Singapore rock & pop music has had a fine tradition going back to the early Sixties, when bands sprang up inspired by Cliff Richard and the Shadows, who performed on the island in 1961. The scene would thrive for almost a decade but not surviving the turn of the decade into the Seventies as the Government banned all public rock shows from 1974 to 1977, thereby crushing the scene.


After the ban was lifted, the music scene was primarily dominated by Filipino cover bands and Singaporeans would struggle to be accepted as musicians by Singaporeans themselves. Musicians were stigmatized and considered a lowly & anti-social vocation. Although there were still local bands playing at clubs, they were competing with Filipino cover bands and failing miserably.


However, the influence of punk and post-punk was very slowly making an impact on the local music scene with DJ-presenter Chris Ho, a pioneer in this field with the bands Transformer and Zircon Lounge. Towards the end of the 80s, BigO magazine was established and this would provide the catalyst for a revival of the Singapore music scene and bands like The Oddfellows, Padres, Humpback Oak, Stomping Ground and others would make their mark.


Alas, this new wave of Singapore rock suffered greatly when the country went through five years of financial depression caused by 1997 financial crisis, 9-11 and the SARS epidemic (2003). But significantly, the new millennium witnessed the setting up two institutions that would be crucial in Singapore rock’s next wave – the National Arts Council and The Esplanade.

By the beginning of the next decade, it was clear that a genuine revival of Singapore rock was in motion as a new generation of music lovers would begin to shake off the prejudices of the past and accept Singapore rock at face value once again. With the 50th anniversary of the nation’s independence looming, it is good time to be a Singapore rock fan.

If you want to find out more about 21st Century Singapore Indie, please click on #sgindie.

 Posted by at 5:45 pm

 Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>