical to Corsican jail ballad - all within the same song. Responding to him and bouncing around ideas is a whirlwind of musical adventure. Every time we finish a song, the way we play together is so surprising we both keep laughing. We thought about calling our duo 'The Happy Endings' - but we are having second thoughts ;-) "
|Dima Verba by Ken Edgar|
Two really cool gigs happening on Saturday both feature an interesting and novel mix of musical styles. Los Hermanos is a new four-piece band comprising the talents of Chris Kebeck (guitar), Dima Verba (bass), Jimmy B (saxophone) and Luis Arambarri (drums). These guys are all seriously good, experienced musicians. They will be playing a fusion of music that spans 'South to North America' – from the samba and bossa-nova of Latin America to the jazz, blues and rock of the United States. Los Hermanos make their début at Slur Bar this Saturday night. The virtuoso bass-playing of Dima Verba is particularly worth checking out – Dima is a musician capable of getting some jaw-dropping sounds from his five-stringed instrument.
Over at Sharky Bar on Saturday, guitarist Aymen Ghali and saxophonist Bunhong Cheak continue their collaboration with vocalist Miss Sarawan. The Miss Sarawan All-Star Band play a repertoire of Khmer rock'n'roll songs from the 1960's and 1970's in a jazz-orientated style that marries a delicate, high Khmer vocal with the distinctive sound of the 'jazz manouche' guitar.
Until next time, stay safe out there and... see you around the traps!
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