Took off from Tojeng’s place roughly at 8pm after a brief jam session. Still unsure of the location besides the map provided by Zaidi Othman, I rang Pipi to get some directions. After rounding the area for 3 times, we managed to arrive right on schedule. It’s kinda tricky to get there since the lamp post near the turn was out due to road construction hence the reason of missing that one right turn.
When we arrived, there are already many people there. We were greeted by the man, Sinaganaga and few others who are in charge of the show including the MC, Mat Jan. Lest I forget, Pipi was not present since he had to go back to his hometown for some urgent matters. Let’s hope it’s not about durian eating fest. Hehehe.
After a brief discussion on the itinerary of the show with Mat Jan, we prepared our instruments and headed straight to the floor, as we will be the first performer for the night. It was a great place for an acoustic set, accompanied by an excellent PA system and sufficient microphones plus guitar pick-ups. And yes, great lighting too. All these made me a little nervous when one is not used to be right under the spotlight. Hehehe.
As agreed, we played 3 songs for the first set and another 3 later after the interval. Songs played during the first set were – Sweet Lullaby, This One’s Forever and Take The Skinheads Bowling (cover from Camper Van Beethoven). A little shaky during Sweet Lullaby and skipped the 3rd verse of Take The Skinheads Bowling cuz I just couldn’t remember the lyrics. Luckily, the crowd enjoyed it and looking forward for the next set. Phew!
The show continues with performances by: (might not be in correct order)
1) Ajami & Reez – With their rendition of mtv unplugged. Poem read by Ajami, accompanied by an acoustic guitar by Reez. It was a heartfelt declamation by Ajami. Right after that, Reez played his original before they ended their set.
2) Azree Ariffin – Sharing his winning ‘pantun’ (published in Mingguan Malaysia) and ‘syair’ with the audience. Sweet and simple!
3) Alfie & Jonos – Reading poem in duet. First time I encountered such disposition. But the result was hilarious. This is due to the content and the dead pan performances by the two. The second poem has the longest title ever. (Can anybody tell me what’s the title again?) Kudos to Azam Supardi for the poems and Alfie & Jonos for the executions.
4) Dewangga Sakti – Played 3 songs during the first set and I think one of them was – an unrecorded material (forgot the title), followed by Belayar ke Pulau Jauh and a song from the famous black and white movie – Bawang Putih, Bawang Merah. Their performance was really engaging and I’m so impressed with their vision in making their own brand of music with all these traditional instruments.
5) Interval for some refreshments. Food such as fried ‘mee-hoon’, curry puffs and some other kuih were served. But the samosa is totally wicked! I had two. Sorry…hehehe.
6) Republic Theater – I don’t think that they’re influenced by the Republic Of Brickfields or Dream Theater in anyway. This group that consists of 2 actresses and 1 songstress, were accompanied by the soundman on acoustic guitar. Message conveyed here about the conflicts of 2 individuals, one working in an environment which contradicted with her culture and belief. Mostly, felt out of place and her struggles to be true to herself. Another one with a dilemma of ‘family of doctors’. All she wanted is to follow her own direction and becoming a traditional dancer rather than a medical practitioner although she is certified to be one. During these 2 acts, the singer presented 2 songs and I can only recall the last one which was ‘Imagine’, a cover from John Lennon. Sweet.
7) ART – Female blogger wearing a hat. I just repeating what’s written on the flyer. She’s reading some writings from her blog site. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
8) Salman Sulaiman – Reading a passage of An-Nuh from the Holy Quran. A powerful declamation rendered.
9) DEP – Our second set. Less shaky. Another 3 songs. Started off with Soldered by Pain, Noir and ended our set with a cover from Motorpsycho, ‘Waiting For The One’. My guitar plucking on Noir was horrible. Urrgh!
10) Dewangga Sakti – Their second set as expected to be as energetic as the first if not better. They played 4 songs with mixtures of some instrumentals. I joined them on guitar for Rasa Sayang song but my chordings were all over the place. Fortunately, the guitar was unplugged. If it did, then it will definitely be an experimental song. Dig?
Dewangga Sakti ended their set on a high note. They brought the house down on our behalf..hehehe. A group that has established more that 8 years and been playing in countries like Japan and China (to name a few), was no doubt, a reflection of fine individuals who played their instruments with passion and strive to breathe new air of artistry. If you see their photo and you only have Ghazal in mind, kindly erase that as they have more than what Ghazal could offer…
From my honest point of view, the show was very well organised. Everything went smoothly and I trust that everybody had at least received a piece of entertainment that they expected. I’m actually very alien to this medium but it did opened my eyes that all genres of art need each other and such diversity will definitely give some impact for any show.
Our appreciation goes to Sindiket Soljah, Rumah Pena & co-sponsors (on the flyer), the artists/performers, the attendees, people who bought our stuff and of course, Pipi for extending the invitation. Looking forward for our next show there. Till we meet again…
1) Bem (drummer) cannot be with us - busy with some shootings.
2) Panther (bassist) cannot be with us due to limited annual leaves.
3) Some names are not hyperlinked due to my laziness.
4) The samosa again, is truly wicked. Where to get them? Please share...