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Gig Review

Baybeats 2003 (Flyer)

Gig Review written by olibia & juzbum

DAY 1 - 18th July '03

SUBURBAN DAMMIT

First band to open for Baybeats ’03, this time round with one guitarist instead of the previous two. Perhaps it was due to that, the only guitarist has an increment in guitar effects laid down before him. They played a few new songs which are in the midst of being recorded for the 2nd record, as well as some old ones from ‘We Almost Killed Each Other’. Drums as tight as ever, bassist handles singing and playing all at the same time well, this is Suburban Dammit for you... never have I seen them up on stage unprepared. [olibia]

MOREN TEA ESTATE

4 piece alternative/indie rock band that played an acoustic set over at the... well, Acoustic Stage with drummer using a Congo for his beats. They sounded mellow, but it could be because it was an acoustic set, no distorted guitar riffs. The vocals were great, he managed to keep them in control and they were loud enough to be heard over the guitars and Congo. [olibia]

COLOUR MY IRIS (MALAYSIA)

Colour My Iris

All the way from across the causeway (haha!), Colour My Iris is one of the most impressive Emo bands I’ve ever seen and heard. Sunny Day Real Estate/Appleseed Cast style, they managed to keep the audience mesmerized throughout the set with their many lead guitar pickings, off beats from the drums, heavy guitar riffs, rhythmic bass playing and croons from the lead vocalist, everything coming together at one listen. That being their first performance (I highly doubt), they played well although the lead guitar and bass were a little too soft and there were not many techniques used on their instruments. Nevertheless, the music was absolutely beautiful. [olibia]

THIS BODY BROKEN (MALAYSIA)

This Body Broken

The first sight of The Arena was seriously shocking. The stage was fucking huge and it looked really "grand" but barricades surrounded the stage area, which was quite a disappointment. Playing punkrock/emo, This Body Broken must be either a very famous/good band because there was a huge crowd in front of the stage, waiting for the band to start their set. Like the previous band, techniques were not used sparingly and the compositions were simple. Yet, they still managed to express angst and everything you don’t let out in everyday happenings well using the universal language which is none other than music. [olibia]

DAY 2 - 19th July '03

POTENTIAL PROBLEM

Potential Problem

3 guys and a female lead guitarist who once played bass for LunchBox kicked ass with compositions of odd beats in them, making us sit up and listen. They even managed to carry that off well. Although a punkrock band, hints of alternative could be heard in the songs. Dawn, lead guitarist continued her play even when the guitar strap broke off during the last song... 10/10 for effort! The back up vocalist needs to work on being in sync with the lead vocalist though. It was great watching the band play, they seemed to have enjoyed themselves a tremendous lot... [olibia]

LUNARIN

Lunarin

Alternative band consisting of 3 members mature looking society contributors with both guitarist and bassist using quite a number of effects on their instruments. It was their first show and I could say they did pretty well, polished sounding. The change of genre was refreshing to the ear - too much punkrock is not too good for both the mind and ears, especially during a 3 day music festival. The guitarist was great at his guitar and the effects he and the bassist had were put into good use. Being a 3 piece band, I suppose that helped a lot in having more creativity heard in their music. [olibia]

BLEACHED

Bleached

Bleached alright, rock music, fast and angsty. Terrific bassist, many variations of techniques used. Lead guitarist was using a flying V guitar and it was noted that the guitars had not many effects attached to them. During one of the songs, the bassist and the lead guitarist exchanged instruments and they could play the other just as well as they played their own. [olibia]

MUTE

Mute

Yet another set over at the acoustic stage, Mute, a 5 piece rock/alt band with a female lead vocalist who sounded somehow chilly yet sweet at the same time had quite a crowd watching. Most of the lyrics written were words of abstract and during a song, there were three guitars being played instead of the usual two. The set was good for an acoustic one, I myself wouldn’t mind watching a second performance. [olibia]

TIRAMISU

Tiramisu

Interesting alternative music created by 2 guitarists, bassist, drummer, keyboardist/effects mixer, and a lead vocalist. All I’ve heard about this band was visible to see. Lead vocalist uses extra costumes and props to keep audience’s eyes glued to the band but all was good... very entertaining, great showmanship. Music wise, the guitar compositions were simple but when mixed with effects, it is a different story altogether. [olibia]

ELISEBELLE TEARS (MALAYSIA)

Elisebelle Tears

Also another 6 piece band with an additional keyboardist rather than the usual line up, Elisebelle Tears makes its 2nd appearance at BayBeats. Last year’s response from the audience was overwhelming, I suppose that was partly why they were invited for a 2nd round. Here at the Arena, atmosphere was of buzzing excitement and anticipation when compared to the Chillout Stage. Music raging with emotions could be heard loud and clear but there wasn’t much to see as the lead vocalist, for some reason, sang with his back facing the crowd. The keyboardist used his instrument mainly for extra effects. As a small technical problem arose, I did a rough estimation of the number of heads and for once, more than 500 were watching an underground, non mainstream band play. Most of the regular gig goers were back to watch them for the second time and I’m sure the band had as much fun playing as they did watching. [olibia]

