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May 042012

Skullmania: New Wave Of Singaporean Heavy Metal EP Launch

Hood Bar & Café played host to Skullmania’s New Wave of Singaporean Heavy Metal EP launch last Saturday. The band shared the stage with Various X-capes, Zaganoth, Suicide Solution and Thy Fallen Kingdom.

Skullmania’s band members include Nathan Ngeow (lead vocals and guitar), Amin Amran (drums), Jayme Lim (guitar) and Zamir Rosli (back-up vocals and bass). Childhood friends, Amin and Nathan met when they were 13. Amin was a self-taught musician, and he taught Nathan to play the guitar. Later, Nathan took up music lessons, and they started to write original songs.

Although Skullmania have been together since 2008, it is only now that they are releasing their debut EP. Consisting of 5 tracks, this hard-rockin’ EP keeps the energy level high all the way through. When asked about their musical influences, the band named Blink 182, Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold. They also revealed that their favourite track in the EP was “Cleansweep Decimation”, because it is a high energy track that really gets the crowd going and participating with the band.

During their set, there was fist-punching, head-banging and body-surfing, as the crowd sang along. Going bare-chested, the drummer Amin was pounding his heart out on the drums. And Nathan the lead singer teased the crowd by saying good night to them during a mid-track pause while singing “In Your Face”. At the end of the show, the band expressed their heartfelt thanks to Hood Bar & Café, Rhazmi Productions, their “guardian angel” Eric Poh, and to all the bands who played with them that day.

Skullmania is clearly a band that is very passionate and driven to succeed. If you would like to show some support, their New Wave of Singaporean Heavy Metal EP is now available at Gramophone, Roxy Music, T-JUNKtion, Hell’s Labyrinth & Alliance Music Group.

(Jeanette Chin)

Pictures by Jeanette Chin and Donald Soh.

May 032012

Picture by Ryan Chang

 A Teenage Dream Come True

Hundreds of eager teenagers spent a Tuesday evening (3rd April) enjoying a concert at *SCAPE Warehouse with a pop punk band from Poughkeepsie, New York, known as We Are The In Crowd (WATIC).

Formed in 2009, the band consists of Taylor Jardine (vocals), Jordan Eckes (guitar/vocals), Mike Ferri (bass guitar), Rob Chianelli (drums), and Cameron Hurley (guitar). Hopeless Records signed them shortly after hearing that their Myspace account got hacked and all their friends and songs got deleted. They released their debut EP in 2010, Guaranteed To Disagree, and went on to release their first full-length album in 2011, Best Intentions.

Opening for WATIC were Attention! The New Portsdown from Singapore and Oh Chentaku from Malaysia. They did a great job, getting the crowd warmed up.

In Singapore for the first time, WATIC played songs from their EP and album, including fan favorites like “Rumor Mill”, “Never Be What You Want” and “Both Sides of The Story”. They delighted the audience with their energetic performance, connecting with the crowd. And the crowd cheered, sang loudly, clapped, and screamed their heads off for their favourite band members. It was a night of pure teenage delirium!

One unique characteristic of this band are the dual female and male vocals of Taylor and Jordan. These two vocalists sound like they’re having a heated conversation in song, then they come together in harmony, like an understanding has been reached. Taylor says, “With two vocalists, we think it’s a great way to illustrate two opinions because you can clearly hear the difference between our voices. We based a lot of the songs around the idea of having two opinions to every situation.”

Singing two encore songs for their adoring fans before taking their leave, the WATIC encounter that night was like a teenage dream come true.

(Jeanette Chin)

Apr 302012

Death and a Cure is the solo project of Australian singer/guitarist Ben Blondel. Since launching his debut EP in July 2010 Ben has won numerous awards including WAM (West Australian Music Industry Association) song of the year for his category, and more recently has featured his latest single ‘The Spin You’ve Got Me In’ on the West Australian Music Industry sampler.

There is much to be said about the beautiful music produced by this solo act. Drawing on inspiration from artists such as Sufjan Stevens, Dallas Green, John Mayer and Damien Rice, Ben has an honest, calm and soothing approach to his unique style of music that avid music lovers all want to hear. Every song has meaning and depth far beyond its face value for Ben, with messages that confront often inconvenient yet unavoidable truths that derive from both introspective thought and contemplation upon universal social truths.

Death and a Cure will be celebrating the release of his latest single ‘The Spin You’ve Got Me In’ with a short trip to Singapore in May 2012.

CHARLES J TAN – The tour will feature a special guest from Melbourne, CHARLES J TAN. He has recently released his video single, “What It’s All About” while finishing his tour in France recently. The self-managed singer/songwriter blends folk and soul in his EP, “The Pelham Sessions”, influenced by artists such as Iron and Wine, Counting Crows and John Mayer. Since the release of his debut EP, he has performed at festivals, showcases and residencies around the world through parts of Asia, America, Europe and Australia.


