16th September 2014: Moonshine Ninth Anniversary Malaysia Day Special, at Laundry Bar, The Curve! Here’s the persistent, consistent gig organizer, Reza Salleh, who has been doing this for 9 years now, from its humble beginnings as an acoustic show at No Black Tie, to many electric years in Laundry Bar (including an open mic session after, in the early iterations), and a short stint at The Bee, Publika, and returning to Laundry Bar.
Just for listmania, here are the first 10 Moonshine gigs ever:
The first leg of this Malaysia Day Special was outdoors, and Hameer Zawawi was on. Everyone was to do covers of Malaysian bands. Quite surprised he didn’t do Tempered Mental – Automata, in fact!
Zalila Lee on djembe.
Cassandra Mary, one of the grungier!
Seriously digging Melissa’s tattoo!
They also did a cover of Estranged – Itu Kamu, as well as Disagree – Crumbs, cutting into Malaysian Artistes For Unity – Here In My Home.
I brought the Sony 16mm F2.8 E-mount pancake lens, modified for full-frame, for my Sony Alpha 7S, resulting in this funky image.
Next up: The acoustic goodness of Crinkle Cut.
Such heartbreaker eyes!
Ashley interestingly sports a cajon that is different than the run-of-the-mill standard-issue one. Ask her about it!
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a color theme going on…
Malaysia Day, and they were dressed in colors of the Malayan (and then) Malaysian flag!
This may be a breathing exercise. Probably helps with singing.
The second leg of the show was indoors, back in the usual stage…
…with the multi-part harmony of The Vochale Project!
I then bumped into Land Slyde of Poetic Ammo, who had with him, Dave Childs, who was their lead guitarist!
The other Poetic Ammo member I bump into all the time, C. Loco, was also there!
They did a cover of Butterfingers – The Chemistry (Between Us) and admitted to just reusing their Malaysian covers from Versus, a battle-of-the-bands contest. Still, solid stuff!
Frenchman singing in Malay.
Her trusty guitarist John.
She’d been doing Malaysian covers for quite some time – so it was a natural fit for the theme for this Moonshine.
Here, she covered Darren Ashley – On My Toes! I was floored to hear anybody cover Darren Ashley’s older stuff, before he became the electronica cat he is today. She also did Estrella – Stay.
Meanwhile, outside… note the photobomber in the middle.
This rap genius is at work!
His rockin’ band.
A Kevin Theng I didn’t recognize at first, looking a bit Keanu Reeves-ish here.
He brought on Nadhira…
…as well as C. Loco…
To bring so many Malaysian hip hop classics!
They burst out Poetic Ammo – Who Be The Playa and Poetic Ammo – Everything Changes. This was in fact, my first time seeing a Poetic Ammo song getting covered, and my first time seeing a Poetic Ammo member performing a Poetic Ammo song.
There was also Too Phat, Teh Tarik Crew and Urban XChange! Almost forgot about Urban XChange.
I don’t wander much into the local hip-hop scene, sadly.
The ethereal Ali Aiman. He covered Najwa…
…who performed right after. Probably the only cover of another artiste also playing the same evening.
Najwa did a cover of Mia Palencia – Sayang…
…who Fook also plays for.
So there’s guitar, bass, and keyboard. I don’t think I’ve seen him play drums.
That’s what the amazing John Ashley Thomas is for.
Nish. Wait, more keyboards? Yeah, Najwa is going darker (and she plays awesome solo piano and sings herself!)
It’s also the return of the band, who was busy recording.
Ashley, through the infrared-modded Sony Alpha NEX-5 with flash.
Grace, the key bassist.
Frances, the vocal manipulator.
Kevin Ong, filling in for Melissa on guitar.
She does three things in the band:
1) play keyboard
2) play bass (on keyboard)
3) make like a Dutch lady
A hilarious moment ensued when they were jamming to Musiq Soulchild – Just Friends (Sunny) and Grace and Kevin were swapping solo lines from keyboard to guitar to bass to guitar to keyboard to… you get the idea.
Peace. Always the preferred option over violence.
Flare, thanks to the lovely Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 Dark Knight Pro Edition!
A bonus picture that I forgot to upload earlier, at No Black Tie, which was why I was in the area primarily. It’s the ghost of Jenn!
Flare courtesy of my new Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 Dark Knight Pro Edition!
Sometimes I occlude backlight with the subject, giving a nice pop.
It does well for people in low light.
This Southeast-Asian mix of merry music makers includes half a Thai…
…a full South Korean… (would that count as half of Korea, then?)
…and a Langkawi chap of unknown origin (his Facebook profile pictures make me wonder which planet even) and a Chinese guy from Kajang.
Oh, and a coffee-drinking stegosaurus.
Socks help with bass sliding.
Daft Punk helmet…
…without the needed volunteer helmet wearer, who was outside before the gig but did not stay to don the helmet.
