Life is full of surprises. A year ago, I was preparing for a change in ‘career’ direction by teaching part-time at Republic Polytechnic (thanks again to Chloe), which I hoped would provide a platform for greater involvement in the S-ROCK scene. Well, tomorrow Cheating Sons and yours truly flies off for the band’s first tour of China! Together with the band’s recent sojourn to Korea, we are hopeful that the upcoming performances in Shanghai and Zhenjiang will open more doors for Cheating Sons as an international band rather than just a Singapore rock band.

Thankfully, it appears that at least we will be kept busy in the eight days we are in China meeting folks from the China indie music scene so that all the time, effort and expense would have been worth it. I guess at this point in time, all that has been done to prepare for this upcoming week has been done and now it’s just a question of executing those plans best that we can. Personally, I am looking forward to my first trip to China ever and to finding out first hand what the burgeoning China indie music scene is all about. I intend to chronicle my time in China – utilizing Lunarin’s Duae journal (see above) – as much as possible for an article in TODAY as well as for future reference.

Which means, of course, that Power of Pop will fall silent for about a week but I hope that you will continue to visit the site and check out the over 2,250 posts that can be found here. It behooves me to mention that thanks to MDA (hi May!) part of the expenses of putting this tour together will be covered and I am hopeful that more financial support will be forthcoming in the months and years ahead. However, the main responsibility in making Cheating Sons a viable international success lies with the band and yours truly and this tour will definitely be an acid test of the band’s music and ability. Frankly, we are looking forward to meeting the challenge head on. We’ll see you on the other side.

… still there’s more …


Tributaries (Black Numbers)

Opening summary: The Reveling’s sounds are as polished as any credible punk rock bands out there enjoying commercial success.

The Reveling are made up of Sean Morris (vocals, guitar), Dave Kramer (guitar, vocals), Dennis Murphy (bass, vocals) and Brendan McGroggan (drums). Tributaries is their third release, following their first two self-released albums (truly independent), 3D Radio EP in 2009 and the self-titled debut in 2008.

The ten tracks whiz through your listening and engaging ears. An easy explanation will be that exactly half of that number of tracks is under the duration of 3” minutes each, but even those that are not also delivered the same fast-paced feel. Not that it is a bad thing here. The songs are like short punk rock anthems, meant to please within a certain timeframe before the riot is silenced.

Lead singer Sean Morris has the dry and crispy voice that is oddly clear as well, as though he is trying to make some sense while punk-rocking it out with his fellow bandmates. Each member and the sounds of each musical instrument complement one another in certainty – whether it is the rolling of the drumbeats of the snare drums, or the occasionally coordinating/collaborative, occasionally conflicting relationship between every guitar and bass note strung. My first listen wasn’t originally ideal for the band or this review, but the album slowly gets to and grows on you, like a slow invasion of your heart, mind, body and soul.

The press release says much truth about the band and the album: “… manages to capture the spirit and fire that made that ’90s sound so vital – while simultaneously infusing its songs with the immediacy and melodic muscle that makes modern punk rock a powerful force in its own right.”

So, are you ready to punk rock? Well, are ya?


Official Site


What distinguishes a Justin Bieber concert from a hipster gig in Singapore? Probably the age of the screaming hordes – the response is the same. Concert-going for the hipster in Singapore is all about the live experience and less about the music.

In the case of Swedish singer-songwriter, the music is a strong evocation of the 60s – from Spectoresque girl-pop to the West Coast psychedelic rock sound of the Jefferson Airplane, Lykke Li’s music is very much rooted in the past. And when Lykke Li raised the ghosts of yesteryear, that’s when the music transcended the somewhat hipster tendencies of her weaker moments.

And this was never more evident than on Sadness Is a Blessing where the spectre of the Ronettes’ Be My Baby was glimpsed. Similarly on the dark psychedelia of Youth Knows No Pain where Lykke Li channeled Grace Slick with Ray Manzarek’s organ thrown into the mix (for Rich Kids Blues). Elsewhere, the Bo Diddley rhythmic exercise of Get Some delivered a primal appeal that crossed over the decades. However, on the songs where Lykke Li simply aped either the likes of Coldplay (Possibility) or Fleet Foxes (Unrequited Love) – her encore, ironically enough – her distinctive musical personality disappeared.