Wednesday 2nd May

The Pigeon Hole Cafe w/ Gentle Bones Show Starts 8pm Free Entry

Thursday 3rd May

The Prince of Wales Bar (Dunlop Street) Show Starts at 9pm Free Entry

Friday 4th May

Home Club (Identite 5.9) w/ Sya & The Summer State Show Starts at 8pm $12 Entry (with a free drink and entrance to Beat! after)

Saturday 5th May

The Prince of Wales Bar (Boat Quay Outlet) – Indie Night Death & A Cure as the Support Show Starts at 9pm Free Entry

(please note Charles J Tan will not be playing this show)

Sunday 6th May

The Prince of Wales Bar (Dunlop Street Outlet) Show Starts at 5pm Free Entry


Death and a Cure:

Charles J Tan:


4imaginaryboys is proud to debut cult indie legends, THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN, for a one-night-only concert in Singapore. THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN will perform on 26 May 2012 (Saturday) at ESPLANADE CONCERT HALL. Singapore is the band’s choice of its first and only destination in Southeast Asia.


4imaginaryboys presents:


Esplanade Concert Hall

Sat 26th May 2012 7.30pm

Ticket Prices: $68, $88, $108, $128, $148 (+ $3 SISTIC Fee).

Ticket sales launch date: 11 May 2012

Tickets available via SISTIC:

Online (9am):

Tel (10am): +65 6348 5555

In person (10am): At all authorized SISTIC agents & box offices

Further information:


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Apr 182012

Apr 172012

Timbre Rock & Roots 2012 – Day 2: Andre Harihandoyo & Sonic People, Checkpoint Jam feat. Goodfellas & Dasha Logan, Hugo, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Earth, Wind & Fire

Day 2 of the Timbre Rock & Roots festival started off with blue skies and pleasantly cool temperatures, as it had rained earlier in the day. The line-up for the day included bands from Indonesia, Singapore, UK and the USA, plus a singer from Malaysia.

With a laidback atmosphere, picnic tables in one corner of the grounds, beer and food and lawn chairs available for sale, stilt-walkers wandering around dressed as rockstars, folks testing their strength at the high striker, striking it with a huge hammer to see if they could ring the bell at the top, early birds at the Marina Promenade grounds might have thought they were at a fairground, instead of a music festival.

The day began with regional favourites Andre Harihandoyo & Sonic People, who got their chance to play at Timbre Rock & Roots 2012 through a popularity vote on Yahoo! They played originals like “The Flood Song”, “I Want To Be President”, “Good For My Soul”, “I Want To Be Your Guitar” and “To Love Again”. The crowd welcomed them warmly, and chilled out to their unique brand of funk, jazz, blues and rock.

Next up was Checkpoint Jam, a musical project between artists from Singapore and Malaysia. This collaboration saw our very own Goodfellas performing with Dasha Logan, a rising Malaysian singer with a smooth soul voice. They performed a mixture of originals and covers, with Dasha being the only female vocalist that day. Particularly enjoyable was her funky-sounding original song, “Can’t Stop”. She also impressed with her covers of Amy Winehouse’s “Just Friends” and Janis Joplin’s “Piece Of My Heart”.

British-born Thai-raised Hugo then shared his brand of pop, rock, country, urban and hip-hop with us. He opened with “Mekong River Delta”, looking very much like an urban cowboy, with the white fringes on his black shirt and a fedora hat on his head. He would later surprise the crowd by singing a Thai song, “Sai Lom”, clearly a nod to his Asian upbringing. Giving us a taste of just about every song in his debut album, “Old Tyme Religion”, Hugo showed us his more sensual side with the sexy number, “Bread & Butter” (and no, it’s not really about food), then proclaimed proudly that he had “99 Problems” (but a b*tch ain’t one!) Well Hugo, thanks for entertaining us, you really were a “Rock ‘N’ Roll Delight” that night!

With the crowd all warmed up with beer, and being at the mid-way point through the day’s programme, people were on their feet and ready to dance when Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue came onstage. The would-be picnickers transformed into more of a festive clubbing crowd, some wearing afro wigs, a number of inebriated folks already swaying out of control and wiggling away to the music. And Trombone Shorty certainly didn’t disappoint. He brought jazz, blues & funk from New Orleans to Singapore once again, even going all the way back to his own roots as a brass band leader, when he led his band down the stage, and marched them all around and through the audience, unabashedly playing “When The Saints Go Marching In” – what a treat for everyone!

All did not go without a hitch though, there were some issues with the sound system, which dampened an otherwise awesome set. I guess the rain and sound equipment just aren’t a match made in heaven. But Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue played on, and displayed such amazing musicianship and professionalism – every member of this band isn’t just a band member, but a musician in his own right and an actively contributing part of the sound that makes this band great! Back by popular demand this year, Trombone Shorty looks set to return to our shores again soon.

