The Arena stage continues to be very interesting for the day with Protocol Afro from Indonesia also British-influenced but with a more modern sound. Once again, melody and groove is the name of the game. This band really excels when the vocalist goes into the higher registers. He claims he's not a good dancer. What do you think? :D
The next interesting act at the Arena is Error 99 from Thailand with an Irish-Folk type of setup. A very goblin-ish type of look and feel on top of the sound. It comes with a modern twist to it with the electric guitars and an aggressive type of screaming vocals. Listen to it to believe it!
Over at the Powerhouse, Wolfgang from the Philippines completely blew our minds away. They seem to combine the style of classic rock searing vocals and melody with modern hard rock aggressive and rhythmic type riffs to their sound. Very loud and extremely tight! This is definitely one of THE bands of Baybeats 2011.
Finally, coming to the last band of Baybeats 2011! Our very own homegrown metal band, Ossuary! Commonly described as a band heavily influenced by Meshuggah. Ossuary certainly adds a unique style to their sound. Perhaps it's the modern type of cadence to their vocals and also a modern style of rhythmic riffs. The drummer is a pure no-nonsense metal drummer and you'll know he's pure metal by how he plays. I'm glad they were invited to headline this year's Baybeats and we salute their amazing performance! A grand end to Baybeats 2011, what to me was my favourite Baybeats in recent years.
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Till next year...
RockOn Baybeats! m/
SINGAPORE: Oh, My 'God of Songs'. Cantopop Heavenly King Jacky Cheung is not only versatile, but also one flexible performer.
In Singapore for the "Jacky Cheung ½ Century Tour", the 50-year-old opened the first of his five sell-out concerts with a bang. Many, many mini bangs, to be exact.
Cheung - dressed in a smart, white suit - tap-danced and showed off nifty footwork in his opening act, to a crowd of 9,000 fans at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday night.
He also impressed the audience by pulling off a half-Arabesque Penchee, a ballet pose where one leg is raised behind the body.
But that's not all.
While singing "Fei Jie" (Plump Sister) - a song where he paid tribute to the late Lydia Sum who died in 2008 of liver cancer - Cheung did what most people his age could not do: A full front split.
Commenting in Cantonese later, Cheung said he had trained very hard to achieve the front split, which Sum, his Godmother, once famously did.
"For those of you who don't know much about Jacky Cheung, I'd like to say that not only can I sing, I can also dance.
"I've been in the music industry for 27 years, and in between, I've been dancing. I want to show off while I still can," he said jokingly to the cheering audience.
Despite that, what stood out in his near-three-hour performance weren't his dance moves.
In the earlier part of his concert, Cheung wowed the crowd with his absolute showmanship.
He presented a medley of Cantonese songs - including "Casanova" and "First Kiss" - musical-style, and for the first half-hour, fans saw the theatrical side of Cheung.
With numerous musicals under his belt, Cheung easily matched emotions of his songs with dramatic body language and precise facial expression.
In fact, Cheung was so determined to be in character that when he needed to drink water at one point, he made sure he did it as a part of his act.
But still, nothing could beat Cheung's secret weapon, which he saved for the later part of his concert: His ballad-crooning vocals.
Indeed, he is not dubbed 'God of Songs' for nothing - and his fans obviously cannot get enough of his trademark high notes and that subtle, underlying vibrato.
So it was only when Cheung cooled down to move on to the acoustic segments that the crowd truly warmed up.
Judging by the reaction of the audience members, it was apparent they enjoyed the down-tempo Cheung.
And when Cheung started crooning all-time favourites later on in the night, such as "With You Along The Way", "I Waited Till The Flowers Withered" and "I Only Want To Journey With You", the crowd roared with approval.
It was also during that time that the audience sang along with Cheung.
Perhaps, Cheung need not have showcased versatility in his concert and instead, invest more time in pleasing his fans with more ballads.
One of the let downs of the night was that Cheung didn't sing enough of his 1990s classics, which sealed his "Heavenly King" status in the Mandopop world.
Another disappointment, surprisingly, was the audience members, who couldn't sit long enough to wait for their pop idol to get offstage before rushing for the exit.
But still, Cheung's final number - "Blessing" - was executed in style, along with pyrotechnics and indoor fireworks.