Of course, these nuances were lost on the hipster crowd screaming “Marry me” during the quieter moments (totally destroying the mood) or the female stage invader whom a bemused Lykke Li simply ignored until the lame attempt at disruption petered out. Lame and dumb. Kudos to the Esplanade security for restraint, it must be noted.

So in the final analysis, there is a sense that Lykke Li certainly possesses the potential to be a serious artistic singer-songwriter, one wonders whether the commercial appeal of the hipster audience will derail any such ambitions and dilute Lykke Li’s artistic integrity. Her performance at the Esplanade Concert Hall perfectly summed up her dilemma.

Thanks to Greenhorn Productions. Picture by Jonathan Kwa.



A Roundtable Interview with The Wanted

Whoever came up with the band name of The Wanted should be heavily rewarded.

Indeed, The Wanted is clearly wanted, more so specifically, by the female breed. I arrived at this conclusion the moment this roundtable interview setting was in place, and the interviewers were seated altogether – that was when I realized I was the only male out at sea. I had almost instantly thought that Melissa (a fellow Power Of Pop contributing writer) would have been more appropriate to have reviewed this.

That said, it is easily understandable why The Wanted is so hotly demanded. Most obviously, they are young, tanned, charismatic, witty and in a boyband – probably ideal candidates in a girl’s wet dream (Do girls have wet dreams? – Kev). The lads had officially released 5 singles to date, with their debut All Time Low and the recent summer pop anthem Glad You Came reaching the coveted #1 spot on the UK Singles Chart. Their next single will be Lightning, and their second studio release will be due out on the 7th of November. Surely, they will be looking forward and hoping that the success of their previous single will repeat itself in history. Only time will tell.

Admittedly, their songs do catch on in a personal level, for instance when I’m feeling down, hitting rock bottom and asking myself for a pick-me-up (All Time Low); or the abandonment of contagious pop fun (in the video for Gold Forever), and the recent dirty pun-related song, which can easily have a double meaning (Glad You Came).

On being called a boyband

They feel okay at being called a boyband, and explained: “It feels more boyband here actually. People always say, “do you mind being called a boyband”, which is a weird question, because the genre of music we’re in, which I think in the UK, people think (of it) as more pop than boyband. But here, it feels like we’re getting mania.” They further elaborated: “It’s better than being called a girlband (laughter all around). I guess, it’s part of history, we’re part of something that started with The Beatles and… I mean, now we’re in a boyband, and when I die, I would have been in a boyband, and I’m kinda proud of it.” It’s no wonder their official website’s definition alternates to “ladband” instead.

On possible future collaborations
“I would really like to work with Nicki Minaj. We know about K-Pop recently, and we can’t dance to save our lives, so I would love to do one, maybe with a girl band (Super Junior was funnily brought up here, but The Wanted seemed to have no freaking clue that they are an all-male band, and the ladies interviewers didn’t correct them and were just laughing along), where they are like all perfect, and we’re just sorta stumbling around after them, terribly. We can sing, and they can just dance and do harmonies. Unfortunately, we are the opposite of K-Pop, we’re not polished, and we are terrible at synchronized things, cause, c’mon, look at us.”

On the long-term, far future
One of the best answers in the interview has to be this: “in time, you’ll realize, and that we’ve already realized, that this won’t last forever. So we’ve accepted it that way, that it won’t last forever.” They had made reference to Take That, which recently reunited and have a very successful comeback, and had expressed hopeful outlook in the future; but it was nice to see and know that the lads knew about this [the short term careers of pop groups] and accepted reality.

The Wanted – Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Nathan Sykes, Jay McGuiness and Tom Parker – were very nice, humble and with no air throughout the interview. The band had demanded that we move ourselves closer to the band for a more intimate session (as they had felt the intimidating vibe of the atmosphere in the room and the gaping distance between us and the band). The interview felt like home – yes, they may already be pop world’s next big thing, but most importantly, they are humane too. Siva even negotiated and fought for more questions to be answered and extended interview time with their management, even though it was clear that they were running short on schedule time for the day before their home trip. It was a pity that most of the questions raised weren’t really directed at music, but merely just girl, Singapore, food and fan talks.

