Well, I am off on my holidays in a few hours, but managed to squeeze in a quite brilliant mini concert at No Black Tie (Jalan Mesui... if you have to ask, you will never get there). Tuesday night was the first of two mini gigs, and I was lucky to get a table with my friends. Readers of this blog will know that I have promoted 2V1G for some time now.
No Black Tie is a magnificent venue for live music, especially music that needed an intimate setting such as minimalist jazz, and absolutely screamed for 2V1G. The wood paneling and acoustics made the sound much warmer and intimate. No audiophile CD, no stereo no matter how much you spend will be able to replicate the sound , the warmth and intimacy... The second night (Wednesday night) is fully booked out a well, even the stair case have seats alloted and paid for! You can try and bribe someone or pay 10x the entry price for a seat... you can try, and you should try.
The mini concert was brilliant. They only played a few songs from their album. There was even a sublime rendition of Bunyi Guitar by Roger Wang... and Roger's other solo on Man In The Mirror would probably have MJ holding his crotch very tightly indeed!
The ladies were in top form. Heard from Leslie Loh, the producer, that there will be a second album. The selections from the upcoming album were a delight. Winnie's rendition of Roger's souped up version of the evergreen Pu Liau Ching was refreshing. Regine's rendition of both songs from, easily my favourite Cantonese musical, I Have A Date With Spring was spot on. Heard it from the kuda's mulut that the second album should be out in December. Those of you who haven't got the first one should do so. I promote them not because it will make them rich or make me happy, but I wish for all to sample and appreciate good music generated by people who are keen on their love for music. Their sincerity and generosity of spirit shine through their music.
On another note, Roger's playing on his guitar was exquisite. I can confirm that Roger Wang has 3 thumbs and 12 fingers, thats why he plays so fast and so well. At the same time I worry for Roger because he kind of bumped into the 2V1G project by accident. Roger by trade is an improviser, jazz trained guitarist, very much in the Western mode. The success and recognition he got via 2V1G would have easily surpassed his days as Double Take (also pretty good), but 2V1G is a Mandarin/Cantonese bent project. I fear Roger may think that he is just a "good backup guitarist". .... Roger, if I can speak to you man to man, it is exactly your unique Western, jazz influences... and being a non-Chinese song listener that makes you approach and present new interpretations on these Chinese melodies. Your role is critical.
While speaking to Leslie, I complained why local Chinese radios never seem to play 2V1G. It seems its the same "grass is greener" shit. 2V1G is a very credible talent. We have quite brilliant composers and singers plying their trade successfully in Taiwan and HK. Our local Chinese radios play their commercialised songs 99% of the time. Why don't they try to really promote local acts ... do they need to go to HK and Taiwan, prove themselves there... only then will the 988 or 101.8 start to play 2V1G??? Look at how Fish Leong, Penny Tai and Kuang Liang Ping Kuan got their start... not from LOCAL RADIO certainly... they had to slog overseas, reach the top there... then and only then the f'kin 988 and 101.8 will start to play their music... Why even have local radio? We might as well just pay royalty and bring over the entire HK and Taiwan radio stations??? Where is the integrity and value in having local radio statios... aaahhhh... to request songs by local listeners???!!! If you only play Malaysian acts when they are famous overseas, you are a "tail following dog", you have no initiative, you have nothing of value that you stand for, you just follow. We can blame the music programmers... the deejays also have a big role to play, get your program managers to play more local acts. How do you like it if all local radio stations only hire Taiwanese and HK announcers, and to be deejays in Malaysia, you first have to go to Taiwan and HK to prove yourself before you will be hired locally... absurd and disturbing.... wake up people.
To end on a nice note, the first track in their album, Coming Home, I have listened to it many times in my car, it was good, even spine tingling... but when Winne sang as the last song during the mini concert, it was heart wrenching... even my eyes got watery and I don't know why. It was powerful, truthful and just plain very very good. Good job all, you deserve all the success that I am sure will come your way.