To wrap up the night, Cheung and his dance crew delivered a stomping tap-dance, in what must have been Cheung's interpretation of bringing the house down.
And boy, he did just that.
Popular singer-songwriter Inch Chua will play her last shows in Singapore on Sept 16 and 17. The first concert (Sept 16) is part of a weekend event called Spread The Love, which is organised under the Esplanade Presents: On The Waterfront concert series. The other gigs will feature bands from indie music company Aging Youth's roster, with veteran and upcoming acts, including Lunarin, West Grand Boulevard, Tacit Aria, Zero Sequence and B-Quartet.
The second show (Sept 17) is part of Rev Up @ Orchard 2011, in conjunction with this year's Singapore Grand Prix.
A statement by Aging Youth said that Chua will be relocating to Los Angeles to pursue and develop her music career and this will be her last public show here in Singapore. However, it added that she would be working in both Singapore and the United States. Incidentally, Spread The Love will also be the last free-to-public show for alternative rock band B-Quartet before going into indefinite hiatus.
Spread The Love happens Sept 16 to 18, various times, at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre. Visit www.esplanade.com for more details.
As the title says, Electronic music stole the show on Day 2. The first of 2 foreign electronic acts, Turbo Goth from the Philippines consists of a 2-man setup, a lady and a guy to be exact. The lady dressed in a ballet-like outfit while the male had a white feather scarf round his neck for most of the show. It is a quirky performance especially from the guy, who in crude terms, seems to be going through a spasm. But it is far from bad. The music is of course fantastic but the performance and showmanship really starts to catch onto you. It's mostly like a gorgeous and poised character (Lady) vs an insane and energetic character (Guy). A truly inspiring act.
Buddhistson, the most foreign band in terms of distance travelled, all the way from the land of the rising sun, needless to say justifies the travelling distance with a stellar performance of very well composed and catchy compositions. And as you would expect from a japanese band, a very charismatic frontman.
The 2nd foreign electronic act hails from China, Pet Conspiracy. An electronic act that features a full line-up with a drummer, DJ/guitarist and 2 beautiful vocalists (They also have a guy for pure stage acting purposes). This band has their stage presence all worked out and they are, Loud.
On day 2, the headliner who had issues with volume constraints the last time they headlined didn't have the same problem this time round. A performance that couldn't be more timely with the presidential elections round the corner, Opposition Party. You know what they're about and they deliver exactly what they are about. Straight-up, no-nonsense, in-your-face metal thrashing madness.
A very very enjoyable Day 2 indeed!
Live4MusiC Act of the Day: Pet Conspiracy
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Body surfing aplenty and the showmanship was stellar. The highlight of the performance came towards the end with the frontman from Ruins & Remains coming on stage to handle the growling portions of the song. You don't get any vocalist more intense than that.
And since we're at Ruins & Remains, I have to say their performance was one of the highlights of day 1. Definitely the best crowd of Day 1 with non-stop moshing, circle pit, dancing. The energy of the fans immense, which is a fair reflection of the energy on stage.
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Baybeats, surely one of the region’s top festivals when it comes to showcasing regional talents, is back this year, but with a little bit of a difference – no more international/non-Asian bands in the line-up. But, if you think that’s going to make the festival less interesting, think again for we honestly think that this one has got some pretty interesting bands lined up for your aural (and visual) pleasure this weekend. Happening at the Esplanade in Singapore from Friday 19th August till Sunday 21st August 2011, here are some of the non-Singaporean and non-Malaysian acts we’re most excited about:
One of the very few South East Asian bands to actually get some international seal of approval, this bunch of jangle pop and shoegaze heads from the Philippines set the blogosphere alight a few years back with their release Cut The World and their 7″ single for Still. They have even got themselves on Rough Trade’s Indiepop 09 compilation. Now that’s what we call impressive.
Turbo GothBeing a guy, one can’t help but marvel at how gorgeous the singer for this duo from the Philippines is. But that’s not the only reason we’re mentioning them here because if the music doesn’t cut it, we still won’t be too excited to see them. Luckily their brand of indiepop influenced electronica is very easy on the ears and combine that with the aforementioned pretty lady, consider us sold.
