Monthly Archives: December 2013


Something’s wrong with my blog and I’m trying to debug it with my hosting company. I’ve lost the latest 5 blog posts, but I have backups. I’ll only restore them when I’m sure the system is properly setup, though! Apologies again if you come from a link and find it missing – I’ll repost the updated links to where I posted them before.

ICOM For Bee Gees!

18th October 2012: ICOM Celebration Series Tribute to Bee Gees, at HGH Convention Centre, Jalan Sentul. Here’s Daniel Yoong, whose dad I met first through RakanKL. Sign of the times, eh.

Syazwin Saprudin joins.

They all took turns singing classics from the Gibb brothers. Here on vocals are siblings, too – Caleb Savari and Caitlynn Savari.

Faviq Dellanie Awangku pulls off Our Love (Don’t Throw It All Away). The reason why I can quote names with such accuracy is because I just found the program booklet (also, you might have noticed I blogged this later than the later October 2012 gigs – only because I wanted to find the booklet and get the details right.)

The backing band for Set 1.

All shots with the Sony Alpha 77, Samyang 35mm F1.4 UMC and Opteka 85mm F1.4. I also shot JPG instead of cRAW, since I was running out of space and forgot to clear it beforehand. Hence the color cast is not strongly corrected, or it would lead to gritty shadows and harsh color graduations.

I don’t know what HGH is about, but it’s a pretty new place, in a gentrified part of Jalan Sentul.

The second set began.

There are many Bee Gees songs that make me want a keyboard synthesizer – Jive Talkin’ for example. Tablet keyboard apps don’t feel the same!

Now, if only I could read sheet music…

Left to right: Niki Salamat, Syazmin Saprudin, and Caitlynn Savari, doing Heartbreaker/Guilty/Chain Reaction.

And here’s the guy I came to see, and how I knew of this show – the very funky Herman Ramanado! He grew up on the good ol’ stuff with his brothers and now he’s doing a tribute!

Islands In The Stream, by Caleb and Caitlynn, with spot on vocals and nuances.

Darryl Diengdoh from India, is another standout.

Another Herman shot.

I wish I knew of this series earlier – apparently, they did tributes to The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Queen!

On a side note, it is ironic that the Gibb brothers, including Andy Gibb who wasn’t part of the Bee Gees but had some disco hits, would pass away, youngest first, leaving only the oldest, Barry Gibb. (Although Maurice and Robin are twins, Maurice was born 35 minutes later.)

Open Mic @ The Venue #2

Open Mic @ The Venue #2 – Hosted by Az Samad, 29th October 2012. Here’s Az Samad, emcee and organizer.

Here’s Khairil M. Bahar, one of the featured acts of the night, with a very, very cool T-shirt.

Here’s Kiss Kill Mary, with disco funk rock. So this is Jenn!

Sani, also from her other band, with hair quite like my old hair. I quite miss it.

Alloy, the beatboxer.

Liyana Fizi, featured act!

Guitarist Izaad Amir.

Normally I’d shoot stage performances like this with the Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA, but occasionally I switch it up to a Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2.0 ZA SSM for a wider perspective. Plus the lights were pretty!

Liyana is always cute as a button, down to her cough.

The very hardworking Yin, who does PR, photography and videography.

Tasha is backed by Alloy.

Serious Shaneil Devaser is serious.

Angie, singer-songwriter.

Markiza, of Peter And Markiza Brown.

Peter, the backbone of the singer-songwriter scene, who started one of the early singer-songwriter rounds that got many others starting their own.

As all musicians, theirs is a weathered tale.

It does not stop them from singing songs about the environment – ironically you’d have called them activist-y then, but it’s now accepted as a song subject.

The Venue with all its great lighting, great sound, great sound engineers and great contribution to the scene, unfortunately no longer exists, replaced by another bar.

Az is proud to present the next performer…

Khairil M. Bahar! Here he is doing a stand-up comedy routine, instead of rocking out. Even when he does rock out, his band is full of entertainment value!

Another alternative is Nicol, reading spoken word poetry instead.

The venerable Rafique Rashid, with the cleverest of lyrics over familiar songs, did not sing this time. I didn’t take any other pictures of Rafique because I was busy recording video instead on my Sony Alpha 99. I could’ve brought my Sony Alpha 900 to take pictures while the A99 shot video, but I wanted to travel lighter.

He got Alex to sing his songs, like Schizophrenia and Death Of A Urban Middle-class Post-adolescent Indian Relationship.

Reza Salleh, who also runs an open mic.

The old-school boys of Jumero!

Also, for a change, featuring Natallie Ng…

…and talented keyboardist Melvin Goh.

The Morkuthi Sisters, with Naveen and Matt Chor behind. They did covers of Leonard Cohen – Hallehujah and John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John – Summer Nights.

Dean Shaari.

