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Jan 212012
 

The People’s Party - 15 January 2012 | *SCAPE Warehouse

After the success of bringing in MGMT, French Horn Rebellion and Hurts last year, Untitled Entertainment expanded The People’s Party tour to Singapore, bringing in acts such as Metronomy, The Jezabels, The Naked and Famous and Bombay Bicycle Club. The line-up for the second day of the mini-festival held at *SCAPE featured MUON (SG), Noughts & Exes (HK), Analog Girl (SG), Unknown Mortal Orchestra (US/NZ), In Each Hand A Cutlass (SG), The Naked & Famous (NZ) and Bombay Bicycle Club (UK).

MUON opened the festival right on schedule, playing to a crowd of about hundred people, which slowly expanded as people trickled in on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Their set was overall disappointing, as they sounded unprepared for their performance. Their first attempt to perform their new track Failure of Plan B ended in a mess, which Nick (programming/bass) somewhat saved with an awkward joke about “the failure of the intro”. At a point in their set, a few sound samples were played and quickly cut, as if the band was indecisive or unrehearsed. To their credit, the rest of their set was wonderfully intense, but unfortunately the crowd had not fully warmed up to the ambient soundscapes created by the band.

Noughts & Exes’s performance that day was their third one in Singapore (last being Baybeats ’11), and received an overwhelming positive response from the crowd. Playing tracks from their albums The Start of Us and Act One Scene One, the band soared through songs such as The Crime and Everything. Their set was heartfelt and honest, especially Joshua’s vocal performance. Their set became an intimate affair as he the strain of his vocals revealed him laying bare his feelings through the songs, and the interaction with the audience felt sincere. The rest of the band was also lost in the music when they played, showing their utter commitment and faith in the music they were making. However, the actions of the backup vocalist marred their set. Her vocals were very suited to the songs and matched Joshua’s vocals, but her hand actions and dancing felt extremely forced and awkward, as compared to the natural movement and charisma of the other musicians on stage. The placing of the drumset could also have been improved, but perhaps due to logistics, the drummer was very far upstage, so much that he was visually unnoticeable. As a whole their set was a real treat for those present at the time, as they also played a new track that they had not played anywhere else yet.

Following Noughts & Exes’s indie-folk set was The Analog Girl’s brand of electro-rock. Her set was an impressive visual and aural experience, with her use of a Tenori-On and AudioCubes. The lighting design during her set was also particularly noticeable, as it created a strong and dark atmosphere for her creation of soundscapes. Her vocals contributed to the impressive live experience as they were not the sole focus of her music, but added an element of the dreamy and ethereal to her music.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO) also made their Asian debut at the festival, immediately making an impression on everyone in their tribal-ethnic clothing, prompting an audience member to shout “nice shirt!” Surprisingly, the band already has a fanbase here, clear from the roar that went up in the crowd as they arrived onstage. Playing tracks from their self-titled debut album such as Bicycle, Jello and Juggernauts and Boy Witch, they had everyone in the crowd grooving and jumping to their lo-fi psychedelic rock. Their brand of guitar rock was definitely a breath of fresh air in the festival after much electronic music. The band members, Ruban Nielson (vox, guitar), Jake Portrait (bass) and Julien Ehrlich (drums) also communicated well with each other, continually maintaining eye contact with each other throughout their set. The band also thoroughly impressed the crowd with Ruban’s shredding on his guitar and Julian’s relentless and precise drumming. Their performance ended on a high as the audience were very pumped up and sang along for their biggest hit, Ffuny Ffrends.

Next up was In Each Hand A Cutlass, who only released their debut album late last year and brought the intensity to the festival. In Daniel Sassoon’s words, they are “from Singapore and we (they) represent”! Their brand of post-rock was the heaviest music heard that day, with tracks such as A Universe Made of Strings and Chocolate and the Lovelorn Girl, verging on metal. Unfortunately the crowd noticeably thinned after UMO had left the stage. But Daniel Sassoon was certainly the most dynamic musician performing that day, with his jumps and twirls, and even sliding on the floor with his guitar. The crowd was receptive to the band, but they definitely did not enjoy their performance as much as the others, as audience members were overheard saying the music was too heavy for their liking. Nelson Tan’s imitation of Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean certainly drew many comments and much (good) attention.

The crowd swelled up to the warehouse’s full capacity in anticipation for The Naked And Famous, whom the crowd went wild for throughout their set. It seemed as though a majority of the crowd was there for The Naked And Famous rather than Bombay Bicycle Club, with their catchy indie-pop tunes. All eyes were on Alisa Xayalith during their set as she lost herself in the songs and led the sing-alongs to their famous tunes Punching In A Dream and Girls Like You and of course, Young Blood. Though most present thoroughly enjoyed their set, it felt a little stale to this reviewer as the organisers could easily have just done a playback of The Naked And Famous songs, as the band didn’t attempt to change any of the songs and they sounded as if they were entirely played off a recording, which at the same time also attests to their musical skills. There was also little attempt to engage the audience, as the band chose to simply perform their songs instead of bantering.

