THE UNEXPECTED BUT WELCOME RETURN OF ALLURA!

Allura

 

Wow! This happened! Quite out of the blue and somewhat under the radar, Allura has dropped a new EP after disappearing for SIX years!

I won’t lie – listening to the 1832 EP is akin to a religious experience! The musical sophistication displayed in these new recordings is a wonder to behold certainly.

“Rain” is an interesting amalgam of pop with experimental musicality, “Loose Change” is an intensely emotional diatribe and “Cold*Player” is an intriguing piece that deserves a couple of plays to fully soak in.

Kudos to Aaron, Mark John, Inch, Matt and HQ for putting this wonderful gift together – it’s been too fucking long!

And that’s not all, Allura reunites for a live performance at this weekend’s 100bands festival on 8th August at 8pm!

100bands - weekend2

 

… still there’s more … 

ALLURA

At the end of the show, the crowd was baying for a drum solo from Han Quan, which he duly obliged to the enjoyment of everyone in the room. And that was that.

Somehow, this so-called farewell show felt more like a reunion than anything else. Mark John informed me after the show that he hadn’t played with the band for almost a year! A third into the set, I realized how much I’d missed the band – there was a time that watching an Allura show was part and parcel of my routine! Heady days…

Indus Gendi (yet another young band I’ve known since 2007) started the proceedings, somewhat hampered by the inferior sound but storming through. The three guitars threatened to drown out Esther’s vocals but she managed to stay in key and delivered a competent performance. As did the band. Indus Gendi has changed much since the early days when Esther used to sing behind her keyboards but the music is still strong despite the changes. I still believe that Indus Gendi will find its place in our music scene and beyond.

What was truly special about Allura’s performance despite the challenging sound issues was a sense of togetherness amongst the band, family, friends and fans. For me personally, once I had immersed myself into the heart of the beast, it became sheer bliss. The beast? Well, playing in a band is much like building a perfect beast and for Allura, these five talented individuals melded into this creative force – a beast. Aaron’s driving rhythm, the foundation of Han Quan and Matt, the guitar lines of Mark John filling in the spaces in-between and finally, the glue of Inch’s vox holding it all together simultaneously as banshee and baby girl.

Along with the Fire Fight’s final gig, this night was probably one of the best gigs I’ve experienced for a very long time. It was never about note perfection but getting the balance right. And all in good fun, even as Mark John’s out-of-tune guitar provided a jocular moment in the midst of Gamajazillion, it failed to diminish the power of the song. It seemed surreal to me that after realizing what I had missed for so long, I would not be able to watch Allura live again for some time to come…

Which perhaps why it is the right time for Inch’s debut album to be released – even as lead track Mt Epiphany worms its way into my heart and soul (its been on repeat the whole time I’ve been writing this post). So as one chapter is closed, another one opens…

So big hugs to Inch, Mark John, Han Quan, Aaron and Matt, we’ll see you once again as Allura soon.

ALLURA

Pardon me if I get a little nostalgic and misty-eyed. Three years may seem like a short time but for me it’s been an interesting one.

In mid-2007, I was at the (old) *SCAPE on a Saturday afternoon and a very young-looking band took to the “stage” (well there wasn’t one but y’know) featuring four guys with cool barnets. I remember thinking specifically that the drummer looked 13 and one of the guitarists was rather exotic looking. And where was the singer? I noticed that there was this little girl hanging around in the background, dressed casually in a tee and shorts, it couldn’t be her, right? Believe me, I was expecting the worst…

And then they started playing. To be honest, the music didn’t really impress me but that singer – whoa! She was a bundle of raw energy and power. I could not believe the transformation – I was quite transfixed by her performance. Oh and I thought the 13 year old drummer kept really good time.

Of course, the band was Allura. The rest, as they say, is history.

In the next three years, I followed Allura quite a fair bit and you can find my ruminations here or at the S-ROCK blog. Allura has been on hiatus for some time now, as both Matt and Aaron have had to serve NS. Now it’s Han Quan’s turn and my favorite little drummer boy wants one more gig before he surrenders his pink IC. Lucky us, I’d say!

So its certainly not goodbye to Allura – I’m sure they will be back and stronger! Therefore, tonight’s gig at Blu Jaz Cafe at 8.30pm is one of those not-to-be-missed S-ROCK occasions. Not only that but with the latest incarnation of Indus Gendi opening, it’s certainly value for money. Best yet, it’s FREE!!!

See you there. I will be the one crying in the back corner, somewhere…

Pix stolen from Inch Chua’s Facebook’s page.

NOW PLAYING

ALLURA – CLOSURE (off the Wake Up and Smell the Seaweed EP)

Regular visitors to this humble site (and S-ROCK before that) will be aware of my love affair with Allura. Closure remains my favorite song from the band (though Gamajazillion runs close) Here’s a vid of the band performing Closure in August last year at Deafcon 5. A little rough but there’s no denying the energy and passion. Ah, the memories…

And isn’t Inch just an irresistible front person?