7 Buskers In 1 Day


12th April 2014: #BuskStop!


This was the Berjaya Times Square Busk Stop, on the first floor, to the left when you enter from the front. Note the “Photo by Albert Ng” on four of the pictures! It’s been a while since my pictures have been on display anywhere.


Bihzhu was the act of the day. Cool signboard!


Hameer Zawawi, curator of this Busk Stop, talking to the band.


Bihzhu, with a different lineup! Raja Farouque on guitar, and Ryan Gomes on djembe.


The crowd stops by to record. Interesting that the guy is holding a bag from a lingerie store with his fully-covered wife.


Bihzhu has upbeat, uplifting music!


The crowd grew.


I then scurried over to catch Anna Chong, over at the Pavilion Busk Stop, curated by Moonshine Productions.


A big crowd for Anna Chong, who has haunting, emotional, raw music.


Like so.


I then ran over to Fahrenheit 88, for another Busk Stop curated by The Wknd, with Yatai.


I walked towards Lot 10, and passed by these buskers, too!


I took the shuttle bus to KL Sentral (the KL Monorail was closed for the weekend for maintenance, I think) and saw the legendary Meor.

Feedback Open Mic @ The Bee Jaya One ft Amrita Soon & Paolo Delfino / April 2014 Edition


8th April 2014: Feedback Open Mic @ The Bee Jaya One ft Amrita Soon & Paolo Delfino / April 2014 Edition!


Fariz Salleh.


Fariz’s cool pedal, taking some design motifs from Back To The Future!


Basil Foo.


Chelsia Ng spotted assembling a Lego Star Wars Millenium Falcon.


Narmi.


He too has a shiny new toy – a harmonizer!


William & Muhaimin.


Flying Pan.


With Jyo on keyboard – soon to be an ever-rotating slot.


The crowd.


Jyo then performed an acoustic cover of System Of A Down – Aerials, with Raja Farouque on guitar.


Raja Farouque performed next, with his Celtic composition, very technical and acoustic shredder, with a decent bulk of keyboard work, covered by Lor Phaik Sim.


Grace Cho took the keyboard then, to sing Karen O & Ezra Koenig – The Moon Song with Raja Farouque.


He took a more sedentary position.


Amrita Soon, first featured act.


Paolo Delfino, second featured act. Ian Tai is seen here soloing on kazoo.


Fuzzy. Love his voice, and his old soul.


Aiman & Eugene.


They did a cover of Arctic Monkeys – Mardy Bum well.

Sometimes I don’t know if to mention who did what cover since I don’t know all these modern songs that people cover, since I don’t listen to radio.


Clara Cheong beckons me to take her picture yet again!


Adam.


Maisara.


Cool Johor flag!


Her friends came to bootleg her.


As for that bluish tint? It was this portable light, at a cooler temperature than the tungsten lights that shone from above.


More Clara, this time with Narmi.


Ashley Chan with Raja Farouque and Ryan Gomes (not pictured).


Swag!


Reza Salleh.


Reza then plays with Fariz’s ornate guitar.


In case you haven’t figured it out, they are brothers, and people tend to mistake one for the other. This can be exploited to comedic effect.


Jessica, guitar bearer.

BALLSY! An Open Mic Show #4


7th April 2014: BALLSY! An Open Mic Show #4, at Page 2, Publika! This quiet bar above Plan B is an intimate setup for an open mic, and conversation.


You can see its location, near the big pink Publika sign.


Kenneth Leow.


The Propositions.


Ian Tai makes a face.


The amazing, upbeat Eloise Lau!


She played country music and came in boots.


Very refreshing!


I recorded a video of her performing Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken, to country music.


An undiscovered gem, I’d say!


Cat.


She did spoken word poetry. I hope she’ll find Sheena and the gang who organize such things, too!


Backup notes.


Basil Foo Music.


Riz Rashid.


Shaneil Devaser, host and organizer of this open mic which “doesn’t seem to attract hipsters.”


They shared the stage and became each other’s second guitarist.

Moonshine: Spotlight Ska Edition / April 2014


3rd April 2014: Moonshine: Spotlight Ska Edition / April 2014 at Laundry Bar, The Curve! Here’s Reza Salleh, emcee and organizer.


Skudap Skudip!


Ska is all about the upstroke.


A strong groove on the bass.


Horn section!


And, of course, that ska drum beat.


Saxophone!


Trumpet.


Bijan Fx, of “We Are Not” All-Stars, also once a long-running sound engineer for Laundry Bar. He also curated the band list for the night!


