Sunday, December 18, 2005

Okay so this may be abit overdue.

I was a tad worried about how the 2nd Moonshine was gonna turn out. You see singer-songwriters' are notoriously easy to handle due to their solo nature. Acoustic bands on the other hand, well, let's just say the more instruments on stage, the bigger the soundguy's headache =). Soundcheck stretched for far too long that it should've, what with traffic jams, forgetful organisers (sorry Isaac=)), and tired soundguys but thankfully everything went hiccup free.

Before I go into details, I'd first like to thank a few people, namely Irman for designing the first Moonshine poster (scroll all the way down), Gavin for designing the second one (see below), Rav and Ishak for manning the door for the 1st and 2nd show respectively, my uncle Harun for taking the pics you see below and for setting up the Moonshine Multiply site, Evelyn for letting me put the show together in the first place, and to all those who came/signed the mailing list/told people about it. Couldn't have pulled this off without you guys.

Now on to the show.

Isaac kicked it off and pretty much held the crowd with his usual stage magic. Honest and absolutely comfortable on stage, he set a good example for solo singer-songwriter stagecraft. His simple, heartfelt lyrics, infectious guitar licks and very cheeky attitude won him the crowd that night. It's a shame he's going back to Sydney. He just might come back soon so keep your fingers crossed. Isaac, I know you're reading this. Thanx again for giving us the time bro. Come back soon.

Melina and Jimmy of Tempered Mental played a toned down version of their usual prog rock assault, and despite Melina's vocals being slightly overtaken by Jimmy brushwork (where were my damn levels mr soundman?), they still managed to effortlessly display their level of tightness as a band. One thing I always liked about Tempered Mental arrangements were that they were all over the place. Distinctive, complex parts all sown together by what must be hours of practise and an obvious understanding between members of the band. Couple that with hooks that stick in your head (I don't really mind Melina's sweet voice in my head =)) for days and you have one heckuva band.

Kohl went up next and did 5 songs minus their percussionist, who couldn't make it. I talked to Sara earlier and she was really nervous, an odd occurence considering her no fear happy-go-lucky attitude on stage. Well, only those accustomed to seeing her live would've noticed a slight twinge of nervousness in between each song, and even that didn't stop her from belting it out on stage with fellow band members Fahmi and Sadat. It was nice to see Sara really throwing her voice (for the last song), something I rarely hear her do. Fahmi was momentarily hampered by a broken string during the 2nd last song but like the cool cat he is he carried on. A bit more of a serious set from these guys that night, hopefully they're recent re-emergence in gigs means that we'll be seeing more of them soon.

I was really looking forward to Kluk Kluk Adventure's set that night ever since the last time I saw them play. That was for the Zouk Tsunami Charity event and among the 15 or so bands that played that day, these guys stood out like a gem. I didn't know them personally so after a few calls and emails I managed to get a hold of Ajeep, the keyboard player. They were game to play and I was a happy camper. Ah the music. They sang mostly Malay songs (the one English tune that they have is such a keeper) and you could tell that they were a seasoned bunch. Keeta was confident and unafraid, and her vocal delivery had a slight tinge of Gwen in it (I hate comparisons with foreign artists, but hey I can't help myself). They were chilled, laidback, and soulful, and their arrangements were largely punctuated by Ajeep's keyboard melodies. I swear Keeta could melt ice with that voice. Lovely stuff.

The next act I must admit provided me with the most fun that night. It probably had alot to do with me being part of the act =). Aminah, a very lovely and talented individual who is back on holiday from Ireland (she's been there for the past 2 years) invited me to play percussion for her alongside Salim her brother (who I work with, hence the connection), and a number of extremely talented musicians. I couldn't say no =). Aminah, backed by a 5 piece (2 on percussion, a drummer, a bassist, a guitarist) held the stage the most that night, commanding the audience like the natural performer she is. Seasoned and very much in her element, she also probably had the most fun. You could see it in her face, in her smile, and in the way she moved and grooved. Playing songs from her album (she slipped in Pink Floyd cover in the middle of her set), her set was the most energetic of the night.

The Open Mic was a quiet one, with Rizal Hefni singing a few of his grunge-esque ballads, followed by myself and lastly Isaac again as the closer.

I was slighty pissed off after that coz someone stole the mailing list. Can you believe it? No matter, everything else went alright and that's all that mattered.

Lainie, online blog-ess reviewed the show. Click here to read it.

