Rain For Us

Time to rewind, to the 13th of July 2008, in sunny Kuching…

…taking the bus down to Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong…

…for the Rainforest World Music Festival 2008!

This is the biggest music fest we get down in South East Asia. So I finally got to see what the big hooha was about on this 11th year running. Big props to Waifon for getting the plane tickets (and other unmentionable, or perhaps too many to be remembered) settled!

First act – Kan’id from Sarawak. Holy shit that’s Emir of Throne Away, shredding away! I never knew!

I didn’t notice it was him until I bumped into him at the beach the next day.

Emir: Hey man, did you get any pictures of me performing?
Me: Uh, when?
Emir: We were the first band.
Me: Uhhh… no? I don’t remember seeing you.

Later I went through the pictures and realized it was him up there!

Sape kata tak boleh rock?

Hiroshi Motofuji in a quieter session in one of the big houses.

We plonked ourselves in the longhouses listening to world music.

New Rope String Quartet, a visceral music/comedy act.

Baby’s got a glow stick!

It gets hot in here sometimes.

Oikyataan from India.

Ross Daly Quartet from Greece.

They alternated between two stages – the big one and small one, plus more small performances in the different houses.

Kasai Masai tore the house down (well, not literally…)

Sheldon Blackman & The Love Circle from Trinidad and Tobago.

Probably due to my metal inclinations and short attention span for percussion-based music, world music really does not speak to me. (Of course, it might’ve helped if tuak, a popular local alcoholic drink, was more easily available in the venue as I heard it was in previous years…) So, Beltaine from Poland, with their Celtic progressive sounds, really wiped my feet. (Ironically, feet-wiping was what everybody needed in the crazy mudfest that was the venue.)

Honestly though, would I pay how much I did to go to another Rainforest World Music Festival? Not really… I could get a similiar eclectic feeling out of hearing international bands at the good ol’ Sunrise Mont Kiara Jazz Fest. Plus we wouldn’t all have to huddle and queue for hours for a bus to take us out on the only route out of the Sarawak Cultural Village to Kuching town. With the Sunrise Mont Kiara Jazz Fest I could just cross the road and head to Burger King or the various mamaks in Desa Sri Hartamas!

Of course, the experience of sunny Kuching and the Sarawak Cultural Village is another thing altogether. And that’s a story for another blog entry!

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