The last band of the night was Bombay Bicycle Club, which Power of Pop also interviewed earlier that day! General opinion among the crowd was that Bombay Bicycle Club’s set was better than The Naked And Famous, perhaps because of their engagement with the crowd. All the band members besides Suren (drummer) repeatedly made an effort to come closer to the audience and play to them, especially Jamie (guitar). It was a special night not only for fans of the band present, but also Jack (singer) as it was his birthday, and Jamie led a massive sing-along for Jack, who added that he was glad to celebrate his birthday playing in Singapore. The crowd lapped up every moment of the hour-long set, as they played songs from three albums, but especially their first, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose. The audience also expectedly chanted for an encore following the band’s departure from the stage. Combined with the strobe lighting used and the band’s infectious and obvious love for performing their music, their set was an enjoyable and special experience for everyone there.

Much thanks to Untitled Entertainment and props to them for improving the overall sound quality of the venue those two days and for making the festival an intimate and enjoyable experience.

(Melissa Ng)

Picture of Bombay Bicycle Club courtesy of Alvin Ho.
Jan 212012
 

 

The People’s Party is a music festival originally from Hong Kong, this year bringing their lineup of international, regional and local artists to Taipei, Jakarta, and Singapore.

Their two-day Singapore stop kicked off at *SCAPE on Saturday 14 January, with headliners Metronomy (UK) and The Jezabels (Australia), and local and regional acts including Plainsunset, Monster Cat, and Tenderfist (Malaysia). When I first got there, at least half an hour later than the stipulated starting time, there were still only about two dozen people milling about the place. It looked to be a rather dismal audience for the first two performers, Monster Cat and Tenderfist.

Local band Monster Cat’s acoustic-led set was quite a delight, the instrumentation tight and the vocals spot on (both lead vocals and harmonies). Electric guitar effects made up for the lack of a synth/keyboard. Also the sound balance looked set to be at optimum enjoyment level for the rest of the evening – fantastic job, festival sound crew!

By the time Tenderfist took the stage, several more people had filled the ranks of the “early” crowd. Tenderfist, who hail from KL, were a two-man guitar-keyboard band for this event, with a drum machine backing track and loop pedal providing the necessary musical layers. They were engaging and proficient enough in their craft, though not particularly memorable.

Side note: During these first two acts there were a few moments where I wasn’t sure if they were soundchecking or not, because they were signaling to the sound crew about volume levels and whatnot. It was a bit distracting.

Kevin and I missed Plainsunset’s set as we popped over next door to Mandarin Orchard for an interview with The Naked and Famous (to be posted… later). We also didn’t stick around for K8OTIC and Poptart after coming back for The Jezabels’ set, only returning for Metronomy to end off the night.

The Jezabels… where to begin? They were, for lack of a more descriptive word, rather amazing. Despite not having a bassist, this didn’t take away from their overall sound as the keyboards more than made up for it. Their stage presence was like an artfully restrained explosion, with lead singer Hayley Mary appearing lost in the melodies and yet intentionally drawing the audience in at the same time, and with electric guitarist Sam Lockwood giving quite the energetic performance. The effect of the octave-apart blend of Mary’s and keyboardist Heather Shannon’s vocals was intensely atmospheric.

Also, the lighting for both The Jezabels and Metronomy’s sets was mouth-watering; impeccable coordination with the music there.

Metronomy’s brand of electronic pop appealed slightly less to me but that sentiment obviously wasn’t shared by everyone else present – the entire crowd was pulsating with energy at the exuberant and exciting musicality that defined the set. Bassist/vocalist Gbenga Adelekan was a real treat to watch as he worked the audience and delivered every line (both vocal and bass) with infectious conviction. I liked the way they mixed it up by having drummer Anna Prior sing lead vocals (while still drumming!) on one song, and the sax solos by Oscar Cash were an entertaining touch as well.

So The People’s Party headliners did not disappoint, and I’m looking forward to more years of this festival to come, hopefully! It was just a pity – unsurprising, but a pity nonetheless – that the local and regional acts faced such a disinterested turnout and reactions from their home base.

(Desiree Boey)
Picture of The Jezabels by Alvin Ho.
Thanks to the kind people at Untitled Asia (Dash, Tim & April) for making this review possible.