As this post wears itself out, I will bob out with some of their music ringing in my head (before it’s all forgotten and faded away). Until then, I wish The Wanted all the best, in a big big (pop) world, like Emilia once sang.


Continue reading “THE WANTED”


BLUE OCTOBER Any Man In America (Megaforce)

Been through a divorce and/or a child custody lawsuit lately?

Though it’s a growing trend  in our modern times, the expectation of ‘no’ as an answer would be the generalization. Not so for Justin Furstenfeld, the lead singer of Blue October. Any Man In America is the sixth studio release from the group, and the music on the album is mostly in the genres of blues, alternative and rock, with several indications of indie and electronic rock (think a lighter version of Nine Inch Nails, at times). Some unique musical instruments used in the melodies, not commonly associated with alternative rock music, are: trumpet, violin, mandolin and percussion instruments.

Three words: partial definite experimental.

Justin’s recent troubles in life are the centre of attention in this record, that even a fool could have easily recognized, with lyrics like “when the house you built just falls apart… say your last goodbye, I don’t give a f**k” (Drama Everything); “I tried everything, I work so hard for you, to constantly hear how I fail and abandon you” (For The Love); “so I kept my business quiet, just like my lawyer said, and I tried to focus all my anger in my work instead” (title track Any Man In America), so on and forth.

The entire album is pretty much full-frontal confessional, as though he has converted a personal diary into a lyrics book, and simply added the backing music by his bandmates. It’s really a win or lose situation here. Either the listener has been through similar experiences, or suffered from recent heartaches, and can fully relate, as well in some ways, find the comfort in these tones of anger. Or it can go the complete opposite direction, unfavourably that the listeners may find this too personal to listen to Justin’s domestic issues fully on display.

For himself, Justin either sounds like he comes out stronger post-divorce, or simply can’t get over the dramatic turn of events in his life. Though it’s leaning more towards the former, you can practically hear him crossing over to the vulnerable side occasionally time and time again. Earwax-worthy jams on the record include The Feel Again (Stay) (sounding sweetly fragile with compromising doubts at every corner), The Chills and The Worry List.And possibly indicating that Blue October is at their peak (if chart position is any way to go by in validating a band’s success), Any Man In America debuted on the Billboard 200 at #8 on its first week of release. However, one thing is for certain though: one person that won’t be buying the record is his ex-wife, and my best advice for Justin Furstenfeld is to standby a lawyer contact soon, if not now.


Official Site | Buy Any Man in America from Amazon


After the hand-wringing and soul-searching brought about by two heavy defeats to both Manchester clubs, it is fair to say that Spurs’ season has well and truly begun with this emphatic victory over top four rivals, Liverpool. Red fans will probably point to the numerous yellow cards which left them with only 9 men with still almost half an hour to play but that would do a disservice to Spurs’ total dominance in this game.

Everything went right for Spurs as they came racing out of the blocks and the only surprise was that Spurs were only a goal ahead at half-time, thanks to Luka Modric’s screamer in the 7th minute. The way the little Croatian celebrated the goal gave some indication perhaps that he has put aside his animosity towards the club for blocking his Chelsea move, at least until January, of course. It is a very good sign for Spurs as Modric – with superb support from the tenacious Scott Parker – operated as the fulcrum for Spurs’ excellent passing moves.

Liverpool never quite got into the game and this frustration was evident in the amount of reckless challenges that were deemed necessary in a vain attempt to deal with Spurs’ fluency. Charlie Adams earned two yellows in a short space of time for his challenges on Modric and Parker, the second of which probably deserved a straight red. Spurs fans will feel that this is just desserts for his illegally putting Gareth Bale out of the Blackpool game at White Hart Lane last season.

Liverpool’s 10 men still managed to deal with Spurs for the beginning of the 2nd half but once Martin Skrtel recklessly floored Bale and obtained his marching orders, the game was a bridge too far for the Red’s nine men as goals from Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor (2) made the scoreline a bit closer to what Spurs’ magnificent performance deserved.

Without a doubt, the acquisitions of Adebayor and Parker have strengthened the Spurs side in key areas. Adebayor has made a dream start with three goals in his first two games, and his presence in the team has also rejuvenated Defoe, who now looks more like the predatory striker he is capable of being. A mention must be made also of the calming influence of Brad Freidel in goal and skipper Ledley King in the heart of defence – as two clean sheets in a row (after the eight conceded in the first two games) are just as important statistics as the six goals scored (NB. Five from the new striking partnership!)

