Last night a great seething mass, mostly consisting of Australians of various varieties, descended on Maxine's in an attempt to (a) tip the establishment into the Tonle Sap and (b) celebrate (Invasion of) Australia Day 2010. Wave after successive wave of oh-no-it's-a-school-night punters frolicked through the door as the Cambodian Space Project pounded out its signature brand of spacey trippy heavy Khmer rock'n'roll. The doors even had to be closed at one stage to make sure only the most keen balcony destroyers got in.
In keeping with our tradition of never having the same line-up twice, the CSP welcomed the Swedish Ambassador to the fray, alternating between bass and percussion. As Bong Sak (aka Charlie Wat Phnom) was in the house I shared the drumming seat with him, also playing some bass, doing some untrained-so-don't-try-this-at-home MCing and even taking the opportunity to dance around in the pink suit as the band continued its frantic plunge towards an apparent oblivion, the three guitar attack of Space Commander Bong J, Gildas McSwashbuckle and The Lovely Irene (do you know how hard it is to play guitar left-handed??) pounding relentlessly on a bed of Eric's percussion. Or so it sometimes sounds. At least the mix was better this week, thanks to an early start on lugging the gear and some effort taken to get the vocal sound to rise above the throbbing sonic rush. Bong Thom, resplendent in hat and shorts, blew his harmonica so hard he busted his amp.
After three energetic sets, with a brief interlude comprising of a couple of my tunes slipped in for good luck, the Space Project collapsed in a couple of heaps and eventually dispersed into the night. Thanks to Snow for opening especially for the night, for treating the Project so well, and for filling up the gaps with 80s-era Oz Rock (I was going to say it never gets old, but on reflection perhaps it's best left for one day in the year to dance around to 1987 INXS).
This coming weekend: Hellhounds at Sharky on Thursday; CSP at META House Green Night on Friday; and the Space Project takes to the road to play on Otres Beach, Sihanoukville on Saturday.
Don't take any wooden money, folks.