Joshua, you should’ve.
Shaneil in the back.
Fazz’s new band manager. I love this shot because despite the spotlight not being on her, it is clear who the subject of the picture is. I like how the shadow of the table forms a globe that aligns to the hand of the person on the right as well. I love the color, the moment, the alignment of the people in the picture. Oh what luck!
Fariz and friends/fans.
Ray Cheong, acoustic fingerstyle funk blues rocker.
A different lineup today!
Depending on who is free to keep the groove.
More familiar faces.
Got back to the table and there were more selfies to be taken.
Last act of the night, Froya.
Ivan in alignment.
A different kind of buzz cut.
Not sure which is shinier, Michelle’s eyes or the light.
…who I also photographed with my infrared-modded Sony Alpha NEX-5. This is without the infrared pass filter, so it is visible plus infrared light.
Yau Hui, without flash, for that infrared-eyed look.
Back inside, organizer and emcee Daniel Wong.
Playful Talitha Tan was next!
Super cool lap cajon. I don’t know what the proper name for it is.
Come sing along!
Through the infrared.
Farouque on guitar.
Guest vocalist Nicholas Ng.
Here’s a break of normal color, with the Sony Alpha 7S and Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95.
All shots were without the infrared pass filter…
…mainly because I forgot to bring them. Here’s Jee!
His music is so fresh if his jokes were fishes they’d still be flopping on the table. Here he plays guitar and keyboard at the same time!
ISO4000 on the A7S is super clean. I just can’t get over this, remembering how it was with previous cameras. There’d be a pinch of noise and its color and tonality wouldn’t be as nice.
Bleached hair always turns out bright, reflecting plenty of infrared.
The only regrettable thing about not bringing the infrared pass filter is that infrared and visible light focus at different wavelengths, so when it is mixed either one will be slightly out of focus.
I took a toilet break and walked past Malone’s to discover another band!
I have seen some of these faces.
It was around this time that I discoved my beloved Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 had a bit of play in the focus ring, and my attempt to nudge and tighten it back made it worse, with it ending up being unable to focus anything further than 50cm or so.
I’ve since sent it to the dealer who sent it to the factory, and topped up for the Dark Knight Pro edition of this lens. The factory says they just tightened some screws and readjusted infinity.
And so, all my shots from here onwards are with the Sony E 16mm F2.8 pancake, because that’s the only other lens I brought.
So yes, I’d have to make do with cropping pictures from a wide-angle lens! Fortunately, the NEX-5 was an APS-C camera and gave me more reach.
One acoustic guitar, please!
A Taylor! Sweet.
Nicholas Ng guests again.
Forever In Atlas.
Cool shirt yo.
This KissKillMary shirt, too, was cool, with letters that puzzled Joshua and I. Can you figure out what it means?
If a self-portrait is a selfie, is a group portrait a groupie?
The Sony A7S with its limitless ISO would let me bring my Tamron 200-400mm 5.6…
…with a shutter speed of 1/200th of a second…
…with no worries of noise or motion blur. I didn’t catch this band’s name so pardon the filler text!
Even though the A7S has no sensor stabilization, at 1/200s it was not an issue.
The vignetting is caused by my Sony LA-EA1 adapter, meant for APS-C sensors, that I adapted by removing the rear baffle.
Apparently, the vignetting only appears on longer focal lengths like this.
I brought the LA-EA1 instead of the LA-EA4 because the LA-EA4 had a translucent mirror, allowing for auto-focus with screw-driven lenses, at the expense of light.
First featured act, Chirin Chirin.
The unfortunate downside of a fast shutter speed is when shooting in flourescent lighting…
…it bands slightly.
Second featured act, The Impatient Sisters.
Most of these pictures were at 400mm F5.6…
…to see what an extreme closeup would do for composition.
The Tamron is not great with backlight.
The Bee notably doesn’t have the drummer way in the back of the stage, so they are equidistant.
Didn’t catch this guy’s name either.
Reza Salleh, emcee and organizer.
Friza, I think, from Indonesia.
I like her swag stance.
Sharon, in the back, crying away.
Ariff Danial, who has some interesting tunes.
Nope, didn’t catch his name.
More unnamed open mikers.
I love Idzwan‘s rock guitar tone.
That sweet, sweet, classic Gibson tone.
Meanwhile, here’s a face to the name – my name – Albert, the photographer who is sometimes unrecognized. I recognize the photographer of this picture, Wai Fon, though. Not with the Tamron, but the Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95.
Can you imagine Yvonne’s voice at this point? I can.
Yvonne in full diva mode.
Faz the rock star, with videographers all documenting her going full… rock star.
It was one of their most entertaining shows, ever.
Mostly, because it was Faz’s birthday!
David Ling’s farewell, as well, as he’d further his studies in the prestigious Berklee College Of Music.