As Water Festival receded like a king tide, the Swedish Ambassador headed for the coast, and the Geckos of Love had a few days off. Consequently I had the rare opportunity to check out what other people were doing: but it seems everyone else was out of town as well. Friday night I found Patrick at the Velkommen Inn, wrestling a little with the equipment, but otherwise playing a confident and tuneful mix of songs to a decent and at times enthusiastic crowd. Saturday night I was encouraged/dragged to the institution that is FCC to witness what was billed as 6 authentic Cubans, which was not so much half a dozen fine cigars as four musicians and a drum machine playing Latin to an dancing-oriented audience. My first reaction was not so much Buena Vista Social Club as Miami Sound Machine but I decided that was a bit harsh. Not really my thing - tight and slick but with the passion painted onto the sound rather than arising from it - but people were enjoying it. And it was certainly a pleasurable experience walking home down the empty street next to the Palace with the sound humming in the air all the way through to St 19.
On Sunday night I was back behind the small kit with the extended Hellhounds, cooking through a couple of really good sets at Talking to a Stranger that had first the kids and then the assembled adults dancing about gleefully.
This coming weekend look out for Australian blues legend Phil Manning at Chow and FCC (Hellhounds supporting); the following weekend Lazy Jazz Drunks will be dismantling Huxleys on Friday, and the 1st anniversary celebrations at Chinese House on Saturday, which will include the debut of Phnom Penh's newest and possibly classiest duo The Panthers.
See you around the traps.