Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bodyslammed by Bodyslam

For the last 2 weeks, I was caught among the angst and emotions of the Singapore General Election. Though I am a non-Singaporean based in Bangkok right now, I spent 28 years of my life there, I have a Singaporean wife and I cannot rule out the possibility of my children becoming Singaporeans one day, thus my intense interest. This has really been a pivotal election. How times have changed, even when I am not in Singapore, I could catch all the rally speeches on TodayDigital and feel more involved than I have ever been.

Anyway, GE2011 is history. It's the beginning of a new dawn in Singapore. It took the sacrifice of an old advocate of democracy Mr Chiam See Tong and the demise of my favourite Singaporean Minister George Yeo to happen, but the change of tide has become a reality, and I am excited to see what evolves 5 years down the road (and that of course hopefully includes another sight of Returning Officer Yam Ah Mee).

Here in Bangkok, while the various rally speeches were taking place in Singapore, my fellow Stranger-in-Bangkok Wendy and I graced a wonderful live performance of a popular Thai band Bodyslam. Firstly, for those who think I stay in a slum (like Potong Pasir and Hougang as described by certain election candidates), think again. If the most popular Thai band (think Mayday in the Mandarin Pop scene) can come here to perform thrice in the space of 4 months, this is actually the up-and-coming hot precinct!
From my limited knowledge of Bodyslam and their songs, I know that they have been in the Thai music scene for a decade now, and their music has gone through a huge change, from commercial pop in the beginning to a certain kind of serious melancholic rock these days, almost to a sense of self-indulgence. It is not exactly my kind of thing, but being involved in various performing groups since I was 13, I am always curious to understand why some performers garner success while others do not.

As a result, for every show I go to, I end up scrutinizing the dynamics of the band, taking note of whether the sound has been mixed properly, and keeping a close eye on every band member's specific traits and skills. Furthermore, for pub gigs like this one where picture-taking is allowed, I couldn't stop myself from spending most of my time trying to take decent photos of the band. Wendy, now you know why I can't go into a state of hysteria, but trust me, I did enjoy myself in my own way.
Decent effort in limited lighting yeah?
Bodyslam is a band which has held full-scale concerts in huge stadiums, so for their charismatic lead-singer Toon to lead them into full-hearted jamming for 2 hours in a small suburb pub says a lot about their passion for music and their love for their fans. This alone, is ample reason for their huge success.
Toon in (almost)full glory!
To end this blogpost on a high, I shall share with you a song called Kid Hod (Missing You), a collaboration by Bodyslam and famous country singer Siriporn. The first time I heard this song was in a KTV when I was having our 2011 annual dinner with my colleagues. The excellent MTV plus the shocking fusion of modern rock and traditional Thai music kept my jaws open for the entire song. Think Shin's version of One Night in Beijing, just even more outrageous and serious in the message it is trying to convey.

I will gladly pay to watch them live again, and again.

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