5th July 2014: Alter:Fest, at Merdekarya! I didn’t catch the name of this band, who played during the open mic session.

Brendan James de Cruz, with a raspy rock voice.


Jes Ebrahim, a familiar face.


Christian Palencia, organizer, introduces the emcee…

Amanda! Cute, funny and full of corny jokes.

Guess whose do-it-yourself contraption this belongs to!

Ray Cheong, fingerstyle funk soul rock and roll star.

While waiting for the next band to set up, Amanda took the oppurtunity to pimp the pre-loved stalls set up downstairs, by showing off the deals she got.

The guys from Six Strings, a guitar store.

Interestingly, the Timoz-branded cajon that the Yao-Ming-faced guitarist is sitting on, is made in Kluang, Johor – it’s a Malaysian brand. I don’t remember exactly, but it was mentioned that they hire ex-offenders as well, a good way to reintegrate them into society.

I was feeling really tired and was about to leave when Tasha got on stage, so I stayed to see this familiar face.

Eness, too. I’d seen both of them when I was taking pictures and recording videos for Ministry Of Blunk when they were recording an EP, as they laid down vocal harmonies on the tracks.

Together, they form Tashnes! Awesome vocal harmony like none I’d heard before, with tight acoustic guitar. It was like Destiny’s Child on guitar, with fingerstyle guitar slapping, even! (Slapping guitar for Ne-Yo – One In A Million, wow!)

They’re tight in real life too, having been best friends since childhood. I love their on-stage chemistry! I stayed for their whole set.

Here they are, covering Little Mix – Wings.

Sara G., to great acclaim from the audience.

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