After the early doom and gloom, things are looking up again especially with key players (Sandro, Huddlestone, Lennon, Dawson) to return from injury. If Harry Redknapp can keep the likes of Adebayor, Parker and Modric contributing, then surely Spurs fans can look forward to a promising season.



OPETH Heritage (Roadrunner)

Swedish heavy metal band Opeth’s tenth studio album is a departure from its death metal roots (see album cover above) and is a serious venture into progressive rock territory. A successful one it must be said. Opening with the neo-classical piano piece, Heritage, the rest of this album contains a potent hybrid of hard rock, symphonic metal, folk and jazz fusion elements with ‘proper singing’ (no growls) making it closer to a neo-prog masterpiece one might get from Dream Theater or Spock’s Beard.

Whilst death metal purists might find this direction compromising, the addition of nylon guitars, mellotron and flutes will recall classic Jethro Tull and please old-school progressive rock enthusiasts (yours truly included) no end. Clocking in at almost an hour, Heritage is a treasure trove of virtuosity and high concept that has to consumed whole. Heavy and epic when it needs to be, and sensitive and soulful at the appropriate moments, Heritage is a worthy addition to 2011’s list of best albums.

Official Site



By now, regular PoP visitors will know what a band needs to do to be featured here! Psychedelic-country-folk-rock-blues is the ‘genre’ of choice and Parson Red Head fits the bill with two acoustic guitars, harmonica, percussion and gorgeous 4-part harmonies in this ‘live’ video. Burning Up the Sky is a song off new album, Yearling. Sweet! A PoP recommendation!

Official Site




One has to applaud the thought and intention behind the music found on Melon Jam. Influenced by the whimsical side of Brit psych-pop (The Move, Syd Barrett-Pink Floyd, Zombies), Toxic Melons (aka Paul Fairbairn), certainly possesses the chops to deliver authentic evocations of this special time in rock history.

Where he is let down a little bit is in terms of production values but putting that aside, one cannot help but be impressed by songs like The Dole, Today You Didn’t Go and You’ve Changed where the eclectic inventiveness of bands like Queen, XTC and Jellyfish is strongly evident.

The rest of the album – whilst not quite as consistent – demonstrates that Toxic Melons at least has the potential to sustain a credible attempt to revive the heady days of offbeat melodic power pop.

Check out Melon Jam at Reverbnation.

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THE CAMBODIAN SPACE PROJECT 2011: A Space Odyssey (Metal Postcard)

South-East Asian indie is going places! This Khymer rock band is currently touring UK and judging from this debut album, is not going to be easy for music critics (like yours truly) to pigeonhole. Well, to these ears, it does sound like 60s Asian rock ‘n’ roll sung in Khymer. Which reminds me of another Khymer-associated band, Dengue Fever, based in the USA.

Containing nine songs with Khymer titles, 2011: Space Odyssey is a odd combination of East and West but for those intrigued by unique, odd ball music then The Cambodian Space Project would be right up your alley. By all accounts, it’s a refreshing change from all the prefabricated cynical rubbish that passes for indie rock in 2011. Check it out.

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Confirmed dates and venues

Alexandria Street, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

Silo Park, Beaumont Street. Auckland

Footscray Community Arts Centre – 45 Moreland Street, Footscray VIC 3011

Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) – Balmain Road, Rozelle NSW 2039

Fowler’s Live – 68-70 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000

Perth Cultural Centre – Beaufort Street, Perth WA 6000

Fort Canning, Canning Rise, Singapore

More information to come. Stay tuned.


German power pop band Redondo Beat is currently touring the USA. Check them out!


Sept. 14th – Denton, TX

Sept. 15th – New Orleans

Sept. 19th – Jackson, MS

Sept. 21st – Oxford, MS
Blind Pig

Sept. 24th – Memphis, TN
Gonerfest after party!!!

Sept. 27th – Memphis, TN

Sept. 28th – Nashville, TN

Sept. 30th – West Ashville, NC
The Get Down

Oct. 1st – Athens, OH
The Union

Oct. 5th – Columbus, OH
Café Bourbon St.

