Thursday, 23 April 2009

Whatcha gonna do when they come for you!?

Is it just me, or has the blogging world gone mad?

My beef is simple. If it's your blog, write what you wish and stand by it. The blogsphere can decide for themselves whether they want to read your crap or not. If they like it, keep going. If they don't like it, still keep going!

But, it's just sad when it gets ugly. There are bigger fish to fry I would've thought.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

A Month of Gigs - Part 2

So having gotten through the first half of my month of gigs feeling like a rockstar for having had such a wonderful time, even though I was broke as a beggar, It was time to face the music, literally, with Naturally 7, Coldplay and Oasis yet to go.

Naturally 7 - 22 march - Esplanade Concert Hall

So I must admit, I have never heard of this band ever before. But I got a couple of free tickets thanks to a TV promo, so I thought what the hell. Naturally 7 were in Singapore, as were Battles, as part of the Mosaic Music Festival, which also featured N.E.R.D (Pharrel Williams ring a bell? the Song Lapdance? :D) and a host of other new and upcoming, or on-the-way-out Artistes. I think Naturally 7 most definitely belonged to the former category.

The only thing I did know about these guys before the gig was that they were an acapella group. So my expectations weren't high. Which is probably why I was astounded by the sheer brilliance I witnessed that night!

What I did get to know is that Naturally 7 are a band that aren't acapella. Self proclaimed, they are of a "vocal play" genre. See acapella is when you use many voices and only voices to make melodies and harmonies using words, lyrics. Vocal play is when you use human voices to create life like instruments, such as a full drum kit, an electric guitar, piano, harmonica, trumpets, saxaphones, BASS GUITARS (yes, that low!), etc. My mouth was literally wide open right throughout their performance and all I could say at the end of each song was WOW. You need to see it to believe it, so check this out:

Well, if you do get a chance to see em, don't hesitate. That's all I have to say. One of the most entertaining bands I've ever seen!

Coldplay - 23 March - Singapore Indoor Stadium

Wow. I'm sorry RD, but I have to say, to see these guys live was a dream come true.

Coldplay played to a sold out arena of 12,000 people. For me, this has been the gig of the year so far. The energy that the band brought out was electrifying. To actually see hits that you have loved for so long to be played for you was magical.

Watching the coldplay show was a little like watching a theatre performance. Set changes, back drops, props (such as massive yellow balloons falling on the crowd all over the stadium during "Yellow"), lights, arty video, and a lead actor in the form of Chris Martin: makes for thunderous applause each and every time.

Coldplay played a total of 24 songs in 3 sets during the performance that lasted a little under 2 hours. Their second set was a beautiful acoustic set, which they managed to play while standing amongst the crowds in the balcony, which was a surprise! They even managed to get the crowd doing a mexican wave with their mobile phones which was great. This gig was definitely goosebump worthy, and I certainly had my fair share of em. And you know what RD? This gig was a lot of fun!!!

Oasis - 5 April - Singapore Indoor Stadium

Oasis were really an out and out rock gig. It was not fun, it was fucking awesome. It didn't involve any theatrics. It was pure in your face rock and roll, complete with the attitude and arrogance Liam and Noel Gallagher are known for.

Having managed to get free-standing tickets, we went 2 hours early and joined the queues. When the doors opened we ran inside so we were about 10 metres from the legends themselves, squashed inbetween a bunch of kids who were probably not even around when Definitely Maybe came out in 1994.

When Oasis came on, the crowd went wild and we went flying forward, pushed from behind. Now this was a rock band, featuring Chris Sharrock on drums (thanks for the heads up RD, he was super!) and a Gandolph look alike on the keyboards.

What made it super was that they played all their old hits, including an acoustic version of don't look back in anger. It was great to join in with the crowd to drown out the band during some of their biggest hits. However, I was disappointed that they didn't play "don't go away", however, had they played that, I might've cried!

2 hours later, dripping with sweat, I had ticked off yet another band off my "To See" list. With much glee might I add.

So now it's back to the old routine, but obviously with cheap lunches and dinners in order to save cash to pay off credit card bills for all these gigs. Oh, but maybe after Vertical Horizon on the 2nd of May :D

A Month of Gigs

This is going to be a long one. Deservedly so methinks, albeit overdue.

To be philosophical for a moment, so many people have told me that we should save for the future. Then some others have told me to live for the moment cause you might not live to see the future. I prefer the latter line of thought.

