KOKO Asia Exclusive

KOKO Asia Approved is for those from the region or are touring the region. We watch a local band and we love it then we will review it. We watch an international band touring the region and we love it you guessed it we will review it.

Meet The Standards

By Robin Banks
Date: 16 April 2009

They’re loud, they’re feisty and judging by the collection of cool songs at their disposal, nicely poised to give the regional indie scene a long overdue shake up. Who am I referring to? Well, none other than Thailand’s premier Britpop outfit The Standards of course.

A Thai-Brit quintet based in Bangkok, The Standards comprise of charismatic SE London native and Damon Albarn look-alike Matt Smith on vocals, percussion and melodeon and Stevenage boy Paul Smith (no relation) on guitars and backing vocals. Making up the rest of the band are the Thai contingent of Manasnit Setthawong on synths, keys, backing vocals and kinky boots; Ayu Charuburana on drums and last but certainly not least, Sithikorn “Mackey” Likitvorachai on bass.

The Standards announced themselves to the world in fine fashion with the release of their debut EP ‘Well Well Well’ back in 2008. A good old fashioned three tracker that’s certainly not backwards about forward, fast, punchy songs like ‘The Proposition’ and ‘Jimmy Is A Live Wire’ recalled the likes of ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’ era Blur and The Rakes with their jagged guitar riffs and dance punk urgency, all topped off with the cockney-est sounding shouty vocals this side of Phil “Quadrophenia” Daniels and just the right amount of sneery punk rock attitude..

Luckily for The Standards, they also got the look to go with the super cool songs. In terms of style, they’ve definitely got that super cool, last gang in town, skinny fit mod look down to a tee. In terms of presentation, these guys (and gal) have certainly got it going on and come across like the real deal. Just check out the super cool video for The Proposition and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

“Musical instruments were put on this planet to make a sound,” opined Matt about The Standards’ musical philosophy. “Not just any old sound, a good sound. A sound that makes people listen. A sound that gets people interested, motivated and moving. A sound that makes them wake up and become aware of what they are experiencing. It’s easy to get it wrong but when it’s right, you’ve set a standard.”

Ever the movers and shakers, Matt and Paul also find the time put on a regular indie club night back in their beloved Bangkok called Popscene (in homage to the early Blur single of the same name no doubt) where the order of the day is top live music courtesy of The Standards and other bands followed by rousing deejay sets from deejays Matty Boy and DJ Paulio spinning everything from indie, electro to soul.

To listen to an exclusive interview with Matt from the Standards where he talks about his band, their future plans as well as the Thai indie scene and his Popscene nights, check out this special KOKO Asia podcast.

To find out more about The Standards, visit www.myspace.com/thestandardsmyspace



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