8th April 2016: Jazzy Friday at Laundry (April 2016), with Melissa SaSa & Friends and Joey Tong, at Laundry Bar, The Curve! Here’s the effervescent Joey Tong. There is both the pop star Joey with a band, and a version with just a guitar.
I had no idea whether Jazzy Friday was outside or inside Laundry – usually for outside I’d bring just the 50mm, but I took a chance with the 135mm.
She was joined by a guitarist.
I like the lighting outside more – far more dramatic light.
I like her voice. It’s not gimmicky nor does it have a particular tone which is nice at first, but dominates in all songs until it wears on you.
I also like Melissa SaSa’s voice – not gimmicky either, and versatile.
This time, Melissa SaSa & Friends had more friends. That’s Laura on bass and keyboard.
I wonder if drummers secretly tune in to ticking watches to keep time.
Joelle on keys.
Wei Ming’s fretboard is shiny!
That iPad holder is cool – no need for a separate music stand!
17th March 2016: Open Mic at Timbre at The Row. It’s been many years since I’ve seen underground music (if we can call open mikes that) on Jalan Doraisamy, known to the yuppies as Asian Heritage Row. The Row is the latest redevelopment. To be exact, just about 11.5 years ago, I was there for the KLue 4th Anniversary. For scale, the KLue 1st Anniversary was also the very first Urbanscapes. I’ve been for every single Urbanscapes there is and have yet to break that combo!
First up, the rhythmically blue Reening Lau!
Kim Lim does her usual fingerstyle…
…and then surprised us (or at least me) with a song she’d sing!
Wong Aaron lifts, bro.
The F.O.I. fills up the stage.
Mystery Tapes, with Shaneil Devaser on bass (who is also the host and emcee for the event.)
Glowing drumsticks! I ordered non-glowing drumsticks through Timbre’s menu, which you’d access through an iPad. Cool stuff!
Later that night, Nick Yungkit would play, separate from the open mike.
They were all dressed in black.
Nick has this solid 80s R&B voice that hits the spot in so many of the inflections used in the genre. (Some other R&B singers would hit one or two inflections more, but he hits a lot more.) He also did a lot of Michael Jackson covers, with particular attention to all his vocal style, yet not being an exact carbon copy.
3rd March 2016: Unplugged Vol. 6 at Laundry Bar, The Curve! Here’s emcee and host Darren Teh.
First up: Jon Liddell! Apparently he played drums in a band that used to open for Dragon Red. Strangely I never got to see them!
Hameer Zawawi. Trying out something new, by accident.
Dragon Red. Bossman Landslyde.
Screamer and singer Adam Lobo.
Brandon does many things. This time around, he drums.
Camero. I still take time to recognize him with his new hairstyle.
“Professor” Amil has looked pretty much the same. We didn’t get to hear him rap, though.
Shot with the Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA.
Here’s their tribute to the late Scott Weiland, an acoustic version of Stone Temple Pilots – Plush, with a groove.
Replacing The Last One Awake was Annatasha.
Wei-Ming on guitar.
Isaac also on guitar.
I quite like how the backlight turned out.
Interestingly, Annatasha performed with Estranged a month later, which was a big deal to her when she was 14. This makes me feel old, given that the very first gig I went to was at the original No Black Tie (No. 27, Jalan Mesui, where Rainforest Bed And Breakfast is now) and I first saw Estranged there. I was very impressed by the bassist, who was then slapping and popping on Chocolate Syrup. I went up to him after the gig and praised his dancy bass playing. That bassist was the late Alda Tan, and he played guitar in a band with Adam back in secondary school. I became a fan and came for about almost every Estranged show I could, learning of other underground bands while catching them perform at Paul’s Place, Jam Asia, and Laundry Bar, among others.
Adam would sometimes join Richael, Estranged’s vocalist, to scream along on Velocity. Alda later left Estranged to play bass for Dragon Red, reuniting with his schoolmate. Richael then joined Akademi Fantasia and became known as Rich AF (teehee) and the band exploded into the Malay mainstream with Itu Kamu. It makes me sad though that I don’t see their other songs get covered, as if they were a one-hit wonder. It also makes me wonder how I’ve not seen other underground bands really hit the mainstream the way they did – and yet, I still can’t put them in my mainstream bucket, due to my underground memories of them. Then again, does a band have to put itself (or be put) in a bucket? They did, after all, start in a music college, ICOM, and none of them are unapproachable rock stars. Heck, Landslyde and his brother C. Loco are friendly dudes despite formerly being part of the massive Poetic Ammo.