And for all those who stayed all the way to the very end, the festival really saved the very best for last. Six-time Grammy winners, Earth, Wind & Fire put on a highly energetic show, starting with an extended live version of “Boogie Wonderland” and “Sing A Song” that got everyone dancing and singing along. Delighting the crowd with “Shining Star”, Earth, Wind & Fire then brought everyone on a musical journey into instrumental ecstacy with “Serpentine Fire” and “Kalimba Story”, showing off with their brass instruments, keyboards, drums & percussion, guitars & bass, and even an African thumb piano called the kalimba, they played the blues, got funky, and went latin. And just as everyone was losing themselves in the music, Earth, Wind & Fire slow it down with “Devotion”, “Keep Your Head To The Sky”, “That’s The Way Of The World”, “After The Love Is Gone” and “Reasons”. After giving the crowd enough reasons to cuddle up with their loved ones, Earth, Wind & Fire bring the night to a thrilling close with a whole slew of their greatest hits like “Got To Get You Into My Life”, “Fantasy”, “September”, “Let’s Groove” and “Mighty Mighty”. They left the crowd reminiscing and wanting more!

While the sound problems were unfortunate, credit has to be given to Trombone Shorty who continued to play and made sure the show went on, despite the sound challenges. And in all fairness to the sound team, they were able to fix the problem between sets, so that by the time Earth, Wind & Fire came on, there were no more sound issues.

Looking back on the day’s musical delights though, I have to say I really enjoyed Timbre Rock & Roots this year. While some folks said that the line-up wasn’t as good as it was in previous years, I have to say that the quality of music and artists onstage certainly didn’t disappoint. Oh boy, can’t wait till the next one comes around!

(Jeanette Chin)

Picture courtesy of Aloysius Lim/Timbre Music

Apr 062012

Song of The Brokenhearted Tiger

5 performers gather together (at the Esplanade Theatre Studio) to push director Ho Tzu Nyen’s concept of a fusion between theatre and heavy rock. In an avant-garde performance that tells a dark tale of how urbanisation leads to the expunction of the Malayan Tiger, the haunting vocals quivering with pride and vengeance immediately envelops you in an aura of mysticism, amplified by the generous usage of haze machines and a spectacular lightings visual fest.

The 5 performers consist of a vocalist (Rizman Putra), guitarist (Dharma), drummer (Ray Aziz), electric sound designer (George Chua), and surprise surprise – a dancer (Osman Hamid). With each performer given their own personal space ala industrial-like podium (and a full cage for the dancer), the specific segregation allows for a scrutinised view of each sound component. It’s almost as though you can see each layer of music being played out, and these particular combinations of visual and aural cues give a fresh experience; each podium can be seen as a solitary performance itself. The chemistry seems a little cold though, but perhaps this is intentional to allow for detachment from the band and for the mind to focus on the whole performance instead. A mechanical depiction of the forest, the homeland of the Malayan Tiger, is done to perfection. I know I walk the paths of the green foliage, no doubt about that. Of note is how everything seems to be awash with effects, creating swirls of sound and noise that may overwhelm the casual listener.

Accompanying the performers are stimulating fireworks of lightings, carefully done to sync with the mood and tension throughout the story. Nothing veil about them, they are meant to shock and awe when it’s needed, and to lull when necessary. At one part, it’s almost as if I can literally see the Tiger’s claws lunging out at me.

The storyline. There’s nothing wrong with the way the story progresses, albeit being very predictable, leaving me feeling underwhelmed at times during the slower moments. There is a slight feeling that the storyline seems to be a secondary plot to allow the performers to present their showpieces to the audience. Not that there is anything to complain about, but more focus and build-up within the storyline will’ve made a greater impact, and to allow for further expansion into the theatrical aspect of the show.

All in all, this is a show that will suit those looking for something experimental, with a mixture of organic and mechanical elements in the fray. Stimulation of the senses, to put it mildly, is definitely present. Kudos to the stellar performance by the vocalist, his voice penetrates through and ultimately ties everything together.

Aside from the story itself, I have an afterthought that leads me to feel how electronics have infiltrated our lives, and how advanced we’ve come to be able to create something as expansively organic as a forest, in electrical terms. Personally, I feel this alone is enough reason to experience the Song of The Brokenhearted Tiger.

(Alvin Tham)


Apr 052012

The Specials by Jonathan Wong

Timbre Rock & Roots 2012 – Day 1: Bleu Rascals, Keb’ Mo’, Buddy Guy and The Specials

Let me start off this year’s review of Timbre Rock & Roots festival with an honest note – artiste line-up wise, it may appear not as spectacular as compared with the previous two years’ running.

