AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL MUSIC FANS IN SINGAPORE
No, this is not another whinge about how poorly Singaporean bands/musicians are supported in their homeland. At least, it’s not intended to be. As the manager of Cheating Sons, I have witnessed first hand how a Singapore band is received outside of its own country and it is often disappointing to come home from that high to play to less than enthusiastic audiences.
In my 20s, there was barely a local music scene (other than cover bands) and bands/musicians were treated with some contempt as useless good-for-nothing slacker hooligans who should cut their hair and get a proper job. Much has changed of course and even the powers-that-be are beginning to recognize that rock bands who play original English music (S-ROCK) have a part to play in the development of a vibrant arts, cultural and entertainment scene in Singapore.
The dilemma is a classic chicken-and-egg situation. Local music fans are very brand-consious when it comes to music and obviously Singapore rock bands have no brand value at the moment. But in order to concoct an image and build up a repertoire that will achieve a substantial fan base, these bands must first be given a chance to shine, that is to say, Singaporean audiences would have to – in George Michael’s parlance – ‘listen without prejudice’.
And as wonderful as it is for us to have top notch foreign bands playing in Singapore, wouldn’t it be amazing for local music fans to be living in a vibrant music scene similar to that in Iceland or New York or London? Imagine if you had been able to watch U2 or Radiohead grow from a local band (in Dublin or Oxford, respectively) to an international act – wouldn’t that be something to be proud of or to brag about?
Seriously folks, music fandom is the most important component of a thriving music scene, more than bands/musicians, promoters or government organizations. Thus, if you are reading this and you are a music fan living in Singapore, I would entreat you to give S-ROCK a chance! You can do so by coming down to LEPA(R)K! at Tiong Bahru Park on Saturday, 19th November from 5pm to 10pm when bands like Plainsunset, Cheating Sons, In Each Hand A Cutlass, Obedient Wives Club, Ingride and Run Neon Tiger will be performing. Existing S-ROCK fans, I would encourage you to take on the mantle of S-ROCK evangelists and try to get as many people as humanly possible down to LEPA(R)K to celebrate and enjoy some great rock music. Let’s make sure that this will not be the only time that a CC supports a S-ROCK event. It’s all in your hands…
Admission is FREE.