The Observatory, complete with great view
The BayBeats festival was a fairly endearing example of the classic Singaporean maxim: If it’s free, they will come. The samfu-clad grandma seemed to have enjoyed The Observatory, but the 50something couple in one of the first few rows left at some point during Force Vomit.
Fleeting thoughts on the bands I saw/heard:
- Telebury: Quite pleasant. Like the child of The Shins and Coldplay if The Shins were British and Coldplay weren’t shit.
- The Observatory: This band has an odd tendency to be present at my rare “Actually, Singapore isn’t so bad!” moments, one of which was the first time I saw them, and the second of which was the sun setting on the bay as they sang their very pretty new song Sea Of Doubts. A class act.
- Surreal: The same And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead song for half an hour.
- Furniture: The same Mogwai song for half an hour, frequently employing the same chord progressions as in Aereogramme’s The Black Path.
- Force Vomit: Not really my thing. I like my punk less catchy and more abrasive. Less smiling guys with indie hair and black plastic specs, more bald sweaty guys in huge singlets bawling out rants against corporate oppression. You get my drift. (Please come to Singapore, Fugazi!) But I can still see why this band has such a loyal following here, and why Paul Zach and Chris Ho have championed them so much. They were pretty fun. I’d see them again.
- Whence He Came: The same bad emo song for half an hour.
[In the not-so-impossible likelihood that a Googling band member comes across these words and feels slighted, these are the (very brief, and admittedly flippant) impressions I formed while listening to half-hour-long sets. I realize your albums may be quite different. If you feel I’ve misrepresented your musical vision, feel free to disagree. For what it’s worth, I actually love Trail Of Dead and Mogwai, although I can’t say I’m much of an emo fan. Also, if I ever give any gigs you will be fully entitled to write “The same complete silence for half an hour” in your review, because I’d chicken out before even going on stage. All power to you, and I hope you had a good time at Baybeats.]