Michael Chen, filmmaker by day, hidden rock star by night.

Izram Harris.

The night ended with rockers pieremiddle.

I’ve always liked them Gibson SG guitars.

Sometimes vocalists get in front of the camera for added stage presence.

Nu Culture at Tom Dick & Harry’s!

Nu Culture, down at Tom Dick & Harry’s Live @ Pavilion, on the 25th of October 2012.

They comprise of some familiar faces to me – like Chad Smith Jared of The Ramanados.

They did covers, keeping the funky groove of Michael Jackson – Rock With You

…and the white soul of Bee Gees, with both Love You Inside Out and a jazzified Staying Alive.

However, they were soon joined by a familiar face – Herman Ramanado!

Gregory Ramanado, infectious as ever, introduces his brother on stage.

The audience clamors for more.

Herman’s buddies from International College Of Music also join him on stage…

…for a virtuoso performance. I think. I don’t remember. It is the expected norm of ICOM students to be elite masters of music.

All shots with the Sony Alpha 99 and Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA.

This would be the first gig I’d shoot in a consistently low-light, low contrast situation (except when there was backlight.)

A friend of theirs also came up to sing.

Here’s ISO6400 on the A99, with a bit of exposure boost. The look is due to low-contrast lighting.

In contrast (heh) this is what a spotlit scene looks like.

I also brought the Samyang 35mm F1.4 UMC along (it was to be sent to repair by Chia Hau) for one last spin. Gotta love the lens for capturing the atmosphere.

This same lens took this picture, that I used for my Facebook profile for quite a while. (I accidentally wiped my original RAW setting for this, so this is a reprocessed image.) Thanks to Chia Hau for this shot!

Feedback Open Mic, 1023

23rd October 2012: Feedback Open Mic, at The Bee, Publika! Here’s electro dance rock Kiss Kill Mary.

The drummer’s expression is priceless.

Heil Mary!

I didn’t catch this band’s name…

…though it had my ex-colleague from Xfresh, Naz.

I think this was Wondering Hollies.

Shaneil Devaser, with awesome hair.

Hameer’s shirt is awesome too.

Remy J, with the new wave of acoustic sensibility.

Jon Liddell.

Reza Salleh, organizer and emcee.

Didn’t catch his name but I think it was Khas.

Gregory Ramanado chillin’ out.

Featured act, Car Park! (I didn’t get shots of the other featured act, Sphere.)

They play indulgent rock kapak (glam rock).

Some of the band members also double for Diandra Arjunaidi.

Madam Mohsin, I think.

All shots with the Sony Alpha 99 and Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA.

Sunburst? He laid down a bluesy jam.

Najwa did a cover of Dionne Warwick – Walk On By.

Masha’s Berg.

Jocelyn Wong, looking quite different.

Meanwhile, outside, Greg doing the usual lady-serenadin’.

He is always full of energy and insanely fun to watch!

Later on in the car park (not the band.)

Moonshine, October 2012

11th October 2012: Moonshine: A Homemade Music Show, over at Laundry Bar, The Curve. Here’s Remy J!

Backing him on percussion, Moe Joe.

He also brought his friend on stage, Jon Liddell.

All shots with the Sony Alpha 900, Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA and Opteka 85mm F1.4.

5-string Godin bass. Remy J used to bring his Godin up, looking exactly like this.

Reza Salleh, emcee and organizer, introduces the next band…


Like the name suggests, it is light and yet catchy singalong uh… matured pop.

The hot pickup on this makes this guitar look so good.

The sound engineer’s desk at its old location.

Melina William, talented multi-instrumentalist.

Sharon watches on.

Michelle, on keys and vocals.

Brainhead, Malay-language alternative rock.

This is a focus-stacked shot – combined from two shots with either one of them in focus.

It would seem that every bassist that played that night brought a 5-string bass.

Zalila looking badass as usual.

Jessica and her pizza.

Brainhead rocking out.

Springy cables never go out of fashion.

Bassment Syndicate, ever funky jazzy neo-soul outfit!

qSound on Trombone.

This guy got soul!

Hiran on super synthesized keys.

Omar on drums.

TroPPel Posting

6th October 2012 brought me to DoPPeL Kafe, at the Central Market Annexe. The stage was particularly dolled up.

All shots from this event were from the Sony Alpha 77, Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG, Opteka 85mm F1.4, Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2.0 ZA SSM and Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA.

This was the first time I’d be here in the day – what a different look compared to at night!

Beatlemania, with Az Samad and friends! Here is Cheryl Tan on vocals.

Yin on camera.

Az’s parents in the audience.

Az’s PR manager, Yin, also handles videos and photos!

Kevin Theseira on bass.

Fast forward to 20th October 2012, for Guitar + Spoken Word + Uke, with Az Samad and Davina Goh!

All shots from this event were taken with the same lenses as the earlier, but with the Sony Alpha 900 instead.

