Report: World Press Freedom Day Gig Day #2
Went to Central Market at about 3.30pm. Ben’s Bitches was just gearing up for their first song when I stepped into the stage area. It was another hot day, and the crowd were scattered all over the parking lot and the mall area.
Once the BBs was in full flight, the people gradually grown at the stage front, mostly sitting down on the tarmac. The BBs played a good set, complete with the usual Ben’n’CK slapstick comedy.
At one point, Ben answered a phone call which has interrupted the set. He talked to the caller and into the microphone, broadcasting the conversation right to the Dayabumi and Petaling Street listeners. Something about visiting a site. It could be a porn site for all I know.
I’ve seen BBs play many times but I think this one tops them all. I guess the main reason for this is the lack of the expected “pop-punk” numbers. I don’t like “pop-punk” much. The Offsprings, NOFX and Green Day have all made it unbearably boring to me. Lets not mention Simple Plan and all that snivelling crap. Screeching Weasel, Lag Wagon and Snuff are still enjoyable though.
BBs played it rather rough today, bits of rawk’n’roll, tonnes of tunes aimed at the much misunderstood and downtrodden “Ah Bengs” and a wicked cover of The Who’s My Generation. By the way, they had a different drummer. Azmyl Yunor may have been too tied up with “lecturing” college girls nowadays. That and some interesting sites, so it could have been him on the phone.
Right after BBs, I saw the band high on my incursion agenda for the day. It’s 360¬? Head Rotation; i.e. “Nasty-Nasty” Rafil and (my local guitar-hero) Encik Jack with two new members manning the rhythm section. They played a good set apart from Jack’s guitar amp which was giving him a lot of grief, intermittently losing “juice” and turning the volume up and down without permission.
The drummer was also rather testy but the bassist played it like he’s “makan kacang”, cool and collected, dribbling bunga-bunga on the frets. The 360s played quite a lot of tunes. None Shall Worship You was dedicated to Mawi, luckily with no objection from the floor. Very brave that.
Halfway through their set, Rafil staged a “best journalism awards” ceremony. Handing out a “mangkuk” for two Harian Metro reporters and a broken light bulb to another. The winners were not in attendance though, and so C.I.J.’s Sonya received the prizes on behalf of the mangkuk ayuns.
Encik Jack played some excellent licks today but as I said before the amp’s waywardness was a bit too much, so you can see his fire was rather dampened. It’s still enjoyable though. And I got it all on video, so I can zoom in to his running fingers and steal all the tricks.
After that I had to go eat. For the whole day I was subsisting on the two boiled eggs I had with soy sauce for breakfast. Civil Disorder’s Aiman kindly joined me for some Kelantanese rice dishes at the CM’s food court.
While we dip into the ayam kari, Aiman educated me on “The Ultimate Trading Card Game”, something called Magic, The Gathering. He was in the tournament at KL Convention Centre on Saturday thus missing the first day of WFPD. He however lost the game.
So what is Trading Card Game? Well, it’s also known as CCG or customizable card games and I’m still blurry on the concept. You better check it out here to know more.
After a good smoke, we went back down to the stage area and the other band I wanna see was already on stage. It’s the mighty Negation. I can’t remember when was the last time I saw this bunch and so I was eager to refresh the waning memory.
Singer Madec risked the inevitable Michael Jackson comparison when he appeared complete with black leather gloves, but the two black lines painted under his eyes, American Football-style, saved the day. Aiman asked me what kind of music do this bunch play. I said “grind”, but is it really? I think it’s more of a mix of crude grind and early Death Metal, with an emphasis on the crude, and minimal on the flash.
Their songs were rather simplistic, pretty far from the “tech” of mid-80s Death Metal while the grind bits came intermittently, not as full blown teeth gnashing racket. The guitar sound was a bit too dry I think but it was an excellently fun set. The stage front was populated with a bunch of almost-rowdy and allegedly drunken Indonesian rock fans. They all dived right into the spirit of things, and greatly lifted the proceedings, and also greatly worried some people of authority.
All of a sudden, there were two huge plain-clothed Special Branch officers manning the stage front. But there was no unnecessary aggro. The officers were admirably calm, while Madec’s constant stage-banter made it all rather amiable.
I love Madec’s style at “performing” though. He moved like a man possessed, a wiggle there, a jump here and stomp there, prowling the stage complete with facial expressions, body contortions and that Tom Araya-style snakey-tongue waggle. He’s one of those rare “not-shy” Melayu frontmen who would confidently took over the stage and became a spectacle to be gawked at. A showman of sorts.
I tell you, that’s very rare. Most of the time, local front men and band members are much too self-conscious or just too scared shitless to lose all inhibitions. I’m talking about myself there, and I’m very jealous. I would need about 8 beers before I lose all that nonsensical dread of being “silly”. Scared shitless of being silly, what a psychological predicament that is.
Anyway, the show stopped at 6.10 pm. Pretty much on the dot. Again, organiser Hasbee made it look simple. The man worked hard. He was also the stagehand for the whole two days. An applause is in order.
