...and the answer is a resounding ‘yes!’ if last Fridays Friends-International bash was anything to go by. To celebrate 15 years of supporting street kids in Cambodia and around the world to get off the streets and back into stable lives the folks at Friends held a special event at Romdeng, a poolside celebration with book launch and cocktails and live music from Los Poporks, the intriguingly monikered Mayors of Simpleton and some digitally delivered dancefloor distractions between live stuff from DJ Frankie.
The book is fab (features artwork done by the Friends kids over the years), the cocktails were ace (apple and lime daiquiris have to be up there with the nectar of the gods...) and the music was... well, I have to paraphrase the late great Eddie Cochrane and say it was... ‘somethin’ else!’
Los Poporks opened and closed the live music segments, and they seemed to these ears to inhabit a parallel universe to the mighty Mekong Pirates, a bit funky/reggae/world-y but with more of a jazz slant, a mighty fine live act concocting a sticky stew of feral funk out of its myriad influences with a fluid flux of performers passing through as they did so. Good stuff.
In complete contrast, Mayors of Simpleton might as well have been from Venus as from Phnom Penh. They rocked a thousand times harder than Norman Bates’ dead mother, and were probably ten thousand times more terrifying... during what was introduced as ‘our fourth rehearsal’, I detected some T.Rex, Stooges, Psychedelic Furs and I absolutely swear Rolf Harris (Sunarise, but more the Alice Cooper take on Rolf’s classic...) and possibly some early Adam and the Ants... I just don’t know .. and to be honest I don’t really care, as long as this three piece (sax, guitar and drums) stick around longer to inflict their particular brand of mayhem on the good people of Phnom Penh, I will be deliriously happy, and judging by the audience reaction I won’t be the only one.
Excuse me folks, I’m off now to howl at the moon....
Laurence W. Talbot
(Thanks to our friends at Friends for the photos)