Oct. 6th – Milwaukee, WI

Oct. 7th – Detroit, MI

Oct. 8th – Lafayette, IN
Black Sparrow Pub

Official Facebook Page



A intriguing song with a hooky chorus – indie rock filtered through country-folk sensibilities – with a cool performance video to boot. Though ostensibly a quartet (see above), the music video sure looks over-crowded. Off new album, Flawed Logic, released in April by Engine Room Recordings.

Official Site


As regular visitors to PoP will be aware, I am a passionate champion of promoting the art of songwriting within Singapore and this is one initiative that I am very excited about! Naturally I am directly involved as well! For budding songwriters out there (NB. COMPASS members only), here is your chance to get FREE advice on your songs in three areas lyrics (Stella Kon), melodies (KM) and chord progressions (Ray J Rodrigues).

The first session is on this Sunday (18th) from 2pm to 5pm at the Library @ Esplanade and is sponsored by COMPASS/organized by Serendip Showbiz. Interested? Register here and RSVP here. Open to the public. See you there!


MAGUS is Leslie Low (Humpback Oak/The Observatory) on guitars and and Mark Dolmont (Meddle) on drums. The duo’s debut album – Sun Worshipper – promises to feature “chunky guitar riffs” and “hefty drums” and will no doubt induce “hypnotic, trance-like states”. Intrigued? Check out the trailer below and pick up your copy of Sun Worshipper when it is released by Ujikaji Records on 16th September.

MAGUS “Sun Worshipper” (UJI-001) Trailer 1 from Ujikaji Records on Vimeo.


I must confess that when comic book artist Sonny Liew (above, left) invited me to play a short set for his Malinky Robot book signing event at Books Kinokuniya, I was not keen. Since the traumatic experiences at Timbre @ The Substation, I was ready to swear off performing live completely. I felt totally out of synch with the local music scene, as a performer. But Sonny was so sincere in his requests and as a fan of his work, I felt obliged to put my reservations aside and just go for it! Also, the additional incentive was to do a duet with the lovely Joyce Sim, Sonny’s editor.

As it turned out, I was blissfully chilled during the event, unfazed even by the fact that Joyce was not comfortable with the proposed duet on the day (it will still happen one of these days, believe me!) and delivered the three-song set comfortably without any mishaps. Part of the thrill was debuting a new song inspired by Sonny’s comic – Malinky Robot Blues – and also covering one of my favourite songs – The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles the Giant Robots Part I. Along with I ♥ Singapore, these songs made up my brief performance.

I want to thank Sonny (and Joyce) for the tremendous encouragement and the creative lift that I really needed during this fallow time and I really do feel that the way forward for me as a performer is these intimate acoustic showcases, where I can unleashed my personal songs at an fairly appreciative audience.

Look out for the demo recording of Malinky Robot Blues soon and if you haven’t picked up a copy of Malinky Robot, please go down to Books Kinokuniya and buy your copy as soon as possible! Check out my review.

Pic by Dave Chua.


On paper, the trip to Molinuex to play Wolves was a daunting one. After two bad defeats against both Manchester clubs, Spurs started the day bottom of the Premier League. Wolves on the other hand were sitting pretty at the other end with 7 points from 3 games. Manager Harry Redknapp gave debuts to new signings Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor, whilst skipper Ledley King returned to shore up the defence.

The match itself was even for the best part of an hour until Niko Kranjcar and Parker combined to provide Adebayor with a opportunity which he finished cooly. That goal changed the entire complexion of the game and from then on, Spurs were in control. Kranjcar delivered a good ball in the box, which Jermain Defoe snapped up powerfully to guarantee the first victory of the season for Spurs.

It looked comfortable in the end but the match was anything but safe until Adebayor’s debut goal (he has also achieved the same feat previously with Arsenal and Man City). Wolves matched Spurs in every department except as it turns out in the striking department. The sharpness of Adebayor and Defoe contrasted with the failure of the forwards to deliver last season.

