How was your Khmer New Year? A mere three days of national holiday does not seem to be enough for most city-dwellers. Phnom Penh is quiet again today as festivities continue in the provinces. Consequently, the upcoming program of weekend gigs is looking a little depleted. Fortunately there are a small crop of fantastic gigs to choose from on Saturday night.
Sonic Detergent play two sets of less-commonly-covered 'punk to pop' classics at Sharky Bar. Lead guitarist Tim King told Leng Pleng '...we're doing a couple of new songs - Kelly Clarkson, David Bowie... we've played 11 or 12 gigs now, one of the things we're trying to do is play songs that are a bit more up-to-date, mixed in with some old ones. We know that even the older guys in the audience at Sharky's are essentially young at heart – just look at their young girlfriends!' The band are comprised of four excellent musicians including lead singer Joshua Chiang, whose vocal range allows for more challenging and interesting song choices.
|Sonic Detergent - picture: www.kenedgar.com|
Meanwhile, over at Doors Phnom Penh on Saturday, a double-bill of rockabilly bands will be looking to get the dance floor swinging with some retro 1950's sounds. Joe Wrigley & The Jumping Jacks are joined by Woody Dares & The Western Toners for a gig that will be significant for both bands. The Phnom Penh-based Jumping Jacks are about to embark on their first gigs outside Cambodia, with a South-East Asian tour encompassing dates in Hong Kong and Vietnam. In the mean time Woody Dares and his trio will be enjoying their last performance in Cambodia before heading back home to France.
|Jumping Jacks by Ken Edgar|
Also on Saturday, expect a late-night party vibe at the annual Memphis Pub celebration of Khmer-rock. Bona Thiem and his band of skilled musicians will be playing 100% Cambodian songs. If you haven't yet heard Bona's rendition of Yol Aularong's 1970's classic 'Jeas Cyclo', you are missing out!
Finally, a couple of great gig choices from the world of classical music and jazz. Meta House hosts The Classical Concert Series 4 on Sunday evening, when guitarist Salvatore Fodera will recite works by Luigi Legnani, Agustín Barrios, Miguel Llobet and John Dowland. On Wednesday, the semi-regular 'Jazz Club' sessions continue at Doors Phnom Penh with a specially expanded iteration of Made in France. The Django Rheinhardt-inspired duo of guitarist Sebastien Adnot and vocalist Kae 'Sylvie' Lhassan will be joined on clarinet by Phillipe Javelle and on drums by Greg Lavender.
I'll leave you with a video filmed at Memphis Pub last year, featuring a particularly outrageous version of Chnam Oum Dop Bpram Moi. I wonder if the original studio guitarist ever considered such lighting-fast shredding and tapping when his band recorded the track with Ros Sereysothea in 1973...
Until next time, stay safe out there and... see you around the traps!
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