Sure, there were the heavyweight classics, like first night’s round-up The Specials, and possibly the band on the tips of everyone’s tongues – Earth, Wind & Fire; not forgetting the revisit of Buddy Guy (he came to perform during the first show in 2010), amongst a showcase of others. But riding on the mindset of mainstream commercial appeal, it may not arouse the same enthusiasm like previous years’ star performers, like Bob Dylan, Imogen Heap, John Legend, Jools Holland, The Fray and the like.

Regardless, while promenading to the festival venue, (coincidentally) Marina Promenade, I couldn’t help but notice as my legs moved along to the beating of my heart (exaggerated) – how this part of Singapore felt so familiar and altogether foreign at the same time. It is still Singapore alright, but I have not been to this part of town before, and it just doesn’t feel like what I have known Singapore to be. Or, maybe it is just me – just a personal thought, FYI.

Situated on a section of the Formula 1 racecourse, and surrounded by and overlooking some of today’s skyscrapers, like the Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay, the location couldn’t be more perfect for a large scale event like this, with scenic cityscape and the open night skyline. It was just that the turnout didn’t fill up half as aplenty, even as the night skies fell.

The first night opened up with Philippine act Bleu Rascals, consisting of mostly teenagers and cover songs. Yet, impressively, they managed to choke up enough maturity in their sounds to deliver the swingin’ blues of the roots genre, while laying emotion after emotion with their tuning. Non-originals heard include a song by John Mayer and Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”.

Keb’ Mo’ appeared next to stir some sh*t amongst the audience, treating our eardrums with jams of groove-infused blues. Backed by a strong cast of musicians playing different instruments as support, his music smoothened up the city’s night noises, and provided a genuine punch of sincerity into our surroundings.

Too much roots? How about some intensive, classic, rocked-out blues then? Buddy Guy is your guy, literally. By this time, far into the night, he appeared to be the most energetic, not missing a single chance to move about on the raised stage (with his ever-ready guitar swung by his side) when he got to be away from the microphone. He even took to the grounds, allowing fans to have an almost up close and personal chance encounter with him (if not for the obligatory attention of the security and body-guards).

The Specials rounded up the first of two nights of Rock & Roots with a musical high, to the crowd of swaying rhythm and beats. Performing all-time favourites like “Monkey Man”, “Ghost Town” and “Too Much Too Young”, they made themselves, a 1970s/80s 11-members strong band proud and still as captivating as ever, without missing a beat. It was clear the crowd enjoyed the performance of the band as much as the band enjoyed themselves back.

In summary, I won’t say the roots genre has a very heavy influence in the hustle and bustle of a typical Singaporean’s life, and it is no wonder that most of the crowd attracted that night were mostly foreigners, away from home and bound here with a day job that pays (and just possibly, reminiscing of home in any and every way). Sadly, as much as everyone seemed to claim to be there for the music, their body languages might have betrayed the fact that it was more down to the drinking and the socializing – getting to a point where some drunkards were dancing their heads off, and I would like to end off this piece by naively thinking that they were merely just losing themselves in the music…


Thanks to Timbre Music for making this review possible.

Apr 042012

Back after a 4-year hiatus, Corrinne May will be the first ever local artiste to perform at The Meadow, on the 2nd night of Rhythm with Nature, a series of events collectively held as part of the official opening of Gardens by the Bay.

Corrinne May’s highly-anticipated new album Crooked Lines has just been released in March 2012. It is her first new album in five years – since 2007’s Beautiful Seed. The first single “Beautiful Life” is garnering increasing airplay on radio airwaves. For more information, visit

Tickets go on sale 20th April 2012 via

Ticket price: S$38* (standard), S$45* (at the door)

*Ticket prices exclude SISTIC charges

Apr 042012

Tour is a Four Letter Word is the headline concert at Rhythm with Nature, a series of events collectively held as part of the official opening of Gardens by the Bay.

Jason Mraz’s latest album Love is a Four Letter Word is slated for release on 17 April 2012. For more information on Jason Mraz, visit

Tickets go on sale 20th April 2012 via

Ticket price: S$98* (standard), S$112* (at the door)

*Ticket prices exclude SISTIC charges

Apr 032012

(Press release)

Launch Entertainment has just announced the addition of a second show for Jayesslee.

Shortly after the show announcement last week, more than 1600 seats for Jayesslee’s concert in Singapore on 4th May was sold out in 5 hours after the tickets went on public sale. The newly added performance is slated for 5th May, a day after the original sold-out show.

“We are overwhelmed with the immense response and have been inundated with emails from disappointed fans who had missed out on getting tickets the first time round. We are glad that we are able to stage a second night for Jayesslee’s Singapore stop, in an effort to meet the fans’ demand for tickets,” says Amos Boon, Group Managing Director of Launch Entertainment.

Jayesslee began their cyber domination when they started posting videos of themselves singing on Youtube back in 2009. The videos went viral very quickly, propelling them to Internet stardom with more than 300,000 subscribers and over 58 million video views on their Youtube channel.