THE PEOPLE’S PARTY

 MUSIC  Comments Off
Jan 092012
 

The first major rock festival this year arrives on our shores this weekend as The People’s Party takes place from 3pm to 10pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Looking at the wide array of bands, it’s comforting that the organizers have made it a point to spread the range of bands over several countries from local to regional to international. With top headliners like Metronomy, The Naked & Famous and Bombay Bicycle Club mixing it up with our very own Monster Cat, Plainsunset, The Analog Girl, Muon and In Each Hand A Cutlass, The People’s Party sounds like a groovy ground-breaking event not to be missed.

Tickets available at SISTIC.

Dec 122011
 

(Press release)

Throughout 2009 and 2010 The People’s Party (TPP) series of shows became synonymous with bringing fresh, cutting edge music talent to Hong Kong. Now, TPP is expanding and will be focused on its new core home of Singapore. The four-city TPP tour builds to a climax in the Lion City with a special mini-festival to be held at Scape on the 14th and 15th of January 2012.

From Europe and Australasia: Metronomy, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Naked and Famous, The Jezabels, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra have all confirmed. Most crucially however, TPP’s commitment to put Asian talent front and centre with regional groups including: Plain Sunset, In Each Hand A Cutlass, The Analog Girl, DP and many more taking prime spots over the weekend. This is all of our Asian music community and we’re going to do every thing we can to support it.

2011 UK Mercury Prize nominees Metronomy headline the series with their brand of feel good sunset pop funk already firm favourites amongst the Asian indie elite. Three albums in and a famed live show leave us giddy with delight at having them over for their SE Asian debuts. Also hailing from the UK is Bombay Bicycle Club throwing in a chill wave of rhythmic hooks and having solidified their presence in the music scene with a succession of knock-out festival performances this summer are an ideal addition to the TPP bill. New Zealand’s chart topping #1 artists The Naked & Famous join in riding the crest of a wave of popularity that has seen them grow in profile across the globe. We defy you to listen to ‘Young Blood’ and not be instantly hooked. Sydney four-piece, The Jezabels make for another exciting addition to the line up and are our tips for future greatness. A cocktail of power and elegance, the band have been on a non-stop world tour stunning audiences everywhere they go. Their star is on the rise, and we couldn’t be more proud to be able to present their first full tour of the region. Unknown Mortal Orchestra round up the billing of international acts with their raw, beatnik psychedelic sounds curling ears and turning heads while intoxicating listeners with their uniquely lush and verdant tunes.

So join us for the Singapore debut of The People’s Party, a celebration of good music and good people. Great times!

Event Details Dates: Saturday January 14th, and Sunday January 15th Venue: *SCAPE

2 Orchard Link, Singapore 237978 Tickets: On sale from Dec 13th through SISTIC

***Join Untitled Entertainment’s FB Page www.facebook.com/untitledsg to access a special promo code that gets you an exclusive CD single from the award winning EP “Dark Storm” by The Jezabels along with your ticket purchase. Limited stock and availability so act fast!*** ***Follow us @TPPSG on Twitter for more updates! ***

 

THE PEOPLE’S PARTY

 MUSIC  Comments Off
Nov 152011
 

 

(Press release)

Throughout 2009 & 2010 The People’s Party (TPP) series of shows became synonymous with bringing fresh, cutting edge music talent to Hong Kong.  After taking a year’s break to refocus and define itself, TPP is back, not only in Hong Kong though throughout Asia.

Full details will be announced very soon, though we just couldn’t wait to reveal the first list of artists involved!  All confirmed for January 2012 and featuring the finest in European and Australasian talent  - Metronomy (video below), The Naked and Famous (above), and The Jezabels will be the first TPP acts playing on one multi-bill line up that is set to take in Hong Kong, Taipei, Jakarta & Singapore by storm.

2011 UK Mercury Prize nominees Metronomy headline the tour, with their brand of feel good sunset pop funk already firm favourites amongst the Asian indie elite.  Three albums in and a famed live show leave us giddy with delight at having them over for their SE Asian debuts.  New Zealand’s chart topping #1 artists The Naked & Famous join us riding the crest of a wave of popularity that has seen them grow in profile across the globe.  We defy you to listen to ‘Young Blood’ and not be instantly hooked.  Sydney four-piece, The Jezabels, complete TPP’s return bill, and are our tips for future greatness.  A cocktail of power and elegance, the band have been on a non-stop world tour stunning audiences everywhere they go.  Their star is on the rise, and we couldn’t be more proud to be able to present their first tour of the region. So join us for the return of The People’s Party.  A celebration of good music and good people.  Great times!

**Full Details to follow soon along with more artist announcements! **

TPP Routing

Jan 2012: 10 – Hong Kong | 11 – Taipei | 14 – Singapore

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