Ladies and Gentlemen, a new contender for best expat band in Cambodia ... but first a quick chroniciling of the week's CSP adventures.
Wednesday night at La Croisette, either side of 2 simultaneous football matches, the Cambodian Space Project did its thing, starting with a duo hampered by broken strings and including a flight across town for supplies, growing into a 5-piece Khmer rock'n'roll machine, that by 11.45, after a blistering second set, finally pulled to a close. Special thanks to those who attended the first, wandered off for the football, but then returned for the second. Such as new big fan Andy.
It was a quieter, more sedate Thursday night - Expresso Thmei at the opening of The 252, a new upmarket guesthouse on Street 252, where we played in front of a large swimming pool (which proved too tempting for one invitee) and a rather different than usual audience. And no broken strings. And also Andy.
On Friday afternoon, the PSE school at Stung Meanchey had an end of year musical celebration that featured some great (and also some admittedly not so great, but heartwarmings) singing and dancing by kids of all ages. The Cambodian Space Project was invited to headline, and it was one of the best experiences we have had, with 2,500 children dancing and singing along. An absolutely exhilarating time, electric energy, and a chance to do those rockstar things that you are always a little embarassed to do in front of a grownup crowd. The kids were both inspired and inspiring, and as my mate Ken said, a great view of the future of the nation.
And now - Saturday night. Los Poporks. Equinox. Fab.
I haven't seen these guys since they opened for the CSP back in January, but they've morphed into something really special. They played as a ten-piece - with two guitars, bass, drums, percussion, three singers, two trumpets, a flute, a keyboard, an occasional harmonica ... rambling across open fields of African beats, some deep soupy funk, some double-time French jazz, dipping into reggae and then jazz fusion ... and as a highpoint in the middle of the second set, a scandalous segue from the swinging-like-a-(expletive deleted) Take Five into a massive Whole Lotta Love without breaking stride. Just outstanding. The crowd stayed thick and bouncing through to the end, including two encores. The sad part is I understand they're breaking down into something smaller for the European summer - just when they had proved themselves necessary! Don't miss these guys the next time you have a chance.
Also, on a non-musical note, make a point to check out Cambodian painter Dina Chhan's new exhibition (also, unrelatedly, at Equinox).
See you around the traps.