Moonshine Turns Nine

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:

1) 26th November 2005, No Black Tie
2) 15th December 2005, No Black Tie
3) 5th January 2006, No Black Tie
4) 2nd February 2006, No Black Tie (postponed due to complications with DBKL.)
5) 11th May 2006, Laundry Bar (same lineup as the postponed Moonshine #4, just relocated.)
6) 1st June 2006, Laundry Bar
7) 13th July 2006, Laundry Bar
8) 10th August 2006, Laundry Bar
9) 14th September 2006, Laundry Bar
10) 12th October 2006, Laundry Bar

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!

Saturday Afternoon.

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!

Amir Jahari.

Kyoto Protocol!

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.

Elizabeth Tan!

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.

Jin Hackman!

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.

The decks.

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!)

The big poster, with autographs.

That’s my autograph!

The full set of pictures is here, on Moonshine Productions’ photo album.

Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival, Day 2

14th September 2014: Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival, Day 2, at Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre.

Food booths outside!

New places take over the old!

At Deck 2: Xes Xes Loveseat.

At the Lawn…

Dabus, by Kumpulan Dabus Tanjung Bidara.

I wish I noticed as well that the balloons made a cool color gradient!

These aren’t buttons.

A little black box with screenings!


Magical-hair-colored Darren Teh!

At Pentas 2, Ivan was spotted on one of his many duties…

…with the poppy Froya!

Outside, in the Lobby…


Upstairs, an empty room whose signboard says Kelab Fotografi Shashin KL, Studio 9.

Outdoors, The Traveller by Kwangtung Dance Company. I think.

Back in Pentas 2, delightful electronica.


Outdoors, a king meets his queen.

Oh like chess pieces! I wonder if anyone has tried to play giant chess with this.

The Lawn clears space for the entrancing Kuda Kepang by Kumpulan Kuda Kepang Parit Raja.

The Sony 135mm F2.8/T4.5 Smooth Transition Focus makes for the best bokeh.

The open mic session in Deck 2 sees a familiar face from local 90s band Zero.

Ariff AB signs up, too!

Inside, on the list of attractions…

…is a laid-back Liyana Fizi. The stage can be big… but it, and the audience area, feels small and cosy, from the way she addresses the audience.

This time around, it was just the Sony Alpha 7S and a LA-EA1 modded for full-frame, and the 135mm.

The bassist learnt Estrella – Take It Slow, Liyana’s old band’s classic, on the spot.

A little help from post-rock/space-rock Zul of Dirgahayu!

A little falsetto help from her drummer.

Then, a surprise…

No that’s not a typo – I didn’t switch lenses fast enough to show that it didn’t spell HAPY but HAPPY.


Never too old to photobomb.

1 Mont Kia-RAWR

6th September 2014: RAWR, at 1 Mont Kiara!

So this place reopened, for whatever strange reason, with a renovation that I don’t understand.

First up: Narmi!

First emcee: Zher Peen of Fly FM.

Next up: Talitha Tan.

Her regular suspects.

Long time no see Prema Yin!

Accompanied by this speed painter.

The Prema I’m used to seeing with no guitar.

Another long-time-ago face.

Random stage games!

Next emcee: Hafiz of Fly FM.

Christian Palencia!

Yes, like he stepped out of a steamer.

More stage games!

Farouque blackmail material.

Ross Stephenson on stage with a comedy skit. One of these two people is actually funny on stage.

Ross teaches Talitha how to boogie!


Stand-up comedy was the plan. Anton Gillich in the middle, Kavin Jay on the right, and amnesia for me on the left.

Can’t remember what he said…

Ray Cheong knocks on wood.

Travel musical history with Fazz!

The Minolta 70-210mm F4.0 on the full-frame modified LA-EA1 for the Sony Alpha 7S can be real handy.

Polka-dotted keyboardist…

…is all the rockstar.

Kevin, singing in the rain.

I always enjoy later evening stage lighting.

Boom! Here’s the full-frame modded Sony 16mm F2.8 pancake for some wide goodness.

Emcee Ivan of Fly FM.

The fantastic Rozz.

Her crew.

The lights went full on.

Then, fireworks!

The bean bags in front made for good viewing.

She did a Rihanna medley…

…as well as a Whitney Houston/Aretha Franklin one.

The crowd dances!

What a delightful sip I had from this!

The before-after-party.

At least one of them is a hilarious YouTube star.

Since they weren’t all on stage anymore I could use the Mitakon/Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 Dark Knight Pro lens.

Narmi and Ahtilat, right to left.

Only when processing did I discover that the infrared-modded Sony Alpha NEX-5 wouldn’t focus well with mixed lighting.

More misfocus.

Chrispy and me.

Wai Leong cuts in from the right.

Dance again!

That picture of Talitha behind and above her, is probably the biggest I’ve ever had printed out.

It’s so big, I can’t even get perspective to make them match!

The original, unpublished version, from 27th May 2014. Always interesting to see how people process black-and-white differently – the stripes are visible here.

Crinkle Cut To Kelly Siew

5th September 2014: Crinkle Cut at Table 23 featuring Kevin Ong.

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!

I also walked to Bakita nearby.

Kelly Siew!

She grooves.

Vicky’s on keys.

The guitarist looks a bit Adam Levine-ish.

More infrared alternate universe goodness.

On the walk back. Interesting shop name!

Fazz & KissKillMary

5th September 2014: Fazz & KissKillMary, at No Black Tie.

This is Fazz. This is what pre-gig setlist planning looks like.

This is what No Black Tie looks like, through the silent shutter of the Sony Alpha 7S and the Sony E 16mm F2.8.

I also brought my infrared-modded Sony Alpha NEX-5.

All shots from it set to maximum desaturation, for that monochrome look.

The A7S and its high ISO performance, like this one at ISO25600, allowed me to shoot at 1/160th of a second with the Minolta 70-210mm F4.0 beercan, and the LA-EA1 adapter.

Real tight shots from far away!

Just the Sony E 16mm F2.8 pancake.

The crowd, at ISO3200.

Kevin brings us his brand of cabaret tunes.

Gotta have a double bass for the sound.

Next up: Kiss Kill Mary. I want that synthesizer so I can play exactly that synthesizer sound.

Dance rock band! They did an awesome cover of One Republic – Love Runs Out.

Featuring Megan Teck…

…filling in for a sick Jenn. So she’s not Jenn.


Boy wonder Sani.

I think I forgot to bring the infrared pass filters, giving the hazy look that is signature of visible light and infrared light focusing at different wavelengths.

From the balcony.

Megan Teck is as good as the real thing.

Speaking of switcheroos, here’s the drummer…

…and the guitarist.

Do you want to take a selfie?

Moonshine: Upcoming ft Froya, Ray Cheong, Saturday Afternoon & Fazz / September 2014 Edition

4th September 2014: Moonshine: Upcoming ft Froya, Ray Cheong, Saturday Afternoon & Fazz / September 2014 Edition at Laundry Bar, The Curve. Here’s emcee and organizer Reza Salleh!

First up: Saturday Afternoon!

You can guess it right.

Sounds like their band title.

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.

More flare.

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.


29th August 2014: SOUNDSTRUCK : LIVE! (AUGUST EDITION) at The Bee, Jaya One. Here’s Amrita Soon!

But first, I bumped into Jonathan Yip outside…

…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!

SelfIR time.

Amanda Love.

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.

Wanted Symphony.

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.

Jamie Chen.

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?