Singapore is the first stop in this 8-cities tour, which will kick off at the iconic and newly revamped Kallang Theatre.

Tickets for the new date will go on sale on Thursday, 5th April at 9am via and 10am at all SISTIC outlets islandwide. Limited Meet and Greet passes are also available for purchase. For more information, interested parties can visit the organiser’s official Facebook page (



Date: 4th May 2012, Friday

5th May 2012, Saturday

Venue: Kallang Theatre

Time: 7.30PM

Tickets: 1) Standard – Cat 1: $78, Cat 2: $58 & Cat 3: $38

2) VIP Package – Cat 4: $98 & Cat 5: $78

(includes 1x M&G pass, 1x autographed poster + a photograph with Jayesslee)

**Above prices do not include SISTIC handling fees


Apr 022012

(Press release)

We are bringing Greyson closer to you with a new venue that will allow you to indulge in Greyson’s powerful vocals! The Festive Grand Theatre™ provides a setting that is more intimate and personal for you to enjoy the up and rising star up-close!

For more information on Greyson visit

For more information on Camryn visit

TICKETING details:

Greyson Chance Live in Singapore, with special guest, Camryn

Date: 18th April 2012

Venue: Festive Grand Theatre™ at Resorts World™ Sentosa

Tickets: S$125, S$115, S$97 & S$70 (all prices exclude booking fees)

Tickets available from 9th February 2012.

Purchase at all authorized SISTIC Agents and Box Office, online at, via the iNETS mobile app (SMS to 76387) or call the SISTIC hotline at +65 6348 5555.

Mar 312012

It’s 24 hours later even as I type out my thoughts on last night’s Time Trails gig. Considering the behind-the-scenes issues that led up to that magical 85 minute set where Cheating Sons demonstrated once again why they are one of the most exciting musical prospects on our little island. Wearing my two hats (manager & session musician) was never difficult as I savored every single second of that long day. From unloading of gear, to sorting out dressing rooms, stage setups, line/sound checks and rehearsals it was steady progress all the way. Much of this had to do with the professionalism of the Esplanade crew and for that we are grateful. What was also particularly gratifying was the inclusion of extra talents into our Cheating Sons family viz. backing singers Rachael, Xue Yi, Narelle, horns section Joel, Ying Da, Erik, not to mention Wan on occasional bass and acoustic guitar. It was an amazing time of bonding, sharing and making beautiful music together as we all came together as one to celebrate the power of rock n’ roll.

The 13 songs whizzed past in a flash during which the crowd lapped up every moment – from Renyi almost forgetting to play “Amber Lights” to dropping his guitar (!) to our talented dancers (Fay and Yeong Wen) illuminating “End of the Day” and “Shadow Opera” to the sold-out crowd receiving warmly every new song that was delivered to them. And when the band walked off stage it was obvious that the crowd wanted more and the band returned to provide a two-song encore of “The Last Queen” and “Last Rites” before accepting the well-deserved standing ovation.

To the people who played their part in the background – Frankie, Nick, Goose, Caryn, Faizal – I salute you. Your contribution to making Time Trails a success was just as vital as the talented musicians on stage! And of course, the enthusiastic crowd who bought tickets, CDs and T-shirts, thank you very much!

… still there’s more…

(Photo by Lionel Ng)

Mar 272012

(Press release)

Back by popular demand, Youtube sensation Jayesslee is set to bring their Asia tour to Singapore this coming May.

Clocking over 300,000 channel subscribers on Youtubesince their cyber debut in 2009, Janice and Sonia have captivated audiences all over with performances in many countries, including sold out shows in Thailand and Singapore.

Armed with angelic faces coupled with sweet personalities, these social media sweethearts make it easy for one to fall in love with them with their infectious energy and carefree stage performances.

After much eager anticipation, the vivacious twins from down under are finally ready to take on Asia and enchant the audience in a night filled with melodious indulgence.

Singapore is the first stop in this 8-cities tour, which will kick off at the iconic and newly revamped Kallang Theatre come 4th May.

Ticket prices start at $38 and will go on sale 28th March at all Sistic outlets islandwide and also made available online via

Do not miss your chance to catch them live in this one night only performance.



Date: 4th May 2012

Venue: Kallang Theatre

Time: 7.30PM

Tickets: $78, $58, $38

**Above prices do not include SISTIC handling fees


Mar 272012

In the Singapore indie music scene, playing at the Late Night @ Esplanade series is a benchmark for any local indie band. For Cheating Sons, a band that only released its debut album in February last year it’s been a quick ascent to this particular summit. Of course, as its manager (and biggest fan), I’m probably expected to say that! That all said, Time Trails has certainly given the band the opportunity to flex its artistic and creative muscles to present a music show it can call its own. In this respect, we must thank The Esplanade for its faith, belief and support.