Since the crowd starting moving in, I had to move in too. So I switched from my Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA to my Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2.0 ZA SSM because everything was so near.


His guitar strap came off.


Horn section!


More close-range stuff.


The bassist and singer.


At this distance, the 135mm would give this.


I was on the stage, next to the singer. This is what the drummer would look like at that distance.


Bijan’s likeness is also the logo.


I love the consistency in the ska bands, in terms of dressing.


They ended their set, to calls for an encore, so they played a cover of Rancid – Time Bomb. This video should give you an idea how close I was, because the crowd was pushing in.


The guitarist crowdsurfed! This was a rare occasion in Laundry Bar; it only happens during ska gigs, really, which says so much about the sorry state of the other scenes, to not be able to keep their phones in their pockets and just rock out, like we used to do back in those days.

Sure, it was chaotic, but it was also cooperative – the dudes in front made sure that the crowdsurfers did not land on the band, and they pushed back to give space. The mike would occasionally fall out of the stand, or the stand would fall, and we’d help to mount the mike back on and get the stand back up.

Or in this case, when the guitarist returned, I helped him find his cable!


Johny Comes Lately.


The horn section played the Godfather Theme.


Skinheads love ska.


I’m not even sure if he was part of the band!


Wide-angle lenses let you get in their face.


These guys had a harder sound.


I liked it!


Lost the hat.


Drummer’s still got his hat.


Oh yes!


My Sony Alpha 99 isn’t so good when focusing with backlight. Had to take a few shots. Sorry, out-of-focus skinheads!


So catchy you just have to sing along.


The bearded skinhead was pulling and releasing the skinhead in white, as if he was tied by a rope. Such fun!

I refer to them as skinheads because they are, with no derogatory notion – I think they’re cute that they stick to their guns and go out all in style, not afraid to show their identity, not affected by the hipster thing where you try to look different but end up the same.

There was even a bit where somebody asked, “eh mana hipster ni?” and the crowd booed. “Ada Wak Doyok?” More boos. He was referring to a well-known Malaysian hipster personality with a distinct handlebar moustache.


The crowd would just invade the stage. It makes me wonder if the Malaysian music scene would otherwise have this, that they’d be so outwardly enthusiastic about the music – we normally just stand back and tell the musicians that they were “not bad” even if we were mindblown.


Everybody knows the lyrics.


After a long break, came Aggrobeats.


This was a bit less chaotic. There was even a kid with a tablet!


These guys, I’d only see at Rock The World.


And yet, familiar enough.


Interesting, black bass strings.


David Gilak, also of They Will Kill Us All.


I was struggling to focus in the ever-changing light.


I think I manually focused this one.


This, too, for the enraptured skinhead on the right. These guys just bring smiles to my face!


That way!


Lefty Tele.


Meanwhile, in the upper area, a group of people obviously not skinheads were toasting.

This post was for a gig 11 days ago, and my next blog post is from exactly a week ago; thus, my backlog for gig posts has hit the 1-week mark. I consider this an accomplishment!

Dotters’ Division Multiplied By Two!


29th March 2014: I was down in Publika for Earth Hour 2014. No, not really. Here’s a picture of wayang kulit being staged anyway!


The real reason, of course, was to catch The Bee’s Lot 36 series – Saturday night gigs with bands of high caliber. That night? Dotters’ Division.


They’re an all-girl band, fronted by Melissa, who is also in another all-girl band called Crinkle Cut that plays electro-acoustic stuff.


Dotters’ Division, however, are a gigging band that plays covers. What makes their sound different, though, I’d point at the keyboardist and band leader Linet Goh, and the saxophonist Audrey Then.


Rebecca on drums.


Jie Er on bass. This beautiful bass is a Traben.


Linet. I like that the band has a consistent theme each time – here, they’re all decked in denim!


Their repertoire spans approximately the 70s to modern day hits, with a tendency for music with a big groove, examples being Michael Jackson (and his second coming, Bruno Mars). The saxophone is used to great effect where you may expect it e.g. George Michael – I’m Never Gonna Dance Again and where you may not e.g. an instrumental version of Wild Cherry – Play That Funky Music where the saxophone sings the lead vocals.


The band pimps Jie Er.


They did Pharrell Williams – Happy, from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. I think these glasses make her look like a minion.


Fast forward to next week, 5th April 2014, for yet another Lot 36 night. Oh it’s Jie Er again, thinking it’s me again.


So yes, Dotters’ Division again!


One thing I really like about this band, is the vocal harmony – it’s not overdone like how some girl bands do it, as if to be saccharine sweet, as if to win merit by just having sweet feminine vocals.

