Deon Toh is back with more thoughts about his time in the Land of the Rising Sun…
Support. When touring, my group tries our best to research on Singaporean music acts performing within our vicinity. We’ve played to venues packed with strangers cheering for encores; and also played quieter shows in venues with a little less than 10 people. Singaporean support remains valuable in foreign territory – whether it is to assist other acts with their merchandise sales, transport, loaning and sharing of equipment, or just to add warm bodies to the crowd; having a touch of home can make or break performances, and have a drastic effect on tours.
Just perform your very best, and you’ll definitely feel good about yourself and give yourself a deserved pat on the shoulder. Right? Wrong.
The truth is, if there is no audience to interact with, the performer-audience dialogue is immediately broken. It’s like speaking to yourself. Or like a one-sided relationship. It doesn’t feel good. As a performer, I yearn to feed off audience vibes. The more the merrier.
I maintain that home support is important when performing in foreign places. Cheers, applause, and knowing that you’re not alone makes a world of a difference for my band. Yes, we’ve played shows with 0 Singaporean support, but still received amazing response from audiences. But having home support is that triumph card that bands can hide in their back pocket to make sure they’ll have more than decent performances.
We know home support has impacted other acts too. We’ve seen it. Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of sharing experiences with a multitude of acts. Caracal, Inch, Nathan Hartono, The Sam Willows, The Pinholes, Pleasantry – we’ve either helped each other at shows, attended showcases, transported acts to and from airports, or shared equipment. More than once, these acts saved our shows. More than once, we found ourselves in the position to assist these bands – and we gladly reached out.
Tonight, our group paid SGD$35 each to catch Paris In The Making perform in Shinjuku. It’s the best money I’ve spent ever since touching down. A Japanese audience even went backstage to drag the band back on stage to perform an encore song. Never mind the cheers coming from the Japanese crowd, when their (PITM) wall of sound hit my ears, my heart melted with pride. Truth is, they didn’t need us here today, but we needed to see their amazing show to complete our night, and to spurn us on to do better when our turn comes. We’ll try to catch The Observatory in Tokyo if our schedules align.
Go out to see Singapore acts perform. Whether it’s at home or in foreign lands. Make the effort. You’ll get so so much more back in return. Singaporean support is the same everywhere. We appreciate our lah, leh, lors.