It's all about smoke & sweat.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Goldkids Tour 2009 w/ More Than Life & Ghost Town @ One Cafe, Jln. TAR

Arrived at One Cafe at 2pm and finding the venue empty was worrying. But after sitting with two nice dudes waiting for people I know to actually arrive, I embraced the calmness with my major headache, and rested while waiting for the gig to start. Met Pali and his group of friends and waited until Azam arrived.

Bringing in three good bands from overseas to join our underground scene's bound to create the collective chaos one looks for in a nation craving for hardcore blast-offs. It's all down to serious hardcore business, even to the point of gig-goers (Joker sekali hahaha) slapping "This is hardcore gig, not photography class" posters all over the walls. Goldkids Tour 2009 purges a tight 6-band line up performance at One Cafe, after hitting off at Singapore the day before.


It's a cosy atmosphere, and despite the lack of a full-to-burst crowd, the energy inside the venue was enough to make Goldkids (AUS), Ghost Town (AUS) and More Than Life (UK) feel hyped up for the stage. The Padangs tear open the stage and takes fans through a whirlwind ride with their usual performances always ending with a "freakin' tight!" from the fans. The sound system successfully strayed away this time from the repetition of 'sucky', although the keyboards almost sounded muted throughout The Padangs' set. But let's brush that away and indulge in the sexy guitar duets and power slammed out from the Adema-like vocals and frantic drums, shall we?

Contradicting against the stereotypical 'local bands before the headliners', Ghost Town kick themselves up on stage for the second set, and give us a taste of what dirty, underground music from Australia sounds like. They kicked themselves on and they . kicked . hard. The crowd is introduced to a throng of fast pased, ever changing tunes one after the other, putting in all too literally both body and soul, throwing themselves around the stage like a bunch of synchronized lunatics. The music solid and vocals wild, Ghost Town charged up the atmosphere, and spun crowds through crowdsurfs and stage dives straight up to the next band; the headliners.

Goldkids strut up on stage and wraps the kids around their fingers - or shall I say, guitars - the moment they plunge in. They shouted raw, they shouted rough, they shouted filthy back alleys and too much alcohol. The vocalist was so horny for the crowds he just had to continously do a stage dive or scream into his fans' ears. Think... Kids on the Move with a mix of Second Combat, and you've got Goldkids for you. Spent a lot of time waiting around for the bands to get started, and camwhored with everybody haha was funny. At this point, Moshi's arrived and we're one happy family. Pfftbahahaha.

It's colossal, it's larger than life, it's More Than Life. Definitely a band people have been waiting for, a fanbase formed itself before the stage, awaiting the Brits to show us their side of what hardcore's all about. We were encaged within a trance of lights synching with the guitar riffs and letting the melodies of the guitars seep into our eardrums. The vocals were running raw and despite the awkward strangled screams once in a while, their music was well-arranged and maintained the energetic boost within the venue.

Kids on the Move (KOTM) pulled back the fans into the venue after the short break, and gave the locals the taste they were waiting for and the internationals a fresh bite of KL hardcore. A typical accomplishment were gained for KOTM as they finished their final song, and gave way to Black Territory (BT). BT once again draws the show towards the final moments with a dark dip down into the sultry melodies of their murky metal genre. With a short and sweet set to show off their fans, BT kept the atmosphere on the up level.

A surprise announced too late, Daarchlea was given the sneaky last-minute slide in to end the night. Because of this, the crowd was short of their infamous 666 Headbang Crew and everyone had started to leave when Black Territory twang-ed the last chord. Unabashed by that however, Daarchlea rumbled at full throttle, twisting headbanger neck muscles with lightning fast guitars and thunder drums that clashed the night to a boomcrash end. I headbanged despite my headache (sumpah PANDAI), and had to hold an aching head all the way home afterwards.

Went outside after the gig, sat around for a while and sung Happy Birthday to a friend, Kerol, who kena'd tepung telur, ahahahaha. Went back home with Moe, who dropped Moshi and Linda home as well. Funky car ride with loads of laughter!

Friends + gigs = good for Celine

Sunday, November 15, 2009

La Quiete Live in KL @ One Cafe, Jln. TAR

It was one lazy day, and I head over to Bukit Bintang at around 3pm (when the gig was supposed to start) to head over to Low Yat Plaza and get a new memory card for my camera - I LOST MINE THE DAY BEFORE THE GIG!!! Catastrophic. So I got one (wasted RM70 *sobsob*) and met up with a few friends while waiting for Haziq to head over to One Cafe. At around 5pm, he tells me to hop onto the next monorail's second last door and there he was! Yipee. So we head over to Medan Tuanku station and walk our way towards One Cafe under the drizzle.

6pm, the gig has not started. Knowing that would happen already, we sat at One Cafe, collected our media passes (him photographer, me writer) and sat with Pali and Ein! Wrote a poem with Haziq (YAY) and tried not to fall asleep.

Walked into One Cafe at last, to Sphere. Sphere was unknown to me but I could've sworn I heard their last song before. Absolutely mind-blowing. We enter the venue to highway drive music and flashing lights that for once serves their purpose in creating a surreal atmosphere to coalesce with Sphere's explosive music. Their enjoying themselves on stage affects like a drug to the audience and we are taken up to a different high with the frontman's timewarp keyboard effects. Some songs dramatically low and crescending to a heart-thumping, disco beat highs, their controlled instrumentals and spine chilling vocal harmonies exert exactly what ambient is meant to be. They sleekly end their set to give way for Malaysia's post-rock group Deepset. It was effective how the rest of the band members left, leaving the frontman to finish off the keyboard effects; it seemed like their music was still lingering even though they were no longer on stage. Magical...