BangkutamanNamed after the song Di Bangku Taman by Indonesian indie pop legends Pure Saturday, it’s obvious where this band’s love lies in terms of their preferred musical genre. But in Indonesia’s endless sea of indie pop and twee bands, Bangkutaman has truly got the songwriting chops to rise above most of them, as you can simply hear in their lovely and poetic song Ode Buat Kota above.
Hollywood NobodyAnother Indonesian indie pop band to get your interest going, but with more of a bossa nova slant to their sound, this bunch should go down well with fans of Mocca and bands of that ilk. Come to think of it, this year’s edition of Baybeats looks to be quite indie pop friendly, and not as emo-centric as it has been for the past few years, which is something that the Singaporean crowd usually go for, and which makes this year’s edition seem particularly quite fresh, doesn’t it?
BuddhistsonTalking about emo, where would Baybeats be without some highlights from the genre, right? This year sees the return of one of the bands that played in one of the earlier Baybeats (we think), Buddhistson from Japan. They’ve already toured Malaysia and Singapore a few years back, so we’re pretty sure that a lot of kids are going to be excited to see them live again.
Noughts And ExesOne of Hong Kong’s most buzzed about independent bands, Nought And Exes’ brand of folk pop is quite simply a breath of fresh air, and with all that unusual (at least in rock bands) instruments like the glockenspiel, melodica and even a typewriter used in their songs, it should be interesting to see how they’re going to pull it all off live.
Pet ConspiracyAlso slated to play in Kuala Lumpur on 21st August, this much talked about electro act from Beijing has got some pretty impressive credentials, including MTV Band Of The Month in 2009 and Best Electro Band in China in 2010 and a 2009 European tour and appearances on Arte TV and the BBC to name a few. Should make for an interesting viewing if you ask us.
Muse bassist Chris Wolstenholme says the band will begin recording their new album as soon as September, after headlining the Reading and Leedsfestivals in the UK.
Speaking to Radio 1 (via Gigwise), Wolstenholme said:
"September and October, that's when we're going to get into
the studio to start writing the new album … We're always going to
be the kind of band that want to get out and play
"As the years go on there's that temptation to cut the touring down less and less but we still love playing live. I can't ever imagine we'll be the kind of band that cut the touring down significantly."
The statement will be a relief to Muse fans, who might have been concerned that frontman Matt Bellamy’s newborn baby with Kate Hudson could put a stop to their relentless touring schedule.Meanwhile, the band recently offered a competition for their fans to design a t-shirt, with the winner getting VIP tickets to the Reading and Leeds festivals. Melody Deyerle won with her fantastic Space Invaders style tee, which you can see here.
Lady Gaga has named 'Bad Romance' as the best song she had written
Asked by Popdust what her best song was, she ranked the single along with 'You And I'and 'Poker Face'.
Gaga said: "Well, 'Bad Romance' has a special place in my heart because it meant a lot to the Little Monsters when it came out.
"I also think 'You And I' is one of the best songs I've ever written. But the third best song ... Well, I suppose I would have to say 'Poker Face.' But see, I have very different feelings about different songs at different times.
"I could also say that 'Fooled Me Again' is one of the best songs I've written, and that was never on any of my albums. I could say that 'Marry The Night' is my third best song, or'Americano'. I go through these artistic rebirths where I envision my songs in completely different ways. But I guess I'd say my third best song is 'Poker Face'
THERE is a popular misconception that British singer James Blunt is reserved and sedate at his live shows just because he is best known for mellow ballads such as You're Beautiful and Goodbye My Lover. Nothing could be further from the truth, the 37-year-old assures Life! in a telephone interview.
'People would be surprised by what goes on onstage. It's not the troubadour with an acoustic guitar - it's a band and it's upbeat, full of energy and the audience will have fun,' he declares.
His concert at the Grand Theater at Marina Bay Sands on Thursday will be his second show here. In 2008, he performed his first gig in Singapore to a 7,000-strong crowd at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.This time around, he has a five-piece band to back him up, compared to the quartet that played with him in 2008. He also has a fresh new batch of songs from his third album released late last year, Some Kind Of Trouble, which he says 'are more rocking'.