FRED PERRY’S 60TH BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY AT TANJONG PAGAR RAILWAY STATION
Where else can one get on a special guest list to watch 5 bands perform on the same stage, with high fashion on the wayside, at a place of significant historical value, and with easily accessible beer to down into stomachs and possibly ruined livers?
Fred Perry seemed to have the answer for that on the Sunday of 2nd December (check in with your own prescribed doctors for the liver problem, please). As always, Fred Perry is injecting its fashion roots into the music scene like it often is well known to have done, to be doing, and will certainly be doing into the future as well, without a doubt.
Power Of Pop’s very own Kevin Mathews-fronted The Fast Colors started the music ball game rollin’. Also consisting of members Chris Toh and Patrick Chng who are veterans in the local music scene, I was a little surprised they were picked as the opening act to perform, considering the music experience and heavyweight status that these lads possess. With a special guest midway into their set in the form of another of Singapore’s very own original artiste X’Ho, and a performance of Watchmen’s number 1 smash My One And Only, they classic-rocked out to an audience that seemed too early and too young to appreciate music to their earwax.
Obedient Wives Club was the next line-up, and despite the numerous and countless occasions I had seen this band perform, they did their best set to-date right there. Often I find myself having problems with dictating lead YinQi Lee’s lyrics over the band’s beach-lazy, surfer-porn fuzzy sounds and melodies, and in this set it was no exception another time round, but much less so than before. They also performed “Murder Kill Baby”, taken from their upcoming January 2013 new EP release.
MUON performed next, with a little help from a friend by the name of Wei Shan, best known as Weish, the singer-ukuleleist that performed and opened the last Fred Perry Sub-Sonic Live event with Plainsunset’s lead Jon Chan. The two experimental, instrumental openers left much for the imagination, though I was left with dodgy eyes around sceneries and the sea of crowds, as the music did not sit well with me. For me, Weish’s vocals stole the show, and brought further in-depth meaning into the textured layers of music crafted by the band themselves. The Foals covered tune, “Tron”, sounded like the real thing, man.
The local chapters for the night wrapped up with The Great Spy Experiment, who gathered the otherwise lazy crowd into the front of the arena. By that time of the day, the night skies had fallen, and the rain clouds were weighing in, with light drizzles of disturbance. But that did not stop our local rock heroes from putting up a remarkable rock show of their own. “Siti In The City” was the anthem of the night, with ready fist punches into the air like we just didn’t care.
CITIZENS! should be the band that most in the audience were waiting for, and they crowded near the stage unrequitedly and sang along like they were caught in a – guess what? – true romance. The raindrops came mercilessly, but the London band played on in good sport and spirits. However, their songs all began to sound pretty much the same from one another, and to be honest, I got bored. It felt like readily-made hipster music, which in turn if you dig into the history of music like the discography of Sam Cooke’s and many, many other historic musicians, it felt like this newcomer band was just playing popular music only because, well, it is popular now. That said, there should be much room for improvement for the band musically and for their live deliveries ahead, that I am certain they will have the opportunities of.
Last but not least, here’s wishing Fred Perry a happy 60th birthday! Don those polo tees and button them up like the geeks we all are, or once were but are way too self-conscious to admit.