Apparently Central Market’s new management is pretty impressed and they are interested to get Hasbee on board. Hopefully that’ll happen, at least we have someone on our side right in the devil’s den!
All in, another enjoyable day. However, unlike yesterday, there were very few of the usual scene people, that is apart from the more metal side of things. The absence is rather perplexing. Here we have a free show, on a nice sunny Sunday, open air some more! And it was at the old CM! But where were the kids?
The world is getting stranger these days. Dang.
postscript: I didn’t take many pictures, was busy with the video cam instead. May put up the footages up on YouTube once my hard disk is not too full with junk.
add.: Some pictures here are taken by Nizang Inikah Hidup, check his report of the show down there in the comments section.
A full report with pixs by Lainie: Word Addict
Here’s Hasbee’s report of the second day:
WPFD @ Central Market : Day 2 – Post Mortem
my apologies for the late update. i have just recovered from the weekend.. legs still aching, but i can move now.
also my apologies to the bands who experienced patchy sound, especially to jack (360 degree head rotation),aki (2 foot candle) and ben + ck (ben’s bitches).
¬ª post mortem
got to cm at 815. the sound guys weren’t around, but the lorry with the equipment was waiting in the parking lot.
sound guys arrived around 9 and proceeded to set up. set up didn’t take as long as yesterday and by 1030 we were ready to soundcheck.
superbar, flow, 2 foot candle, broken scar, revenge and 360¬?head rotation arrived in time for the soundcheck session. y2k had soundchecked the day before. thanks.
superbar kicked off the show at 1210pm. applecreed had pulled out earlier (friday) so i thought i could get the bands to stretch their sets to take up the slack but when stonebay pulled out (due to unavoidable events), i had to close the stage around 3pm. ben’s bitches managed to soundcheck during the break.
the gig ended at 610pm
¬ª foul ups & blunders
we had a few more hiccups on day 2 compared to day 1, mostly with the marshall amp losing power during 360¬?’s set. we had to use the peavey which didnt sound so well during 2 foot candle’s set which sounded a bit muddy. my apologies to jack and aki.
ben had trouble with the amps as well. monitors didnt help much. sorry ben.
the crowd (some of them drunk) really filled the front of the stage during negation’s set and we had to deploy security (me) to the front of the stage again but this time i had help from the SB officer.
¬ª my gig review
superbar. very polished but came across as a little aloof. radio friendly rock.
flow was next and really attracted the crowd with their blend of reggae-rock. very tight. very 311/sublime. even had a violionist on stage for the last song which was an instrumental.
revenge came on next and it was like i was back in the 80’s. hehe. very confident vocalist. very very confident. they played a very chaotic set and survived mostly on their rock kapak vibe which was much appreciated by the crowd and the SB in attendance.
revenge and flow both extended their sets to take up the slack when applecreed pulled out and also to buy time for y2k to get to the venue. thanks to saiful (y2k) for getting there early and to revenge and flow for extending their sets.
“The gig is called ‚ÄúFree Voices‚Äù because we‚Äôre playing for free today” – khai, y2k
y2k played a good set with mostly lame jokes (which were good at taking up the time). the masked trio went over well with the crowd.
by this time i was getting really tired.
broken scar went on next. good set. endless merchandising from kevin, but it’s all good. all tactics for buying time.
all this time buying yet i couldn’t take up the slack so i had to close the stage at 3pm when stonebay couldn’t make it.
ben’s bitches had a quick soundcheck before kicking off their set at 345pm. ben gave me a hard time about the sound but the worse was to come (heh). a good set from ben’s bitches. the crowd was singing along with ben on some songs (very easy when your chorus is “aku suka jolok! jolok! jolok! jolok!”). the phone call on his cell was unforgettable. provided some unexpected comic relief, but then again, ben is kind of unforgettable. the commie cap was a nice touch ben.
360¬?head rotation came up next. a lot of my friends really enjoyed their set. “lirik pandai” was one of their comments, “guitarist terror gila babi” was another. and thanks to rafil for providing me with my first physical contact with a gibson les paul. the marshall amp acted up during their set and marred an otherwise great set.
midway thru, rafil presented the “kambing hitam” award (a “mangkuk”) to several harian metro reporters and the “kambing hairan” award to akmal abdullah, for exemplary work in the field of journalism. no one was on hand to accept the awards, so sonia graciously accepted on behalf.
2 foot candle, one of my favorite local bands, play swedish death metal. they played short set of 4 (long) songs, 3 from the self-titled EP and one new song. they played sans their keyboardist. it was a good set though aki’s sound was a little muddy (my fault) and he messed up the solo for “unseen enemy within sight”.
negation. grindcore? yes.. but not quite. dirtier than grind. the crowd really filled up the stage front and people started body surfing. madec handled himself very well on stage. i couldn’t really watch them because i was watching the crowd. got a bit hairy for a while but nothing bad happened.
the weather cooperated and it didn’t rain.
thanks to all the bands who performed for free and were on time and didnt make my job harder than it had to be. i can’t say it was all fun, but it was all good.
maybe next year again?
:: angry middle finger ::
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pictures from the 2nd Day: cubicles-.fotopages.com
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