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The Musical Weekend That Only Just Ended

What a weekend! For anyone who loves music, Singapore's music scene is beyond amazing. I feel like I'm coming down from a high that reminds me of the quote “No pharmaceutical product could ever equal the rush you get when the band hits that groove, the people are dancing, shouting, and swaying, and the house is rockin!” Live music really is the greatest mood enhancer.

It all started with ConTribute: U2 at Artistry , a cosy spot in the Bugis area, for a rocking start to the weekend. The night featured many very talented artists too many to name, but here are a few that stood out for me. There was Randolf Arriola, whose live looping guitar created such a buzz - really have to go watch his solo gigs sometime. The very sultry Shimona also made an appearance as the only female act doing U2 that night, and even better was that she had invited Eileen Chai to jam with her, only a few minutes before they were due on stage! And they had quite the chemistry too. Then Kevin Mathews performed with guest violinist Eileen, the original reason she had been there. Other notable acts I had the pleasure of seeing for the first time included the smooth vocals of Jonathan Meur and the lively performance of Josiah Seet. The closing act was none other than Jack & Rai , Singapore’s dynamic duo. The finale was a jamming rendition of ‘Pride in the Name of Love’ by Jack & Rai, Randolf and Marcel Heijnen, and it was a wow! The space might have been intimate, but the atmosphere was utterly electric. What a night!
Shimona and Eileen
Jack n Ray
Jack n Ray and Randolf Arriola and Marcel Heijnen

Then there was Sunday night with the 8th instalment of Uke GOT TALENT at Hood bar & Cafe at Bugis+, where there were more acts than I could begin to name. But Ukulele Movement once again outdid themselves showcasing a wide range of talent from people just learning to the very accomplished guest performer, Shimona. It really was another great evening out.
Yang Hwa Yu

Monday blues? Hell, no! The Buskers Festival going on at Sentosa was filled with acts both local and global. We went down to see Singapore's very own E-Alternatif aka Eileen Chai. She is Singapore's first live looping violinist, that is to say she can create a full band sound with just her violin and voice by using a variety of pedals that allow her to layer the music and give it depth. This really emphasizes the Zen quality of it, seeing how you never get the same exact sound twice since it's done with live tracks and nothing recorded. If you get a chance be sure to catch her act as she is destined to become a huge success.

By Tuesday the weekend must surely be over, right? Nope. Shimona was playing again, this time at Beercraft at the Village Hotel Albert Court. A more intimate and laidback al fresco setting with more chillax music to wind down with. If I were still a beer drinker, this would have been the spot for me. Despite my sobriety, I had an awesome time and enjoyed the music greatly.

So Singapore, where were the rest of you? There are so many local talents out there waiting to be discovered and each of these events were essentially free. So get out and show these people the love and support they deserve. To keep up on some of the many acts (no, I haven't managed to get the calendar updated with everything this island has to offer just yet; that’s a constant work in progress), check out the AKAAWOL calendar page for where the fun is.

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