Nothing quite compares to an intimate club show where one is able to get up close to the artist. In the past, such gigs were fairly scarce in Singapore as promoters tended to favor artists who could draw upwards of a thousand fans. But thankfully of late, these kinds of gigs are becoming more and more common in the live music scene here with recent examples being And So I Watch You From Afar at Zouk, Dirty Beaches at Pink Noize, Deafheaven at Beep Studios and Music Matters Live at various Clarke Quay outlets.
Spanish artist Russian Red (born Lourdes Hernandez) has played on our shores twice before in close quartered environments and it was pretty much the same on her third visit, this time at TAB. Thus, it was easy to make out Hernandez’s fine outfit of the night – a black frilly dress, shiny golden heels and bangs tied up in a bun – which when combined with a stylish Gretsch electric guitar (whom Hernandez referred to as ‘Gretchen’), provided a somewhat incongruous image of the dainty female rocker.
When I spoke to Alex Zhang (aka Dirty Beaches) a couple of weeks ago, he was adamant that his live performances would not consist of reproducing his recorded work but would focus on being more experimental and spontaneous. In fact, halfway through his concert at Pink Noize on Wednesday, 16th April he remarked – “True blue’s for pussies” when a request was shouted out from the audience.
When I told DARKSIDE (Nicolas Jaar & Dave Harrington) over the phone that I thought new album Psychic sounded like traditional rock, they were rather amused (and bemused, I suspect). And whilst, it is true that their improvisational performance style was somewhat experimental, it was not difficult to hear the echoes of Pink Floyd (Harrington did a fair Gilmour impression) and other psychedelic space-rock acolytes in the duo’s well-received set at the Ground Theatre *SCAPE on Sunday, 6th April.
Sure, as a music lover based in Singapore, one is currently inundated with big rock concert draws like Eric Clapton & The Rolling Stones and with big rock festivals like St. Jerome’s Laneway & the Hostess Club Weekender. But seriously folks, nothing quite beats the experience of watching a cracking band up close in an intimate venue. Nothing.
Apologies are in order cos this review should have been published at TODAY at least two weeks ago but for some reason – technical hitches etc – the article never appeared. And so, a much belated review of Plainsunset’s triumphant celebration of The Gift’s 10th Anniversary follows.
In 2015, Singapore will celebrate its 50th year of independence. Whilst clearly much has been written about the miraculous economic progress that the country has experienced, it might be argued that this success was achieved at the cost of Singapore’s artistic soul. But slowly but surely, that state of affairs is beginning to witness a sea change. Since the modest revival of Singapore-made rock music in the 1990s, only one band has lasted the course – weathering a break-up in the mid-2000s and the loss of a founding member to come on through the other side still as vibrant as ever and still as relevant to their loyal fans in 2014. That band, of course, is Plainsunset.
This piece was originally meant for publication in TODAY but due to miscommunication, it never was and so I decided to post it here on Power of Pop.
FAIRCHILD/DEON | Home Club | 3rd Jan 2014
That Singapore is now a premier regional hub for high-end music entertainment is a given. But perhaps what needs further development is for Singapore to provide an avenue for up and coming foreign bands to cut their teeth at our smaller venues so that home audiences might enjoy these performances in a more intimate setting. Bring local bands into the equation as opening acts and the opportunity for healthy cross-pollination arises which can only benefit music lovers everywhere. Thus far, the likes of Beach Fossils (USA), The Cairos (Australia) and Mac Demarco (Canada) have made their way to our smaller stages and it is a promising trend that hopefully truly takes off in the immediate future.
LOWERCASE AND LINCH AGENCY PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH LYON APPRENTICE, GENTLE BONES, LOKIES & LINYING
The year has kicked off and the gigs are coming in thick and fast. A relatively low key event, this stripped down acoustic affair showcased Gold Coast brother act, Lyon Apprentice, as they made their debut appearance in Singapore.