The first quarter of 2012 has been spent on two fronts – recording the new album and preparing for Time Trails - this process somewhat overlaps as the gig will only feature new material – the new album in fact – and so it has been a challenge for these two processes to be undertaken in parallel. Apart from the usual administrative and logistical headaches (all settled now, I hope!), the added pressure of working in several guest musicians (including yours truly) has also presented exciting possibilities. All things considered, the guest musicians have added a dimension to the new music that it’s safe to say that fans of Cheating Sons will be pleasantly surprised by how different the band sounds now.

For me personally, this will also be the first time I’ve ever performed at the Esplanade Recital Studio and I am going to savour every minute, believe me. It’s been a thrilling ride with The Sons so far and based on the new material that’s coming together it feels like the journey has only begun! All that’s left for me to say is that I hope you will get your tickets whilst they’re available cos it’ll be Cheating Sons as you’ve never heard them before and all the craft and artistry that everybody involved has put into Time Trails will make your $25 investment a worthy one…in the meantime, check out the wonderful video teaser by Nick Pan (if you haven’t already) and we want to thank SONY Electronics for its generous loan of the NEX-VG10E handycam that made it possible. Still there’s more…

Tickets on sale at SISTIC. Like Cheating Sons at Facebook.

Poster design by Andy Yang.


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Mar 252012

Songbird is a Singaporean singer whose music fuses heartfelt lyrics, bouncy rhythms and saccharine pop melodies into radio-friendly tunes. Her first single, “Maybe”, is a sun-soaked ditty that shows off Songbird’s gift for balancing complex emotions with lighthearted flair. Songbird will make her debut at The Singapore Arts Festival from 24 to 27 May 2012. Book your seats at


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Mar 252012

Overthrown’s 2nd Album Launch: A Hardcore Celebration!

Emily Hill came alive with the Reconstrux Hardcore Fest last Sunday evening as 6 hardcore bands joined our home-grown band Overthrown for the launch of their second album, As It Is. The 8 tracks in their self-released CD included collaborations with Death Before Dishonor and Down To Nothing from the USA, No Turning Back from the Netherlands, King Lychee from Hong Kong, and Restraint from Malaysia.

Overthrown showed the crowd a roarin’ good time! Bringing the spirit of their new album to life onstage, they shared the limelight with guest bands Restraint from Malaysia, The Vampirates from Australia, Anchor from Sweden, and local bands, 2Fold, Obscure and The Jabs. And the crowd reserved their loudest shouts for Overthrown, singing along, going mental in the circle pit, kicking and punching the air, head-banging, and body surfing. What a wild ride!

Waiting while the bands get ready for their sets, watching the crowd buy CDs, T-shirts, stickers and other hardcore memorabilia, applauding the bands that played, watching the crowd goin’ nuts in the mosh pit, seeing everyone enjoy the company of other like-minded individuals – this isn’t just a gig fest, this is a family of friends. The Lion City hardcore experience is not just about the music, it’s a whole lifestyle in itself, and the people who live it take it very seriously indeed. As seen on a cap worn by the bassist of Obscure, “Passion is the reason”.

While it’s hard to appreciate the hardcore sound, the folks who made the climb to Emily Hill that day really had a blast! They walked the walk, and they talked the talk, and by the end of the night, I came to realize that as long as Lion City hardcore lives, these bands and this crowd just won’t back down!

(Jeanette Chin)

Pictures by Steven Chew

Mar 232012

Back in late 2008, our writer Adam Gregory raved about Passion Pit‘s Chunk of Change EP describing Passion Pit as “a blast of fresh air”. Since then, the band has released its debut album – Manners – in 2009 to critical acclaim with songs placed on TV (Big Love), video games (FIFA 10), a performance at the Glastonbury festival and an opening spot on the last Muse US tour cementing its burgeoning reputation. Now the American electropop band makes its way to Singapore as it supports the upcoming release of its sophomore full-length effort in June 2012.


Date: Tuesday, 21st August 2012

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall

Tickets are priced at $48, $69, $88 and $98 (excl SISTIC fees). Promoter Greenhorn Productions will make an announcement as to when tickets go on sale so stay tuned!

Facebook event page

Mar 222012

Friendly Fires | 16 March 2012 | Avalon

Fans of indie band Friendly Fires were treated to an energetic and highly enjoyable set at the band’s performance in Singapore last Friday. Having released two albums, the band commanded a much larger fanbase than their last performance in Singapore supporting Faithless. Ed, Edd, Jack and their live band certainly showed their appreciation for the crowd as they provided non-stop entertainment for the audience for ninety minutes, especially with Ed’s manic dancing.