For more pics of the show, go to the Moonshine Multiply site.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


The 2nd installment of MOONSHINE is happening on the 15th of December, another addition the a large list of things to do before the year end. Personally it's been a very interesting year for me, and it looks like things won't be any different in the year to come. So if you're free this Thursday night, drop by coz we've got another night of live acoustic music put together just for you.

Kohl - Formed in 2000 and fronted by the talented (and cheeky)Sara Lo, Kohl is in fact a full fledged electric band. They have however developed a really strong acoustic set which I feel works well with Sara's chilled, laidback vocals and lead guitarist Fahmi's personal brand of progressions and arrangements. Sara's own songwriting ability has been showcased many times in singer-songwriter gigs around KL and her penchant for calm, peaceful, emotionally charged tunes can really draw you in sometimes. A good thing I assure you =). I just got off from sharing a stage with her a few days ago and she's heaps of fun having around, a quality she exudes both on and off stage.

Tempered Mental - Definitely one of the more interesting local bands to watch these days, Tempered Mental sets the bar high with their technically proficient arrangements and sweet vocal melodies.The band currently consists of singer/bass player Melina, drummer Jimmy and a session guitarist currently gigging with them. I first saw these cats play at Peter Hassan Brown's currently defunct Acoustic Jam series where they played an acoustic set. I was blown away. Very talented bunch. I vividly remember being awed by Melina's multi-tasking skills (complex bass lines AND pitch perfect singing at the same time???) and Jimmy's spot on drumming. They play an eclectic mix of styles and influences performed with progressive rock panache so they're definitely not to be missed. More about Tempered Mental here.

Isaac Entry - KL born and raised Sydneysider Isaac Entry has been
busy the past 7 years earning the moniker 'wandering
minstrel'. He has busked everywhere from the streets of Sydney to
Melbourne, and from Nice to Madrid. Playing a blend of acoustic
funk and blues and armed with a soulful voice to go with it, he's a welcome change to all us angst ridden rhythm based singer-songwriters. This will be his last show before he returns to Sydney so if you missed his last blistering set at the previous show make sure you come for this one. Girls bring your girlfriends.

Aminah - Traveler, poet, musician, and songstress. Extremely talented and largely unheard of amongst the masses, only a select few have had the pleasure of being exposed to Aminah's music. I met her 2 years ago in a little pub in KL where we both sang a few songs. She's currently based in Ireland, her second home (she's half Irish), and has been touring there for the better part of the last 2 years. Equipped with an album she finished sometime last year, hers is a prime example of how good a locally produced album can be. Buy it. Really. I was very impressed and to be honest, I still am. More about Aminah here.

Kluk Kluk Adventure - Ska laced with pop, served with soul. Yea I know it sounds abit twisted, but hey that's what makes this band so enjoyable to listen to. Their infectious, well thought arrangements and lead singer Keeta's sweet soulful vocals make for a slightly different sort of take on what genre-specific listeners might be used to. Formed in '98, they went through a few lineup changes before finally settling down with keyboardist Ajeep, bassist Congo and drummer Lin. Citing bands like Save Ferris, Pot Shot, Bruce Lee band and Operation Ivy as initial influences, they have since grown alot musically and have managed to chart their own direction thanks to each band member's individual tastes. I saw them for the first time at a charity event a few months back and they rocked the place. Definitely a band to watch out for.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Acoustic Gig Alert

presented by Troubaganger and Katagender, supported by La Bodega KL
featuring Lucy In The Loo, KOHL, Leow Mei Chern, Zalila Lee, Nell and Hannah plus readings by Jasmine Low, Bernice Chauly and more.
4 December 2005, La Bodega KL
RM20 cover (half of proceeds will be be donated to an NGO tba)

KLue will be having a live acoustic/literature show in MPH Bangsar Village and MPH One Utama. Check it out. Click the graphic for details.

KLue will also be hosting the Starbucks Music Series in the next few weeks. If you missed Rhapsody at MOONSHINE, be sure to catch them here. Click the graphic for details.

Friday, December 02, 2005


The next MOONSHINE is scheduled to happen on the 15th of December. Acts to be confirmed in the next few days. I can tell you that Isaac Entry will be playing and it'll be his last show in the country before returning to Sydney. If you missed his blistering show at the last MOONSHINE, this'll be your last chance so book a table quick. Watch this space for more details.