Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The ship has sailed.

MOONSHINE was a success thank god. People actually came, paid, sat down, and listened (most of the time) to the show in little ol' No Black Tie. I was late for soundcheck despite stressing time and time again that no one else should be. KL traffic you know. Eheh.

Cole and Wen (the girls from Rhapsody) were both sweethearts, all smiles and laughter even when subjected to my lame brand of humour. Zal was sick and abit moody, but still managed to slip into her professional performer boots the minute she stepped on stage to soundcheck. She always knows exactly what she wants in terms of sound and I always start thinking to myself, "God Reza, you're such a dipstick for not knowing anything about live acoustics,"

I never managed to talk to Will (formerly known as Eugene) much before so it was a pleasant surprise to see that he was as laidback and chilled as the rest of us. I was also pleased to find out that Jam and Chia (who like Will, are from the local Mandarin singer-songwriter circuit) are back from a stint in Taiwan. If you liked Will these guys will blow your pants off. Ok that isn't necessarily a good thing.

Isaac was uncharacteristically quiet before the show and denied any notion of pre-show jitters. Obviously that had little effect on his set later.

Zal kicked off the night accompanied by Jerral (is that spelt right?) and effectively caught the audience's attention with deep calming vocals and solid guitarwork. She caught many off guard and set the bar for the rest of us that night. One of my favorite local singer-songwriters' in the scene, I was personally glad to finally catch a full Zalila Lee set.

Isaac was up next and he was the wild card for the night. Having never heard him play a full half an hour set before and using only a short jam in my office (we know each other through a number of mutual friends), I was banking on him to present something fresh and different that night. Needless to say he delivered to the T. He made the girls laugh and swoon at his very own brand of honest, tongue-in-cheek blues and he received the grudging admiration of all the guys through his funked up guitar licks. Nice work.

I played next and thankfully didn't screw up. I brought an extra guitar just in case a popped a string, a horror I experienced twice in Perhentian Island a few weeks ago before a show.

After a short break Will took the stage and had to battle the chatter built up from the intermission. You could tell by his third song that all the noise had died down and everyone was listening to this young man pouring his heart out. Its those melodies he writes la. You just sit there and listen. It doesn't matter if you don't understand Mandarin (heck I didn't). I think that by the end of his set it didn't really matter. Will will be playing for the Songwriters' Round on Dec 10th at Alexis Ampang. Details here.

Rhapsody. Whew. Just the thought of the music that was coming out of these two girls sends me to another place. Definitely not to be missed if you like being filled with musical awe. I mean, where did these girls come from? Please local independent music scene, gimme more surprises like Rhapsody. Jazzed up and full of falsetto-fied soul, Cole and Wen blew the house away. I've been humming that first song they played for the last 3 days now. Damn the both of you. They're playing at La Bodega this coming Sunday for the next installment of Troubadours so catch them if you can.

The show was packed, NBT was fully booked by Friday, and the night was filled with good music. It went well. The next MOONSHINE will be sometime mid-december so keep an eye on your inbox. I'm sorting out the line-up as we speak and it looks like we're on for another kick ass show. Watch this space.

Monday, November 21, 2005

A little bit of moonshine.


Welcome to the MOONSHINE blog, a blog dedicated to the newest acoustic series to hit the local Malaysian independent scene. A purely acoustic gig that happens every month at No Black Tie, it's part of an ongoing initiative to help populate the scene with as many gigs as possible. Inspired by past efforts like Acoustic Jam, Valhalla, and Unclogged (which is still alive and kicking!) and current ones like Songwriters' Round, Songwriters' Avenue, Troubadours and Doppelgangger, Moonshine is just one more thing to mark down in your calender if you're a fan of live acoustic music.

The 26th of November marks the first installment of the show and personally I can't wait to get the ball rolling. Tentatively the format is this: 5 acoustic acts go up on stage one at a time and are given a half an hour set each. All acts (solo/duo/trio) are required to play original material so just make sure you can carry a half an hour set and you're sorted.

We've got a bunch of very talented individuals lined-up for you this Saturday:

3 piece act The Rhapsody will be playing, a group I spotted at the recent NBT singer-songwriter orgy. Jazzed up piano lines backed by falsetto-fied vocals and laid back guitar rifts. Yum. Slightly reminiscent of Portishead. Purely coincidental apparently.

Sydney based Isaac Entry will be taking the stage with his soulful vocals and intricate guitar work. I first met him at the KLue Starbucks Chillout series late last year. He's one of those you-see-him-play-then-you-feel-quitting-guitar kinda musicians.

Goosebump inducing Zalila Lee raised a hair or two at the same singer-songwriter orgy I mentioned above. I've always been a fan of her work despite never really having a chance to listen to an actual full set so I guess I'll be getting that chance now. Deep, soulful, and heart-wrenching when she wants to be. Not to be missed.

Will Ng is another singer-songwriter who'll give you a hair-raising experience. Played quite abit for Pete Teo's Songwriters' Round, most of the time (ok all of the time la) I have no idea what he's saying (he sings in Mandarin) but my god can this dude sing. With a vocal range that dips down to his toes and reaches up to the ceiling and armed with a whole arsenal of comfy, laidback guitar arrangements, this is definitely one to look out for.

And of course, since this will be the first gig I've ever organised in KL, I'll be playing too.

Make sure you come!

a homemade acoustic show

Zalila Lee
Reza Salleh
Isaac Entry
Will Ng
The Rhapsody

Time: 10pm till late
Cover: RM 20

There'll be an open mic after the show so mail me or meet me earlier on during the show if you're interested

No Black Tie, 17, Lorong Mesui, Off Jalan Nagasari, KUALA LUMPUR
(just five doors down from the old NBT)
6pm-2am, Tuesday - Sunday
Tel: 03 - 2142 3737