Monday, August 22, 2011

Da Endorphine => The BEST female vocal performer you could ask for

Well hello everyone, been quite some time since I posted something. Been spending the last 2 or 3 weeks getting used to my new neighbourhood, new life with my wife here in my new apartment and a new working environment in my new office/warehouse too. In addition to this lot of getting used to, Li Li and I have been braving consistent evening downpours to meet various Singaporean visitors, which is great but to be honest, a little tiring at this frequency.

In the light of my busy-ness, I really have to spend some time writing about a gig I attended at FLIP Pub (the exact place where I experienced the passion of Bodyslam). Thanks to my Singaporean-turned-Thai friend Wendy, I was convinced to witness for myself the most impressive female live vocal performance in my life by Da Endorphine. If you had watched the video above, you would have figured that she is a little singing powerhouse, and for me, the most impressive thing is that she made everything look easy, as if she is just having a walk in the park. Not many singers (in Asia at least) can give me this feeling aside of maybe Eason Chan (陈奕迅)and Qingfeng (青峰)of Sodagreen. Even my beloved Power Station or Shin would look somewhat constipated hitting high notes during their shows.
Da and her good-looking drummer taking a breather chatting with the audience
Her strong voice means she is excellent at belting rock numbers, but many of her hits are jazzy ballads that she revels in all the same. She doesn't dance, but every wave of her hand or flick of her fringe seems so flamboyant yet spontaneous, I guess she's really born to strut her stuff on stage.

Having won virtually every Outstanding/Best Female singer award available in 2010, Da has gotten the recognition she rightfully deserves. It is therefore wonderful to see a diva like her displaying the humility she did during the gig. She would time and again make conversation with the audience and attempt to shake every reachable hand if she could.
Da's full team making circles with both hands during the chorus of one of her songs
I realised I missed Thongchai "Bird" Mcintyre's concert last weekend while I was scouring through old newspaper articles this morning, and many people could tell you my admiration for the longevity and talent of P'Bird. Surprisingly, I did not feel that disappointed, because while P'Bird was dancing to "Too Much So Much Very Much" at Muang Thong Thani, I was probably having an even better time listening to Da Endorphine at the humble suburb pub.

Looks like Da has a new fan - Me.

Monday, August 1, 2011

From 13 to 30: Celebrating 18 years of friendship

Brotherhood is amazing.

From the time Junxiong and I became each other's first friends in a strange new environment during the first day of secondary school, little did we know that this allegiance will become a brotherhood that will last till now. In fact, he might have bore a grudge against me for accidentally roping him in Chinese Orchestra (CO), but things happen for a reason. Youchun (who didn't really like me in the beginning for some reason), Guangjin and Guojun soon joined us to become the closest-knit bunch you could ever find.

The gang at SanSuk Resort, minus Guojun, who didn't make it for the reunion.
Who could forget the endless CO practices, at times even up to 4 times a week including Sundays, the many triumphs and disappointments in various performances and competitions, and our first trip abroad together in Beijing when we were 17.

Our mutual understanding is most evident when we're on the basketball court. Take us apart and we're 5 mediocre amateur players, but put us in the same team together and we become a match for most teams as our passing is almost telepathic. I always had most to gain because I am a tall, immobile spot-shooter and they could always find me at the sweetest location for me to have a clear shot for important points. So thanks again, for making me feel useful despite my limitations.

We went through fun times.

And the most tiring of times.
18 years have flown by, we have all matured into fine gentlemen, with Guojun waiting to welcome his baby daughter in no time and myself already based in Bangkok for the fore-seeable future. In spite of this, whenever we meet, we can always talk about everything in life into the wee hours of the morning, as if we were 13 all over again.

Thanks Guangjin, for always being so agreeable to most of our requests and quietly supporting everything we do, and organising this ultra-fun Thailand reunion for our gang.

Thanks Youchun, for being so tolerant with our ceaseless bullying at times, being my best man for my wedding and sending me to the airport just to spend some precious time with an old friend.

Thanks Junxiong, for being so enthusiastic about everything, helping me with my 过大礼 and wedding, and taking the time to rush to Bangkok after work at night to join us for the trip. I hope I can do something for you in the future.

Thanks Guojun, for always being there to cheer us up with your laughter and jokes. Thank you too for coordinating Wowwowwed so effectively during my wedding. Being the point guard in our team, you make us tick. Don't worry, we're all happy that you decided to take good care of your wife during her pregnancy, I am sure you will be a great Dad.

Thanks again everyone for coming to Thailand to share all that I am doing here. I know you guys made the trip here just to spend some good time with an old friend, and I really hope you did, because I had the time of my life and I wouldn't exchange this week for anything else. Let's just make sure that this is not the last time we do something similar, but the first of many to come.

Thanks for gracing my small little company in its last days before moving to a bigger location. Thanks for becoming part of its history, as this is where it all started and like it or not, now all of you are part of it, and I wouldn't want it any other way.
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