Little did I know, this would be the last time I’d step foot into DoPPeL Kafe in its current location – not that there is a new one, yet. 🙁

This place was once the famous Liquid nightclub, then the retro Oh Malaya Cafe (2010), then DoPPeL Kafe (2012).

Jacky Lau, from Hong Kong. (Thanks Az and Yin for the updates!)

He had a very cool foot stool that helped with his fingerstyle guitar work.

Az Samad on ukulele!

In scale to his guitar… well, kind of.

Can anybody tell me what’s next?

Davina The Entertainer!

She insists Az gets in the mood for some hip hop.

There’s also a kazoo.

I brought my Asus Padfone keyboard dock at that time so I was able to make a collage on-the-fly with shots from my Sony Alpha 77, by copying these pictures from the SD card. This then went on Instagram.

I also bumped into Sasha, who had these awesome John Lennon/Ozzy Osbourne shades.

Me too!

Davina, perpetual hippie, and spoken word artiste of the afternoon.

I’ll now make a conveniently big jump to 19th December 2012 – The Malaysian Music Project with Az Samad & Cheryl Tan at The Venue, Pavilion. I normally follow sequential order, but this time I’m grouping similiar events or people together to reduce repeated tagging. (Also, if I was to group sequential events, there would be too many pictures in the event that was supposed to follow.)

All shots from this event were from the Sony Alpha 99, Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2.0 ZA SSM and Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA – debuting the A99 for my gig pictures, really!

Cheryl Tan makes her take on Malaysian classics like Manbai – Kau Ilhamku.

Az on guitar.

One of two baju kebayas Cheryl wore, I think.

Or are they baju kebahayas?

Bumped into Sasha again. Here’s that picture I took of you and friends that I apparently eventually somehow get, to you!


Feedback Open Mic 925

Feedback Open Mic, at The Bee, Publika, 25th September 2012. Here’s the amazing satirist/writer Brian Gomez!

Kevin Theseira, emcee and the guy you’d run to, to sign up, for the night.

Devon Chew doing some modern day pop covers.

Shaneil Devaser has an awesome 90’s rock sound.

First featured act, Pitahati, with an awesome Pink Floyd-ish sound, befitting since I saw them at a Pink Floyd tribute gig.

Masha’s Berg.

Second featured act, Mordo Blasters. Yes, that looks a whole lot like Darren Ashley’s band once Darren Ashley fills in for Joe Loy in bass!


They do post hard-core.

Didn’t catch the name of this band.

All shots with the Sony Alpha 77 and Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA.

not sure if these guys are Bonesters.

The ever funky folksy Otam. He called on fellow musicians to come up and jam!

Darren Ashley came on.

So did Kevin.

His cousin and friend came on to spit some sick lines.

Hui Yen, who did a cover of Adele – Someone Like You.

OMG live!

23rd September 2012: OMG live at The Actors Studio, a Malaysian Youtuber event supported by We Are Malaysian Made. This is Michael Chen from WAMM.

While waiting for the doors to be open one could buy merchandise…

…or watch a random impromptu yo-yo player.

Ming Han (left) and Joseph Germani emceed.

There was also Once Upon A Time There Was A Sausage Named Bob, singing the song to the music video playing in the background.

Dudes behind cameras.

A girl rushes on stage, in a reenactment of a popular video…

…revealed then to be Marianne!

(Also a reenactment.)

The stage is being set up for the next band.

Here’s Charis Ow!

The band is Skyward.

Dan Khoo pops on stage with fresh hair. Quite cool that you remember me from camera forums!

A random girl is called on stage for a game, I think.

And Talitha Tan proceeds to go full Derpina.

I didn’t catch their names, sadly.

Rizki and Jared of The GRIM FILM. I liked how among the current batch of Youtubers, these guys were probably the first to make videos about serious issues.

I really don’t remember what was going on here, but I think Talitha was asked to sing.

More people behind the scenes.

Swag to be given away!

Swag winner walks away with swag.

Swag is all in Shawn Lee’s mouth. He makes multiple layers of beatboxing sounds!

Jinnyboy, as he is now known, is a superstar. We’re both finding it funny how people swarmed for his autographs after that.

Reuben WJ Kang, the other half of Jinnyboy, who I knew initially through theater. Ironic that we’d meet at The Actors Studio, but without him going into a monologue.

Darren Ashley doing layers of vocal awesomeness with one Kaoss pad being a loop pedal and the other morphing his voice. He’s always a different act to catch, depending on what equipment he brings. Danny New plays violin in the background.

So yes, at the end, the crowd swarmed for autographs. Why wear sunglasses indoors, when you can wear a motorcycle helmet like Sam Insanity did?

Darren here’s a picture!

Charis and I.

Sam sans helmet and I.

All shots with the Sony Alpha 77 and Minolta 24-50mm F4.0 or Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA.