Dino Force Vomit: That New Year at Brickfields
Sorry i didnt hook up with you in KL. You probably didnt see Wan or any of the Singaporean kids cos we left KL yesterday.
I wasnt hauled up by the cops, but Wan and 8 other Singaporeans who came with us were. Reason why I wasnt with the bunch was cos Nizam (the other FV guitarist/singer) and I, and one other Singaporean friend went to the gig later than Wan and the rest. They were at the area since 9 or so, eating at the mamak and then chilling with the rest of the bands and gig-goers downstairs, where they were raided by the cops. Our drummer, Faz, escaped the incident too cos he was from another party and reached Paul’s late.
When this all happened, Nizam, Shafarizal (dunno if u remember him, he slept over at yr house back in 2002) and I were in our car, still on the way to the venue – we got lost so we took a bit of time getting there. I got the first sms from one of our Singaporean friends at around 10.30, saying that they were raided by the police. I thought it was a joke so I tried calling back, but couldnt get through. A while later another Singaporean friend managed to call through and told us they were being detained at the station.
I tried calling Aby and managed to speak to him briefly, before he told me he had to hang up cos he was speaking with the cops. I didnt have contacts of any of the other organisers, and none of them called me to tell me what was going on. You can guess I was a bit distraught at that point. What made it worse was that the phone lines were down a lot, as it was almost countdown time, and I couldnt call or sms out most of the times. I tried contacting all the KL folks I know but either couldnt get through or they knew nothing abt the raid. And as if things couldnt get worse – we got stuck in this massive jam.
Through the intermittent sms and calls that I managed to make, I gathered that there was nothing Nizam or I could do but wait. We still had to go to the Paul’s Place area to pick up one of our friend’s brother, who somehow managed to give the cops a slip. We reached there around midnight, and there were still a couple of cops at the mamak near Paul’s.
After hours of being stuck on the road, we finally headed back to the house in Cheras to wait for further news. At about 5 one of our Singaporean friends called to say that she and the girls are being released, so they are gonna wait for the boys.
They got back abt 6 plus am – and I was glad that all our friends were OK – in fact they were joking about it as they found the whole incident to be so ridiculous it was hilarous. One of friends, who incidentally, is in the early stages of pregnancy, even recounted how she had to describe Force Vomit’s music by singing one of our songs while being interrogated by the cops!
We decided to leave for Singapore the next day, but we still didnt hear from any of the organisers and the KL folks who were with us didnt seem to have the full story on what went down. I only found out about the press conference while we were driving back – or else we would definitely have loved to stay on one more day to be there.
Anyway, your site has been a great help in shedding some light on the incident. A lot of Singaporeans back home have been calling us when they heard about the raid, and some of our parents even saw it on the Malaysian news! One of our friends said she couldnt give a fuck and didnt even bother to hide her face when the cameras focused on the girls. Nadrah, the aforementioned pregnant friend, also did file a complaint on behalf of the others.
What a way to start the new year, Joe! Man…I was really looking forward to playing at that show – in fact, we were supposed to do the countdown. But I’m just glad all of my friends were OK – except for one of our KL friends whose urine tested positive and Aby, of course. I got an sms a few hours back saying he got released, but I cant seem to get him on his phone.
I’m telling all the Singaporeans involved to regularly check the updates on Ricecooker.
Happy New Year, Joe! Hope to see u soon – maybe at the next Unclogged this month. Provided you dont have any Black Metal bands, that is. 🙂