They just sing and do the song justice. Like their Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit cover – when it hits the chorus, the vocals just double, instead of harmonizing, giving it literally the chorus effect that a chorus pedal would give you.


This time, the theme was leather. Leather looks really nice when colored light reflects off it!


More groove.


The only two-instrument-player for the night.


Oh damn.


See what see hah?


I think they were covering Kool & The Gang – Celebration!


I am jealous of Melissa’s dyed red streaks.


Meanwhile, guess who’s back! This teddy bear disappeared from this exact location a while ago. I just noticed that it had reappeared. Previously it was holding a can of beer; now, a can of Pepsi.

Laundry X An Honest Mistake Records Present: Digital Love (March Edition)


27th March 2014: Laundry X An Honest Mistake Records Present: Digital Love (March Edition)! This is Rusyd.


Next up, Crinkle Cut!


Awesome acoustic funk electronica.


Electronica, therefore keyboards.


Acoustic, therefore cajon.


Melissa…sa…sa. What a stretchy chord that is! Looks like a Fmaj7b5.


My trusty 50mm takes the wider shots.


I Hate This Place, from Singapore.


Two dudes with a passion for electronica.


Featuring Sarahh Jadee!


Darren Teh of An Honest Mistake Records, organizer.


Ryota Katayama!


Eng Hooi on drums.


Hey guys have you seen my plectrum?


Nope, not behind here.


I dunno LOL.


More bleeps courtesy of this iPad.


Her lens piques my curiosity greatly – it’s an old Vivitar telephoto, that I can make out from the front, but what exactly? Its slender profile is in stark contrast to today’s camera lenses that tend to flute out into 77mm filter threads rapidly.


Shaheed Naz of Dangerdisko.

Fazz March


26th March 2014: Pisco Live Mic vol 2.12 featuring FAZZ!


Kevin points at a double-bass-shredding Raja Farouque, burning through the sky, two hundred degrees. Coincidentally, you could call their music Broadway-ish, that Queen draws some sounds from.


Kevin.


Jone on drums.


In between Fazz’s two sets was the awesome Dzamira Dzafri.


Also in between, Son Of A Policeman (SOAP).


Shredder with a cool T-shirt!


Yamaha basses always look very unique, when they are made to look unique.


Can’t remember what went on here.


Joshua embraces his macha moustache (strangely, the rest of the band did not do so customarily as they would’ve) for their to-be-hit-single, Maria.


Boom! Flash back to Fazz.


Grace on keyboards, and good morning Mister Soundman.


The crowd dances along.


Vanessa joins them on stage for one song, that she used to audition at plays with! She bears a striking resemblance to my crazy funkster friend Davina Goh.


Tim and Manny, I think.


He sang Fool’s Garden – Lemon Tree and we sang along.


Mister Soundman, next. That’s not his official stage name.


Fast forward to two days later, just up the same road (Jalan Mesui) was Fazz again, this time at Table 23.


The stage was outdoors, instead of upstairs.


It was next to the bar.


Interesting acoustic set, with Farouque on guitar instead of double bass.


In between sets, Grace also strummed. They also did a cover of Karen O featuring Ezra Koenig – The Moon Song.


A Vespa, under the stairs.


Grace and the melodion.


More dancing.

Feedback Open Mic / Celebrating Freedom @ The Bee Publika / March 2014 Edition


25th March 2014: Feedback Open Mic / Celebrating Freedom @ The Bee Publika / March 2014 Edition! Here’s Reza Salleh, organizer.


Koh, first act of the night, obviously fresh from work, complete with a pen in his pocket. All he is missing is the lanyard!

Hameer, emcee and host for the night.


The awesome rocking boys of Milkmen. Old-school rock sound.


Fikri Azam, I think…


Sasha & Hadi.


Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia. For real. Awesome band name!


Sedsuna!


They played progressive rock/metal soundtrack-like stuff. The most mind-blowing stuff I’ve heard in a while – because you can’t even put down where or what you’ve heard. I remember one bit sounding like Opeth!


I will pimp their Soundcloud page because it is just something you must hear.


Elena, from America, who just came and found herself a gig.


Melinya, sound engineer, on guitar!


She brought her friends from America!


Then came the skillful Raja Farouque Band!


Christian Theseira on vocals.


Zaim Zaidee on bass.


Ashwin Gobinath on drums.


I… don’t know her.

(Edit: It’s Lor Phaik Sim!)


Raja Farouque Band shredded, but for the second song Will Smith – Black Suits Coming (Nod Your Head) was covered, with guitar solos.


