First, an apology – I dearly wanted this review to be a bigger feature and to be spotlighted in one of the more mainstream outlets I write for BUT alas, it was not to be. I didn’t realize that Charlie Lim was going to do a complete second set – which I missed – and so this serves as a somewhat truncated account of what went down the night Charlie Lim came home.
Is Charlie Lim the future of Singapore rock? I certainly hope so especially if the future of Singapore rock is as erudite, creative, humble and entertaining as Charlie Lim most certainly is! 2012 has been an excellent year for Singapore rock, with numerous new exciting artists/band emerging from our nascent music scene. If anything, Charlie Lim has come out as the star on top of the Xmas tree – a trained musicologist and a true music lover – able to exploit theory and technique without sacrificing passion and spontaneity.
Truth be told, I could hardly see Charlie Lim and band at his homecoming gig as Blujaz was packed to the gills with Charlie Lim fans. As usual it was good to see the familiar musicians-supporters – but more importantly, there were many faces I did not recognize proving that the fan base is moving beyond the usual suspects. Finally.
By now, Charlie Lim’s agenda should be pretty clear. The man loves music – all kinds – and it was easy for him to move effortlessly through jazz, soul, hip hop, pop and rock and incorporate these elements into his set seamlessly. It was a music lover’s dream in fact, as the styles and sounds mixed and mashed delightfully. “Rust”, “There is No Love” and “What Can I Do” are familiar fan favorites by now and the crowd was definitely up for it. Extra bonus came in the form of rapper ShiGGa Shay, elevating Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” into indie rap-rock territory. A splendid time was had by all!
And so, 2013 beckons and it promises to be even more intriguing with the continued rise of S-ROCK with the likes of Charlie Lim at the forefront. I can hardly wait!
Photographs by Cassandra Goh.