With this win, Spurs are off the bottom of the table and hopefully, will climb upwards as the new season finally gathers momentum. Based on this game, Parker and Adebayor look like excellent acquisitions and justify Redknapp’s faith in them despite many fans’ reservations. Still, the lacklustre showings by Luke Modric and Gareth Bale may be of concern. At the back, Brad Friedel continued to justify his place in the team with a string of excellent saves. Together with Ledley King, there was a determined mood in the defence that certainly did not exist in the last two games. Much to play for…



The usual caveat applies when I review any of Ric’s work. You know the drill, I have known film maker Eric Khoo for more than two decades now. We met in 1990 when we were assigned by BigO magazine to work together on comic strips – Ric was to draw and I was to write. We did do quite a few strips under the ‘Ric and Roach’ byline in the 90s and it was all great fun. Ric would of course go on to be an acclaimed director, a pioneer in his field in Singapore and he was gracious enough to allow me to write music for some of his wonderful films. So take note of our associations as you read this review, if you must.

Tatsumi (the film) is a loving tribute to Yoshihiro Tatsumi, widely recognised as the artist responsible for pioneering gekiga (‘dramatic pictures’) style of alternative comics in Japan from the late 50s onwards. If you can imagine what comic books were like in the Western world in the 60s (mainly juvenile fare), then Tatsumi’s adult-oriented work was surely miles ahead of its time. The film is based on two sources – Tatsumi’s autobiographical Drifting Life and five of his gekiga short stories viz. Hell, Beloved Monkey, Just A Man, Occupied and Good Bye – and both are expertly woven together to form one coherent narrative.

Certainly, any astute member of the audience will note that the tone of Drifting Life and the short stories are very different. The stories are extremely dark and reveal the harsh realities of the human condition. Also, they strip away the artifice of modern living to bare the ugliness that is often buried beneath what most may consider mundane and routine. What this highlights is the critical difference between an artist and his work. It’s clear from Drifting Life that Tatsumi himself is a gentle, humble soul who’s sole ambition was to draw manga but on his own terms. His short stories indicate that he was successful in doing exactly that.

It’s hard not to derive these understandings of Tatsumi even from a superficial viewing of the film – Ric and his talented collaborators have indeed done justice to Tatsumi’s unassuming genius. The animation is tastefully done, based directly on Tatsumi’s artwork and the voice acting by Tetsuya Bessho is often breath-taking (even though I don’t understand a word of Japanese!).

Sound designer (and OP bassist) Kazz stated in his speech at the premiere that Tatsumi was authentic Japanese anime even though it was made outside of Japan. And certainly, nobody watching Tatsumi will ever doubt that strong sense of authencity. So naturally, I highly recommend that you watch Tatsumi when it screens at a cinema near you. For my Singaporean readers, Tatsumi opens on 15th September at GV Vivocity and GV Plaza. Do not miss it!

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King Kong Jane has just released a new music video for Stranger, a track from their debut album Waiting For Friday.

Shot in Singapore, the music video for the song is produced and directed by up-and-coming talents Charmaine Lam, Elaine Ang and WenJian Teo.

“When we released our debut album ‘Waiting For Friday’ in March this year, many fans told us that ‘Stranger’ was one of their favourite tracks. So we’re really excited to release a music video for the song, and are thankful to our friend Alex for introducing the song to Charmaine, Elaine and WenJian,” says Colin Lim, vocalist of King Kong Jane.

He adds, “We’ve sold more than 500 copies of our album so far, so this music video is dedicated to everyone who has shown support for our music in one way or another. This is the 3rd music video we’ve released for the album, but we plan to put out at least one more video within the next few months.”

For more information about the music video’s directors, visit:

Charmaine Lam: http://charmzlam.carbonmade.com

Elaine Ang: http://elaineangg.carbonmade.com

WenJian Teo: http://wenjianteo.carbonmade.com




(Press release)

Germany    has    Oktoberfest.    Singapore    has    Roktober!

Timbre    Music    and    Erdinger    proudly    present    Roktober!,    four    nights    of    pure    undulated    fun    on    20    to    23   October   2011   at   Timbre   @   The   Substation   and   the   car   park   in   front   of   the   live   music   venue.   Back    with    a   vengeance    after    2010’s    inaugural    outing,    the    free    admission    event    spans    more    live    music   performances   over two   separate   stages,   live   match   screenings   of   Rugby   World   Cup   2011,    classic    beer    games    including    the    Beer Pong    Championship    with    celebrity    competitors    and    even    a   (ticketed)   BBQ   buffet.