So in that light, 5th March began a splurge like never before. For one month only, only for the sake of a good time like no other, without regret of course.

5th March - Jason Mraz - Singapore Indoor Stadium

I saw Mraz for the 1st time at Singfest last year, where he was playing alongside the likes of the Pussycat Dolls, Alicia Keys, One Republic, Panic at the Disco, Travis, etc etc, and he really did bring down the proverbial house. He was energetic and infectious and oh so damn good. So when I saw he was returning to Singapore for the 2nd time in 6 months, I rushed to get tickets. Thankfully I got em, coz 10,000 tickets sold out within a day!

There were 4 of us so after a quick rendezvous at Starbucks, we headed out for the gig. To be honest, I thought Mraz was better at Singfest, but don't get me wrong, he was still brilliant. Maybe it was coz at Singfest the crowd was already pumped by the music before him (One Republic). Maybe coz this time around I was tired, the gig being straight after work. Maybe coz the sound and lighting this time around were not fab. But it was a super gig anyway. He just knows how to work the crowd, and is superbly entertaining. And that is before he even sings.

12-14 March - Royal-Thomian - SSC, Colombo

Royal were having their best cricket season in the history of the school (spanning 175 years!). Add to that the fact that the Thomians' were having a pretty mediocre season and cheap airline tickets, and I had absolutely no reason why not to head home to be a part of what was expected to be a massacre!

When I landed in Colombo the eve of the match, it was pouring! I was upset, cause I didn't want this opportunity of witnessing a Royal victory for the first time with my own eyes since 1991 to be washed away by rain. So I was surprised when play resumed on schedule on the first day, and was never interrupted by Rain for the 3 days! We made it bright and early, after an early morning stop at Arpico for arrack, coke, ice, mugs and an ice box - all necessities for 3 days of heavy drinking.

Royal batted first, and after scoring at quite a pace, we ended up on 300+ and declared at tea. At close of play the Thomians were at 54/4. The 2nd day started with the Thomians being bundled out by 11am for 99! Obviously I was elated, and quite high, so in a common state of inebriation all the Royal supporters started cheering for Thora! Why? well bloody hell we wanted the match to go on for 3 days. A royal victory in 2 days would've been great, but what's the point if we can't make merry on Saturday! Wow, how we regret that move now.

When St Thomas came to bat for a 2nd time, the Royal team, although having picked up 2 quick wickets, relaxed, which resulted in the, now legendary, pair of Saleem and Nirushan batting for through the day, and saving face and, eventually, much more! That was no doubt one of the greatest recoveries by any team at a roy-tho to save a match, so credit is due to Thora. However, I feel there were two points that swung the match away from Royal's favour: 1. When both Saleem and Nirushan were dropped in their 30s; and 2. When the umpire refused to declare Saleem run out on 99, although he was well outside the crease. Oh well, win or lose we booze.

You know, there's a saying "live in london once in your life". I'd say go for a Royal Thomian once in your life. It definitely is a unique experience.

18 March - Battles - Esplanade Concert Hall

About a year ago, Jim, the drummer from my last band 10 Second Rule, introduced me to a New York band called Battles. The music they make is pretty intense, and not for the faint-hearted. Not to say that they are heavy, but they are an indie band with a different approach. There are no, or hardly any, vocals; and the guitarists use lots of effects such as loops and echoes and delays and keyboards and laptops and synthesizers and what not! So it makes an interesting listen, if not mindblowing!

So when I heard they were coming to Singapore, I had to go see em. However, I couldn't find anyone else who had even heard of the band, let alone ppl who wanted to go. So grudgingly I went alone, and I didn't regret it for a second! If I thought they were good on the records, they are fucking brilliant live.

Why are they called Battles? Well, it's cause their two main guitarists face each other, each uses a bunch of guitar effects and a keyboard and they battle out loops and mixes while the drummer and the other guitarist keep the beat going. It's definitely worth checking out. Oh, and for you drummers out there, notice how high the drummer's crash cymbal is!

ok, part 2 will have Naturally 7, Coldplay and Oasis. :)

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The Moment

Strange thing, you don't expect Californication to be the type of medium that opens your eyes to certain life truths. But I've caught myself engrossed and feeling for this Hank Moody, in a "poor guy" kinda way, and not in a "I want him" way.

But today, he said something that is just so haunting and yet true. He said "people have a way of blinking and missing the moment. the moment that could've changed everything".

I hope I haven't missed mine.