Monday, July 12, 2010

Mekong Space Poporks and more: 9 - 11 July 2010

It was as bit of a weekend for mixing it up and making it up. What with half the expat musical population out of town it was a matter of dragging together what we could. Friday night at Lotus Blanc featured two bands, in addition to the traditional Khmer music that played downstairs. The night kicked off with a stripped down jazz-heavy Los Poporks performing as a quartet, including Mr Dom on cornet. Very tasty. They then took off up to Chinese House to back harmonica player Doc Spann - any reports? Then followed the Cambodian Space Project featuring a special appearance from Davis Zunk on drums - he was there at the beginning of the CSP, and it was great to have his funky Nawlins thing rumbling away underneath. We were lucky to have a strongly Khmer audience, who got the dancing going, and kept it up enthusiastically.

Saturday night gave us one of those special happy events that happen from time to time just through wishing them up. A farewell party with some music at Equinox collided a birthday party at the same location, beginning with Phnom Penh newcomer TJ taking us through some propulsive Americana, followed by a set by Expresso Thmei, and then some unrehearsed but keen tunes sung and strummed by farewellee Adam with Mr Pink on the drums and TJ on harp. A few calls during the week had drawn together a collection of musicians from the for a jam, a band that during the afternoon was dubbed Los Cambodian Space Pirates (but was probably more accurately the Mekong Space Poporks) laying down some very cool grooves, a bit of funk here, a bit of fusion there, some blues and a couple of vocals. The only train wreck of the night was my overconfident leading of the band through The Long Division, which they had never heard, after a request from the floor. Still, we overcame that and played on until the inevitable noise reduction requests. A most successful experiment and a great crowd to watch it.

The Cambodian Space Project - sans accordion this time - was the pre-game entertainment for the World Cup final on Sunday night at La Croisette. We may or may not have delighted a group of Korean businessmen with our 60s Khmer pop, along with a collection of tourists, expats, interns and regular fans. The 10 pm start caused a bit of a hiccup, what with it being past bedtime for the Khmer band members, but before long we were bounding along at our usual gait playing songs about looking or not looking, talking or not talking, monkeys, whiskey and dancing. And another late, late night.

See you near a stage somewhere.

p.s. what was Doc Spann like? Anyone?

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