Greeted by familiar indie tunes at the beginning of the night (spun by Home Club BEAT! resident Ginette Chittick), the crowd made up of young adults filled up the dancefloor at Avalon, cheering as Ginette played songs by The Cure, The Smiths, Franz Ferdinand and such. But the crowd had clearly conserved their energy for the performance, as the band took their places on the cramped stage and sent the crowd into a wave of dancing as they launched into “Lovesick”. Singing along to every word, audience members altogether moved to the beat, encouraged by Ed’s hip-shaking.

As with many other bands, the first album from Friendly Fires was clearly more popular among their fans in Singapore, apparent when the band started on “Running Away” and “Blue Cassette” and many paused to take a breather. But they were soon sent into a frenzy when Ed jumped into the audience and danced his way through the entire crowd on the dancefloor, all the while singing “True Love”.

Performing most of the tracks from their two albums, it was a night of euphoric dancing, especially so when they seemingly ended the night with “Paris”, their biggest hit. “Every night, we’ll watch the stars, they’ll be out for us, and every night the city lights, they’ll be out for us” – never seemed so apt set against the backdrop of the city skyline with the crowd jumping, arms raised to the sky and singing every word.

The band proceeded to leave the stage, and yet – there was more. The band ran back on stage within minutes, dripping with sweat while launching into “Hawaiian Air”. Their encore of “Hawaiian Air” and “Kiss of Life” would have easily impressed anyone, let alone a roomful of their fans. Performing an extended version of “Kiss of Life” with the help of their extensive percussion section of their live band, they ended the night on a high. Overall, their live performance was highly enjoyable with the infectious energy of the band, but was marred by the venue’s sub-par sound system, as Ed’s vocals could barely be heard throughout their set, drowning in the sound from the bass and drums.

(Melissa Ng)

Photos courtesy of Dominic Phua and Ryan Peters/ Untitled Entertainment. Thanks to April Lam for making this review possible. 


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Mar 182012

(Press release)

Steel Pulse Announces Spring Tour Dates

Look Out For New LP This Year

Steel Pulse may have explored various styles of music since they started out in 1975, but when it comes to the message, the UK’s Grammy – Winning reggae band has remained close to their roots. The Group have continued their commitment to fighting injustice, educating the masses, and promoting positive messages through spiritually uplifting music.

“We just can’t ignore the politics, because every life and soul that’s born on this earth is a political manoeuvre for someone, at some point”, Hinds explains. “From a spiritual aspect, it’s really an upliftment through facing reality – what’s out there. We deal with positive spirits. It means putting aside the guns, the drugs and all of the things that are ailments of society – especially in the black communities right now”.

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Mar 122012

A Concert For The Fans

Iconic ‘80s band Duran Duran played the Singapore Indoor Stadium and treated everyone to a Saturday night filled with a selection of their greatest hits and songs from their latest album, All You Need Is Now. The band gave a tremendous performance, emphasizing they are first and foremost a live band.

Opening the show in dramatic fashion with instrumental number “Return To Now”, leading into the lyrically poetic “Before The Rain”, the band then launched into an energetic rendition of “Planet Earth” and James Bond theme “A View To A Kill”. Mixing fast songs with ballads, the band delivered wave after wave of musical ecstasy.

Spending 2010 promoting All You Need Is Now, the band embarked on a tour spanning the globe in 2011, taking them through UK, Europe, North America, Dubai and Singapore. They will also be heading to Seoul, Hong Kong, Australia, and South America.

Midway through the tour, lead singer Simon Le Bon had encountered problems with his voice, forcing the band to take pause and wonder about a possible future without him. Tour dates were re-scheduled, so that he could recover, and after 3 months, they were back on the road again.

On Saturday night, Simon was in fine form. His voice was buttery smooth in “Come Undone” and showed no sign of strain throughout the evening, not even with hard-hitting tracks like “Wild Boys”.

With the band returning to the early ‘80s sound of their first 3 albums, it is evident that Duran Duran have come full circle. Through its ups and downs, changing band members and personal struggles, this band has survived. This concert was for the fans. Through the challenges, all they needed to do was to focus on the people right in front of them. The ones who’ve stuck by them through the years. Nothing else matters. All we need is now.

(Jeanette Chin)

Mar 122012

(Press release)

KittyWu Records presents BITCH MAGNET for a one-night-only performance at HOME CLUB on Friday, 13 April 2012. Formed in the fall of 1986 by Jon Fine (guitar) and Park Sooyoung (bass and vocals) and Orestes Morfín (drums), BITCH MAGNET have been recognized as a significant influence on generations of aggressive and musically complex bands, including Mogwai, Don Caballero, Rodan, June of 44 and Battles.

BITCH MAGNET, inactive since 2004, had their entire remastered Bitch Magnet catalog, plus six previously unreleased tracks, released as a triple-CD and a limited edition triple-LP in late 2011 by Temporary Residence Limited. It was greeted by rapturous critical responses from outlets ranging from the New York Times to Total Guitar, including four-star reviews in Rolling Stone and Mojo and a five-star review in Uncut.

