KOKO Gig Watch

Eastern Indie Eclectic





Seven, Deserters and Etc
Laundry Bar, Kuala Lumpur,
27th November 2008

Marking the start of their November Reign tour, Etc kicked off proceedings as the first band on stage. The dynamic duo of Ben Harrison and Harvey Chamberlain are two Singapore based Englishmen who perform with sprightly interaction with the audience. Singer-guitarist Ben managed to make light work of the task of playing bass and lead from the same guitar, creating an anthemic fusion of sound. Kicking off their performance with the heartfelt nostalgia Dancing To The Smiths, the frontman’s lyrical flair and melodic open -tuned guitar work immediately made an impact. Three songs into the set, you could clearly tell that Ben was enjoying his first Malaysian gig in ages after numerous cancellations, postponements and balls-ups. Finishing with a resounding encore performance of Peter Panic, Etc brought a close to a long overdue (and certainly worth the wait) set that was the first of hopefully many more exploits from the duo in Kuala Lumpur.

Fresh from the recording studio with his new Jazzmaster guitar (which I think he loves more than his own family), Zack Yusof and Deserters took the stage. Being one of the more established Malaysian bands in the indie scene, they garner crowd acclaim even before the first chord is struck. Anyone who has seen Deserters live will pay testament to the flawless execution of their performances and tonight was no different. Zack initiated proceedings with older tracks such as Confusion and Last Chance before demonstrating the results of his studio endeavours with a new track called 15, which proved to be a firm crowd favourite. Alas, there was no rendition of my personal favourite 24 Hours which ranks amongst my all time favourite songs, but tonight Deserters acutely validated their recognition as one of the must see local bands.

Closing the night with a dash of flamboyant jazz-rock were Seven, a funky five piece comprised of college buddies that have been highly touted in local indie quarters. Hitting the ground running, the Petaling Jaya based collective opened their set with thundering rendition of Till I Die. Charismatic lead singer Bobo (who sports an afro that would put Jimi Hendrix to shame) characterises himself a deliverer of unintelligible speeches in between songs and tonight he did not disappoint. Grabbing the crowd’s attention like a Leeds fan in Istanbul, he powered through a crowd-pleasing set, even inviting a friend on stage to beatbox over their mid-set jamming session which blended perfectly with their brand of funk sax rock. Despite pleas from the audience to perform signature track Sea Monster, Seven ploughed on with their blend of dirty rock and uncontrived raw funk, entertaining the crowd until the final chord was struck. Expect to hear plenty more from these boys in the future.

On the night, there were three bands on show with three different styles of music and presentation but somehow, the line-up managed to complement each other fantastically, enticing the crowd at every opportunity. It was a night that got everybody in the venue involved, feeling energetic and above all, enjoying the music on offer. The final verdict? A rocking good time was had by all.

By Johnny Mayo

For more information on the bands in this article, please visit:

Etc - http://www.myspace.com/abcdetc
Deserters - http://www.myspace.com/deserterstheband
Seven - http://www.myspace.com/sevenlah




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