Monday, October 4, 2010

Jams, boats, buses and birthday parties: 23 September - 2 October 2010

I got kind of distracted and suddenly I’m a week behind in updates. Way back last week I went to the Electric Eclectic Limelight Jukebox Jam at Paddy Rice, hosted by Melanie, where a variety of performers signed up and took part in a subdued setting – the venue is a difficult one for performers as there are a lot of hard surfaces leading to not particularly great acoustics, and rather too many televisions for a place putting on live music. Melanie was assisted by Paul and Gem, and I threw in a couple myself for a small but enthusiastic audience.

On Friday night the Cambodian Space Project went aquatic, playing for a birthday party on a boat on the Tonle Sap, then Saturday night played Paddy Rice for a large and liquid crowd. I made it for the second set, having with the Swedish Ambassador re-launched D’Sco: The Geckos of Love as Pswingology, playing for the swing dancing group Phnom Penh Pswings’ night at Chinese House, as part of their big swing weekend. Noteworthy was the return of the medley sickness, that manifested itself in a 12 minute 12-bar marathon that almost caused soft tissue damage in those dancers who insisted on trying to keep up.

The highlight of the weekend, though, was the CSP’s trip to Khlaeng Poar Tboung, the village in Kampong Speu that is home to our fabulous drummer Bong Sak. I don’t think I can put it better than Andy Brouwer did … and re the Paddy Rice gig, and ongoing sound problems – yes, we are working on it.

And then suddenly another week was underway, back at the Phnom Penh Acoustic Sessions at Setsara on Wednesday night. This was a particularly special night because we were able to veer away from the white-guys-singing-in-English (lovely though we all are)(and not ignoring the gorgeous French contributions we get) format by having a series of fantastic Khmer performers, including local music veterans and staff from the Top Banana. I confidently predict we will one night have the next Sinn Sisamouth emerging from the crowd of motodops waiting patiently outside. The mix of people taking part is inspiring in a city that still is largely segregated in terms of performance. But perhaps I’m just going to the wrong places.

And finally I come to last night, Rory’s birthday party at Maxine’s (aka Snow’s), where a great crowd came out to dance in the newly expanded space (more dancefloor) and, thanks to a new piece of equipment, actually hear Srey Thy’s voice over the chaos.  There are still a few kinks to work out, but progress is being made. Rory and his mates also gave us a little song; thanks guys for a great night. And there was a very funky new blue guitar on display. 

See you about - enjoy Pchum Ben.  If you're staying in town, come see something different .... The Green Mist at Equinox on Saturday night.

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