The post-hardcore pioneers reunited at All Tomorrow’s Parties “Nightmare Before Christmas” festival in December 2011, and the band also performed a handful of dates in the UK, Europe and Asia in late 2011. Those performances marked the first onstage appearance of the band’s original recorded lineup – Morfin, Park and Fine – since 1989.

BITCH MAGNET will be joined by Singapore band AMATEUR TAKES CONTROL.

Event Title: KittyWu presents BITCH MAGNET (US)

Event Date: Friday, 13 April 2012

Event Time: Doors open at 8pm

Venue: HOME CLUB, 20 Upper Circular Road, #B1-01/06, The Riverwalk

Tickets: SGD25 (Advance) / SGD30 (Door)

Purchase advance tickets from


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Mar 122012

The Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight Live DVD (Eagle Vision)

Nostalgia is a powerful force especially in relation to rock music. Much of 70s classic rock has faded into obscurity and remembered mostly by the young generation of the time. Styx is a band that had massive commercial success in the late 70s and early 80s but its platinum albums are not given much critical merit in the scheme of things nowadays. A shame really.

So how does one approach a live DVD wherein the band reproduces two of these best-selling albums (viz The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight) in their entirety? Especially when the main player (i.e. Dennis De Young) is no longer on board? Purely I suspect only as a well-crafted instance of nostalgic entertainment.

I would confess to being a big fan of Styx’s recorded output of this special era and songs like “The Grand Illusion”, “Superstars”, “Come Sail Away”, “Sing For the Day”, “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” and “Queen of Spades” still resonate with me strongly. So with that in mind, I must say that as an exercise in nostalgia this DVD succeeds wildly.

To his credit, Lawrence Gowan has filled De Young’s shoes (as singer and keyboards player) very well and to such an extent that if you didn’t look at him, you’d never think that De Young was absent. Gowan is an excellent showman and he possesses all the chops to keep anyone from missing De Young. Whether this is a good or bad thing is hard to say actually!

To be fair, the concert overall is top notch with the songs re-produced perfectly. Considering all the work and effort that was obviously put into the show, one cannot fault the professionalism of all involved. The sold-out audience lapped it up eagerly and if this DVD somehow gets new music fans to check out Styx’s discography then at least something more than mere nostalgia would have been achieved.

Mar 062012

The Mosaic Music Festival (MMF) is back bringing to our shores bands/artists that cover a wide range of ‘genres’ and musical styles. Some are world-famous and some are obscure but the unifying tread amongst them is the programmers’ belief that these bands/artists can provide that ‘one magical musical moment’ as Esplanade chief Benson Puah states in the official MMF programme.

Certainly, MMF appears to cater to every taste imaginable and scanning through that programme, I would like to highlight the events that would probably appeal to PoP visitors.

OMD Saturday 10 March Theatre

Elbow Saturday 18 March Concert Hall

Russian Red Sunday 11 March Recital Studio

Blind Pilot Sunday 18 March Recital Studio

Architecture in Helsinki Friday 9 March Theatre Studio

Craft Spells Saturday 10 March Theatre Studio

Los Campesinos! Saturday 17 March Theatre Studio

Also of interest will be ‘up close and personal’ sessions with OMD, Russian Red, Craft Spells, Blind Pilot and Los Campesinos! at the Esplanade Library on the day of the performances.

For more information, check out the official site.


Can I be candid? I was really concerned about my NOISE mentee Maricelle Wong‘s performance at the NOISE Music Showcase. Not that I believed that she did not have the talent and ability to impress everyone on the day. It’s just that in the performances prior, she had experienced serious bouts of stage fright that compromised her ability to express herself freely. Then on the day itself, she casually mentioned to me that she had a Cajon player – Peep Show drummer Edmund Khoo – playing with her as well! Honestly I freaked out a little (it was the first I’d heard of this arrangement) – I asked her half in jest – “Does he know your songs?” but later found out from Edmund that they had rehearsed twice so I heaved a sign of relief.

Halfway through her set, I knew she was fine as she warmed her way into the hearts of every single person watching at the Esplanade Concourse. She was breezy, bubbly, vivacious and impossible not to enjoy. Her simple heartfelt songs connected easily with everyone and it was obvious that people liked Maricelle. Best part of all, she remained true to herself in the event and that was enough. Much credit to Edmund certainly for helping her to settle her nerves and just have fun – I have never seen her so relaxed on stage ever before. I especially loved the ‘fast’ version of “Apple of My Eye” – the song we wrote together – and the fact that songs like “Love is a Drug” and “Take A Picture” resonated strongly.

And that’s it for another year of NOISE TMM but it’s certainly not the end for my working with Maricelle and Ming See. Stay tuned because there will be more to come…

Picture (c) Thomas Tan

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