`Oh yeah, the guitarist hot sial. :D

Hearts trapped by Sphere, Deepset sets them free with a string of slumber music held full of echoing guitar effects and haunting music that stole breath from our guts. Each and every song played told us a story that always ended with a heart wrenching finish. The guitarists' kneeling served as a symbolic element to their pure and beautifully painful arrangements. The drums like heartbeat and guitars blending in like the journey of our blood pulsating through our bodies, it was important for the crowd to capture a personal intensity to the emotions leaking out from the tunes. They never left their set empty, always giving us accidental interludes inbetween their songs. When Deepset's guitarist faces technical problems, Sphere comes to the rescue and lends them a guitar, showing awesome teamwork. Deepset finished their set to a crowd hungry for more. My eyes were closed almost half of their set, because I just let the music spin my imaginations alive, and my breathing slowed, Deepset had my whole life inside my mind with their music. They were awesome. Super awesome.

We'd expect great things after a band like Deepset, but the next few bands really toned the gig down to a significant omg-what's-going-on. Orbit Cinta Benjamin and Building the Heartbreaker Pyramid were good... to a certain level. Their cons weighed them down much more though. OCB's short snappy songs were exactly that: short and snappy. Good thing? They always ended on hyper manic highs that left the crowds breathless. Bad thing? Vocalist kept pacing up and down the goddamn stage and the short length of their screamsongs made it difficult for audiences to connect with them, as well as their lack of interaction with the audience (being a drama student, we know having our backs towards the crowd is never a good thing).

Some pics by Haziq

BtHP were good, but they would've been a million times better if they were just instrumental sans vocalist. Ezzart randomly turned up in the middle of their performance, and sat beside me, so we chatted about BHP, and he tells me the drummer's actually way better now.... Wow, how bad was he man? xD Bad: vocals, slight timing problems. Good things: they never got one moment monotonous, the tempo and tunes were always changing, always in-your-face. It was cool, but a little tiring to catch up with.

Up next were Singaporean band, My Precious... People always give leeway to female-fronted bands, but there's only so much to a limit if the vocalists doesn't even know how to handle microphone techniques, screaming devilishly too up close to the mic until it pierced and made us cringe. The double vocals did not blend at all with the music, which was music a little too overheard anyway. Walked out towards the end of their set.

photos by Haziq

Was sitting outside during Kias Fansuri (sorry Kenet!) but I could hear them clearly enough from outside, in fact I could hear the vocals better than if I were to have been inside. Haziq went in to take some pictures, and told me their showmanship was awesome. Kias Fansuri took control of the stage, spun the situation around and plunged right into a tight and solid performance that took the crowds to the point of crowdsurfing and singalongs. A pure contentment filled the atmosphere as Kias Fansuri finished off a successful resurrecting set. It was the boost the night needed from the dreary previouses.

photos by Haziq

Went back in for Drama Coma. It is no wonder that DramaComa were the sidekicks of La Quiete throughout their tour in Malaysia; their music shouted total inspiration from the punk ambient noise similar to La Quiete's. Without further waste of time, DramaComa thundered down their set with heart-throbbing speedy drums and nicely harmonized guitars. Despite their backs towards the audience for the most part of the set, they're enthusiasm and energy spilled out into the crowds, and it would only be fair to give them credit as the best (heavier) act so far; it is hard to top Deepset's entrancing performance. DramaComa had a good fanbase that supported them and pushed away any technical problems from their minds, only concentrating solely on the music. Their guitar had tints of shoegaze, and was on the borderline of the earlier slumber bands like Sphere as well as scream-ish Kias Fansuri. Definitely young talents who deserve more exposure.

Before La Quiete's set, we were already given a sneaky taste of what they would sound like, when the drummer went on stage to finish off DramaComa's last song. The crowds went WILD when this occured, and we had people crowding onto the stage, singing into the mic, trying to get a picture with the drummer... and having my hip bone pushed towards the stage... NOT cool... And finally La Quiete. You'd think from the sound of the name that it would be a calming band... but hellll no. They were angsty, like DramaComa, and spat seizures and stomps into your faces. Anything angry anything raw, that was what La Quiete was all about.

They didn't waste much time, and plunged in song after song with reasonable speed, but perhaps because of how similar DramaComa and them were, I soon found myself feeling it was all starting to get a little monotonous. But I found myself falling in love with the vocalist, not because of his voice ( you couldn't hear much of it being in front ) but his searching, searching eyes. Reminded me a little of the haunting look Ian Curtis of Joy Division had. Ahh. :) Italian men like them, they were friendly with the crowd when they weren't performing, asking them to take pictures, a funny moment when the bassist told the crowd to pretend they were watching the show going "ARGHHH!". Lol. But during their performance, I found La Quiete quite self-indulgent, so absorbed with themselves and their music they forgot to acknowledge the crowd once in a while (kind of similar to OCB).

photos by Haziq (look at the vox's eyes!)

The gig ended on a high note as Haziq and I rushed to the toilet to change into a new top so we could head over to Heritage Row where my friend was throwing a birthday party. Went at 12.30 and clubbed til 3am. Then headed to BB and chilled with friends like always :)

Celine found it weird not moshing in One Cafe, and would love to
have more after parties similar to the one Haziq and her went to :D