“We   are   proud   to   say   that   Roktober!   is   truly   a   localised   version   of   Oktoberfest.   Roktober!   is    probably   the   only   Oktoberfest   event     to   stay   away   from   a   Bavarian   band   and   we   absolutely   do   not    propagate   chicken   dancing!     Hopefully   this   gives   Oktoberfest   enthusiasts   something   fresh   to   look    forward   to,   especially   since   we   are   the   closing   Erdinger   Oktoberfest   event   for   the   season.”   says   Mr.   Danny   Loong,   Co-­‐Founder   &   Chief   Creative   Director   of   Timbre   Group.

On    propagating    non-­‐chicken    dancing,    Singaporean    bands    The    Marilyns,    Cheating    Sons    and    Pleasantry    (led by    ex-­‐frontwoman    of    Postbox)    play    along    resident    Timbre    bands    Goodfellas    and    53A    over    the    four   evenings.    Timbre’s    Blues    Summit    featuring    prominent    Singapore    blues    musicians    and    personalities    including   bands    Chicken    Shack    Revival,    Raw    Earth,    Mel    &    Joe    and    members    of    the    Singapore    Blues    Club    are   back    again    on    Sunday    for    an    early    evening    of    blues,   rock   &   roll   and   soul.   This   annual   highlight   promises to   entertain   Roktober!   audiences   and    provide    some    musical    surprises    along    the    wall.    Specially    invited    to   Roktober!    is    also    New    Jersey,   the   ultimate   Bon   Jovi   tribute   band   who   is   well   known   in   every   corner   of   Australia   to   be    able   to   simulate   all   aspects   of   a   “real”   Bon   Jovi   concert.   Even   music   guru   and   close   friend   of   Jon    Bon   Jovi,   Molly   Meldrum   himself,   says   of   them   “They   are   sensational   -­   even   Jon   would   be   proud!!”.    Be   ready   to   punch   your   fist   in   the   air,   hold   your   lighter   up   and   get   ready   for   as   close   to   the   real    deal   during   their   performances.

More information here.



Set in a sprawling Asian-referencing urban landscape (aka the city of San’ya), Sonny Liew’s Malinky Robot chronicles the (mis)adventures of Atari and Oliver, two street urchins. Despite it’s fictitious setting and it’s truncated narratives, the short stories in Malinky Robot reflect Liew’s real-world obsessions with pop culture – superhero comics, anime and the ubiquitous scifi robots.

In the midst of the quaint, almost antiquated steampunk-ish environments, Liew reaches into the guts of his imagination to rip out ideas and emotions that relate to our everyday living – dreams, disappointments, avarice, humour, loneliness, financial realities and so on. Never mind if we’re never quite sure what kind of creature Oliver is or question the existence of Mr Nabisco’s little robot – it all just seems to make sense in the wider scheme of things.

So there are stories here that will make you laugh, cry, look back in awe and sometimes even scratch your head but ultimately will resonate with you for its astute reflections of the human condition. As someone who has lost faith and patience with the superhero comic, it’s heartening to note that the medium itself continues to be a potent source for good storytelling.

Sonny Liew will be signing your copies of Malinky Robot this Saturday, 10th September at Kinokuniya Takashimaya, I will be performing a short set before so come down early will ya, please? RSVP here.




Few years ago, I caught Robin Gibb live in Singapore and was rather bemused that he decided to let a backing singer handle the lead vocals of Bee Gees songs that were originally sung by his brother Barry. Apparently, Robin himself noticed that anomaly as well and from this live recording, it’s clear that he has remedied that completely.

So in this concert (set in the idyllic surroundings of Ledreborg Castle in Denmark), Robin takes care of lead vocals of every song on the setlist. Which in itself is also hit or miss. I mean, well and good if its songs like I Started A Joke, Saved By the Bell or Massachusetts, all of which were originally sung by him but it’s a really off-putting to hear Robin try his hand at To Love Somebody or How Deep Is Your Love, when you’re expecting Barry’s sultry tenor.

Well, I suppose what I am saying is that in ideal circumstances, Bee Gees fans would rather see Barry and Robin sing these timeless tunes together but in the absence of that, this will have to do.

Buy Robin Gibb: In Concert at Amazon


(Press Release)

This will be Alice Cooper’s inaugural show in Singapore and we are in for quite a treat. As an artist, he has both been influenced by and then influenced horror movies and garage rock to pioneer a spectacular theatrical brand of hard rock that was designed to shock and Alice Cooper is the master of the genre.