An Honest Mistake.


They were the first featured act of the night.


Ashley was now a big drum player!


The ever flourescent-haired Darren.


Ashley in front of the neon lights.


Why yes, that is not Leonard on guitar, or Tomas on bass. As it turns out, Leonard can’t play acoustic guitar, so Tomas has to take over, and they get another bassist to fill in.


Their agenda: Modern day pop punk.


Once Upon A Time There Was A Sausage Named Bob, second featured act of the night.


They would later shorten their name to Bob The Sausage.


I imagine Esty’s expression to be like that whenever she posts stuff on Facebook.


Jon Liddell.


Fook! A surprise.


Daniel Khairi?


Jeslin.


Leo did a clean, acoustic guitar-only version of The Carpenters – Close To You.


Nicky & Amy. They later swapped tasks (guitar or vocals) with an awesome Flight Of The Conchords – Most Beautiful Girl cover, complete with the dance!


Basil Foo rapped while playing guitar to Puff Daddy feat. Faith Evans – I’ll Be Missing You.


Stacy.


William is old-school, with The Ramones – My Brain Is Hanging Upside-Down and The White Stripes – I Think We’re Going To Be Friends.

Platform11 – Screaming From Petaling Street to Kenting


21st March 2014: Platform11 – Screaming From Petaling Street to Kenting, at Petaling Street Art House, Jalan Sultan.


But first, a secret performance, starting from the little lane where the famous Chinese roadside barber is, at Jalan Sultan (often mistakenly stated to be the Petaling Street barber…)


The little stairway that leads to Petaling Street Art House, and Coffee Amo, a coffee joint attached to its back (with the most awesome 3D latte art ever.)


This is what my friend got (a #latergram, as they’d call this on Instagram.)


My little piggie.

I think you’d have to ask for it specifically now, since I went there while waiting for the gig to start, and I didn’t get 3D foam art. Sure, it adds nothing to the coffee snob’s palate, but I am not a coffee snob and I just enjoy hipster-y things like 3D foam art.


Stamped on entry.


The treasures of Petaling Street! (Of course, on Jalan Sultan…)


The last property in the path from the Pasar Seni MRT to Merdeka MRT, passing Jalan Sultan, to be claimed by the MRT project, was Lok Ann Hotel. They fought a good fight, with lawyers and all, until they were the last one to sign. The government wanted to pay a pittance for a beautiful 5-storey backpacker’s hotel and classic coffee shop!

The irony is that a 118-storey tower, called Menara Warisan (Heritage Tower), was to be built over a heritage landmark (the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park/Merdeka Park) that was demolished. Heritage is about keeping what you have intact, not about destroying and building new shiny things and calling it heritage!


This was before the full crowd came in.


Keith Tan, on vocals and guitar.


Fung Chern Hwei, on violin.


Anna Chong, mostly on vocals, but here depicted with a guitar.


Ken Chung on bass.


Drum and bass, chilling out.


Platform 11 plays soul-searching, atmospheric, engulfing rock.


Anna doing a Kurt Cobain.


An old Rediffusion radio speaker.


More ornaments. I can’t read Chinese.


I was waiting for Ken Chung to bring out his fretless bass! This was an old Squier fretless bass, made in Japan.


Gideon and his effects. He’d also use an eBow and a metal slide for interesting sounds!


We called for an encore after the show ended, and the organizer ran up to Keith and took his hat away.


The organizer then adorned Keith with this!


Want some more? Donate!


This was epic.


It was floppy!


Yeah, you could stretch it.


Some more? Anna smiles.


They decided to join the audience sitting on the floor.

Laundry X An Honest Mistake Records Present: The Rock Show (March Edition)


13th March 2014: Laundry X An Honest Mistake Records Present: The Rock Show (March Edition)! Yup, the door near the sound console and shutters outside the bar were closed to keep the haze out, only to open later.


Darren Teh, emcee and organizer.


Lost Symphony!


Metal…


…battle!


Symphonic sound with keyboard.


Fellow photographer looking like a character out of Dragon Ball.


Carthreena is post-hardcore.


Missing guitar pickups and tone/volume knobs for that pickup, I assume!


Nick Davis.


Andrew on his ornate bass.


Michael Lerner on guitar.


Apologies for the blurricam, Danny, but this way it shows the rocking out.


Caravel.


The earlier bands were heavy…


…but these guys took it down a funkier, loungier route.


A struggle I often have is correcting white balance between green and magenta. In cases like this I just put it halfway, so there is a near equal amount of perceived green and magenta.