ECRUS GARDEN

Ecrus Garden

Back to the Chillout Stage, it was obvious that a lot of effort has been put into the presentation of the band and the setting of ambience. Tea light candles were arranged at the front of the stage but after several failed attempts, they were left unlit because of the occasional wind that passed. A bubble gun was also used during the performance of this 4 piece alternative rock band. The compositions were easy to listen to and they did not leave much of an impression. It was noted that the drummer makes use of other percussion instruments such as the trombone and cow bell though. [olibia]

THE MARILYNS

Once an English rock band, The Marilyns belted out their stuff at the Acoustic Stage, now in Malay because ‘we are more comfortable writing our lyrics with this language’, or so they proclaimed. All in the form of expression. They started off with a Coldplay song though, and there were only 3 of them, the bassist and the 2 guitarists, whom one of them is also the lead vocalist. As they have been around for quite a while, they had no problems feeling at ease in front of such a crowd. The bassist scales quite a bit and does back up vocals as well. [olibia]

7 COLLAR T-SHIRT (MALAYSIA)

7 Collar T-Shirt

Hailing from KL, alternative rock band 7 Collar T-shirt plays in Singapore once again and enchants the audience with slow and soft boils at the beginning of some songs but only to erupt toward the end. There was a number of effects used on lead guitar and bassist varies between different plucking techniques. Different influences on the instruments could be heard; there was a jazzy bassline and ska-like guitar riffs during one of the songs. The band seemed like they were totally immersed in the music of another space. Very original compositions. [olibia]

FONZIE (PORTUGAL)

Fonzie

The band everybody’s been waiting for that night finally takes on the stage and there was an obvious increment of heads in the enthusiasm filled crowd. Sounding really tight and professional, Fonzie entertained and wowed what seemed like a thousand people with their melodic punk compositions. And the set ended with demands of encores, it was obvious to see the different responses from the audiences when comparing local and foreign bands. [olibia]

DEKODED

Went to the arena to see what was happening. Then woahhh. Dekoded is playing. I believe they are heavily influence by Rage Against the Machine. The guitarist Dekoded, knows how to use his effects well creating a mix of sound effects, ala Tom Morello. The bands concept is political views. The vocals rap the lyrics and the bassist is the backup vox. When i see the way they are playing, i say they are great. POWER... Singapore's RATM. Go Dekoded go! [juzbum]

DAY 3 - 20th July '03

HEARING HILL

Hearing Hill

It being my first time watching this band play, I was unsure of what to expect from a 7 piece band consisting of 3 guitarists, bassist, drummer, t-bonist, and the "lead vocalist" who plays a miniature piano which produces tinkling sounds like the xylophone. Hearing Hill kept the audience watching with what sounded like "noise" but not quite, for it was accompanied by melodies from the trombone and bass. What played was mostly instrumental and sometimes, words would be added into the instrumental compositions by the vocalist who uses the play of despair and despondent in her vocals. The effort of them using unusual ways of creating their music was most admirable; the turning fan of a small portable fan and the violin fiddle on guitars. What was played that bright and windy Sunday afternoon sent chills down spines. It was absolutely haunting. Hearing Hill definitely left a deep impression on me. [olibia]

MY SQUARED CIRCLE

My Squared Circle

5 piece punkrock band My Squared Circle has had quite a history of performances for they have been around for some time. A "harder" approach to the composition of their music has been taken since the last time I saw them play. They started off with a slow yet emotionally engaging piece and I was most impressed. Then it was back to good ol’ punkrock and a bit of screaming here and there. As tight as ever, My Squared Circle was once again a good watch although the bassist was already drunk during midday. [olibia]

TEMPERED MENTAL (MALAYSIA)

Tempered Mental

What really impressed me here was when the female lead vocalist, who is also the bassist of this 3 piece alterative rock band, actually scaled on her bass guitar and sang, all at the same time. I am sorry to say that I was too amazed and engrossed in her playing/singing to watch the rest of the band. [olibia]

ELECTRIC CO.

Electric Co.

Having being away from the scene for a while, Electric Co. comes back with fresh and power packed rock tunes, getting off them as they play. There were a whole lot of effects used by the lead guitarist and he sure knows when to maximize the uses of them to the fullest. Good enough showmanship, it kept the crowd going during the ½ an hour set. [olibia]

BIGRED.MOMENT

2 guitars, bass, drums, effects mixer, keyboard. A band set out to make Very Dreamy Music with intentions of allowing listeners to Fly... music like that definitely needs a second listen for true appreciation. They may be interesting to watch but the music probably suits a lonely room on a Friday night better. Very Radiohead influenced. [olibia]

GLORIA RECORD (USA)

Gloria Record Gloria Record

THE OBSERVATORY

The Observatory

A band without a drummer and a bassist, The Observatory charmed the crowd with a composition of orchestrated parts from 2 guitarists, a keyboardist and an effect mixer. Slow, mellow and experimental, what could be heard was electronic jazz, blues, hint of rock blended to create a new sound altogether. The guitar was used for basslines occasionally and the rhythmic guitarist also takes on the role of a vocalist, sometimes together with the female keyboardist. The Observatory’s set completely bowled me over. [olibia]

The observatory, a band with the bass and drum being played by the effects mixer. Great slow tempo, experimental accompanied by jazz, blues, indie-folk sound. The result is a great new sound. The lyrics of the songs are all meningful for example in the third song they perform, "Hearts and Souls" there is this phrase "can we ever know the meaning of our hearts and souls". Great song writing. Not only that they have incredible skills in their individual instruments. In other words, they totally blew me away. [juzbum]
 
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