His fans range from Salvador Dali to Bob Dylan to Foo Fighters – Dave Grohl and Johnny Depp, who took the stage with Alice Cooper and his Band at the legendary “100 Club” in London last month. Without Alice Cooper the world would never have seen Bands like the New York Dolls, Kiss, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Motley Crue, Slipnot or Rob Zombie, all of whom have been considerably influenced by the legendary Alice Cooper.

There has been much take place in his ever evolving life since his last World Tour, among which have been many awards and accolades, with one of the most memorable being his induction into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at an unforgettable event in New York City, which saw Alice arrive with a giant albino boa constrictor wrapped around his neck.

Much more than just a successful rock star, musician and performing artiste, he is a visionary trail blazer whose influence persists today in rock, metal, pop, punk, theatre, television and film. He is among the revered few who are invited to play the finale shows of American Idol, which Alice did in 2010.

As an interesting side bar, he is a prolific golfer who plays daily and is considered quite a master of the game, helming his own celebrity golf tournament annually.

The beginning of the Tour coincides with the long awaited and very much overdue release of his latest album “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” which is the sequel to his multi-platinum classic “Welcome to My Nightmare”. The release will be through Universal Music Singapore, island-wide this September 20th.

Details –



Doors: 7pm Show Time: 8pm


General Admission $120 Standing Tickets Only

(Sistic $3 Booking fee applies)


Tel Bookings: (65) 6348 5555



AVERAGE WHITE BAND Live At Montreux (1977) | ZZ TOP Live in Germany (1980) | ROCKPILE Live in Montreux (1980)

Eagle Records has set itself up as one of the premier labels when it comes to live albums of vintage rock. These three albums are good examples. Scottish funk/R&B band Average White Band is probably captured at the peak of its powers in the Montreux performance and from the opening feisty rendition of biggest hit Pick Up The Pieces to the closing version of Marvin Gaye’s chestnut I Heard It Through The Grapevine, AWB is fine fettle.

Blues-rockers ZZ Top enjoyed immense popularity in the late 70s/early 80s and the German live set is a good transitional snapshot before superstardom with the Eliminator LP. It’s a boogie fest from start to finish with choice cuts like El Deguello, Waiting For the Bus and Cheap Sunglasses. Pub rock legends Rockpile also feature in a Montreux performance from 1980. With a crack lineup (Nick Lowe – vocals, bass/Dave Edmunds – vocals, guitar/Billy Bremner – lead guitar/Terry Williams – drums), Rockpile delivers a sharp set with songs sprinkled liberally with rock n roll, rockabilly and power pop vibes. Highly recommended.

Buy Average White Band – Live at Montreux at Amazon

Buy ZZ Top – Live In Germany 1980 at Amazon

Buy Rockpile – Live at Montreux 1980 at Amazon


(Press release)

Carlsbad, CA-based footwear, apparel, and accessory lifestyle brand, Macbeth takes the night out of the Identite gig series at Home Club to launch it’s Fall 2011 collection with a rock show featuring an awesome line up of They Will Kill Us All from Kuala Lumpur and our home grown artists A Vacant Affair, Tacit Aria and Fervent.

Macbeth Fall 2011 collection features three brand new men’s styles (The Gatsby, The Pendleton and The Langley) that give a modern update to some of the brand’s most loved classics, as well as new twists inspired by older Macbeth models.[TC1]   And as with every new season, some cool collabs coming out of the Studio Projects vault with Mike Dirnt of world famous punk rock band Green Day and Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra.

Founded by popular musician Tom Delonge of famed pop-punk band Blink182 in 2001, Macbeth has always had the spirit of rock and roll ingrained in everything it does, be it in endorsements, marketing and support for the local music communities around the world – and It’s no different in South East Asia, with the rock show being testament to that!

Party Details:

Friday September 9th 2011, 7:30pm – 11:00pm
Home Club, 20 Upper Circular Road, The Riverwalk, B1-01/06
Entry: $12 + door gifts (while stocks last) includes 1 drink and free entry into BEAT!
Featuring: They Will Kill Us All (KL, My), A Vacant Affair, Tacit Aria and Fervent