Visiting Paul’s

Rewind back to the 1st of March 2009, when I visited Havoq Music Studio.

But first, you gotta go up some stairs…

…past a metal grille door…

…and find, that it is closed.

But aha, there is music upstairs! Obviously, I was not there for Havoq.

Gigger’s Place gets pimped up. I used to call this The New Paul’s Place… and this is one of the earlier places where I used to catch a lot of gigs in 2005, before the New Year Eve’s brouhaha.

Same old red lights.

Same old arm hazard sound console.

Same old smoker’s room (at least they cultivated the habit of making the performance area smoke-free.)

Same old graffiti. The wall that used to hold gig posters seems to hold no more gig posters, which was a weird change.

Same old toilet.

Or worse. I don’t know. We tried not to remember.

Perhaps that was meant to be hand soap?

Same old windows.

Same old skylight.

The noise starts!

It looks like the guy below is being crashed into – not exactly. He was bending down and allowing his friend to use him as a step to flying into the moshpit!

(Kinda like crouching in Counter-Strike and giving your teammate a boost, if you remember that.)

The scene changed a while back – since the raid, the gentler music moved out to safer havens like Jamasia (2005-2008) and then Laundry Bar (2006-now). Here, you kept true, you kept to the core values of hardcore, punk and metal.

I witnessed a new dance move, for spacious moshpits…

I call it the double windmill. The upper body swings back and forth, and so do the legs, just not in synchronization.

Quite fun and funny to watch, really!

This place was featured in KAMI: The Movie, if you remember. I guess it’s different photographing this place with a emphasis on showing how it still looks like the least comfortable music venue as you remember it a few years back, instead of making it look glamorous and safe for kids.

Oh yes, and true to its underground-ness (ironic, when it’s on the rooftop of a shophouse) every bloody band tunes their guitar on stage. The kids sit there with their guitars just waiting for their turn to play. For goodness sake, tune your guitars before going on stage! There is so much time to do so.

That 13-bands-from-afternoon-to-night scene is one I am glad I don’t follow anymore. 13 bands all tuning up on stage (ironically, not playing in tune or time) and the old sound system. It is a wonder, and a great accomplishment, when I see good bands go up on that creaky wooden stage, and they have already tuned their instruments and found the balance between drums and guitar and bass and vocals. They just sound a lot better, despite the sound system.

About every good local band of underground or independent persuasion, has graced the Paul’s Place stage if they ever performed in 2005. (And I have picture proof!) I remember them all sounding good.

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