The indie music scene in Malaysia is getting much hotter these days, with gigs taking place most weekends and new releases coming out. JOE KIDD, of Carburettor Dung and no stranger to the Kuala Lumpur scene, checks out the Riang Ria DIY #6 gig at the Blue Planet on July 26 and walks away with the usual clutch of DIY collectibles.

Had a lovely day today. There's a lull in the storm which is the big cari makan project we're doing and so I managed to sneak out and go see the Riang Ria DIY #6 gig at the Blue Planet (the busiest KL venue these days, gigs on every weekend and fully booked up right till December). Heard that there were nine bands on the bill but I didn't see all of them, distracted by the pleasure of meeting the usual kakis and participating in the usual talk-cock scenario.

The venue was packed as I went in to check out old school HC heroes DISASTER FUNHOUSE, the fourth band to play. DF have been a missing fixture in the recent happenings of the local DIY milieu, what with the band members married with kids and stuff, so for me it felt like managing to tear away and see the recent The Bollocks reunion (of which I didn't manage to attend due to a tiny familial matter). It's like a rare sighting of an old favourite flame, so to speak.

Anyway, DF played a short set of five tunes, thus dampening my spirit a wee bit as I was expecting a hell lot more. Apparently they had problems rehearsing (as Boy told me later) but it was a good set, marred only by the rather lengthy in-between-song pauses (a continuing annoying feature of the local scene which needs much kicking, me thinks). As expected, it was a full on reckless, sharp and short HC as Minor Threat and Youth Of Today would have it back in the day. Loadsa slamming, singing along, air punching and stuff; nostalgic but rather refreshing in the midst of the usual barrage of Swedish unrelenting hardcore punk grunt popular these days. The last time I saw a good old school HC band was Second Combat but Disaster Funhouse had an earlier printing of the HC DNA which made me think of the even earlier local "almost-straight-edge" heroes Against Racism Of Today (ART). Much fun was consumed and so my day was made.

And more. LAST MINUTE from Puchong followed after DF and it was a surprise as I was expecting the usual bunch of full-on blasting and usually dire try-to-grindcore kids but I got a dual girl-boy vocal hardcore punk of the yummy kind, a step or two into modern HC but without the metal bits. Fast, pedal to the floor and pretty intense with melodic parts inserted at choice points. I was wondering if they were playing covers but I do think there were originals in that great set. So yeah, another new name to look out for: Last Minute from Puchong!

After that I decided to fill up my other quota of the day. Lunch. So off I went to nearby KLCC with a friend to sample the great fishball mee soup (with extra fishballs) at the other food court in the mammoth (the one on the top floor). Amazing as usual, especially when you pour in loadsa cili padi and soy sauce. Yum!

When we got back to Blue Planet somebody mentioned Singapore's MY PRECIOUS were on stage, so I hurried there only to be jammed at the doorway by people crowding over the stage-side. I ended up watching the first few songs on a videocam display held by somebody recording the band on stage. These first few songs proved to be infectious, so I wriggled through to the other side of the stage, peeking through shoulders and skinny bums aloft on the railings. My Precious were awesome. I don't know how to brand them apart from this lame description: hectic, screamo emo violence whatever. It's Angelhair and all that San Diego post-punk-ish HC of the last five years before they went and formed No Depression bands!

The drummer was the guy who enthralled me and my friends on a rare Singapore visit many years ago, when he was drumming for the great Jhai Alai. He's part jazz, part grindcore, part funky drum-god. As awesome as that mysterio who played in Italian early heroes Peggio Punx, only he doesn't have a cowbell in tow. Intuitive, creative and loose limbed — a drummer of dreams. The bassist was also something else too while the guitarist preferred to play sans distortion most of the time, thus bringing in that chiming, open-chords very rare in this sort of madness. Two gals handled the vocals and sometimes they would go onto this melodic Top 40 bits which is just adorable. I just wished Blue Planet had a better set of amps and PA. With gigs happening there allatime and successfully so, I can't help wondering why these people didn't offer a better set of sound equipment on stage. Dang!

After that, another band ambled onstage but I was a bit too tired to stay. Off I went downstairs for another talk-cock session and 15 minutes later ended up in Kampung Baru having kerang rebus, baby kailan, ikan masin and crispy ayam goreng kunyit with my nasi. Yum!

 

GIG BOOTY: STUFF I GOT OFF THE DIY TABLES:

1. JALAN. JATUH. LARI #1 zine (A3 folded into A5 size)
Nicely done, all-bahasa, pro-printed hardcore punk zine. Haven't gone through it yet but there's a big feature on the recent The Bollocks reunion show, an explanation into the recent credit-card scam scandal done by two local distros which affected the local and Singapore DIY scene, tonnes of music and zine reviews and also a couple of columns. Highly recommended. Write to Fizi Napalm (broken_noise@yahoo.com) for more info.

2. PERSONALITY LIBERATION FRONT #3 (68-page, A5, xeroxed)
Anarcho-punk zine from South Brisbane, Australia. No time to go read this as yet but it looks promising. When I was in Australia recently, it seems that the larger and active part of the OZ anarcho DIY scene was in Brisbane, not in the other cities and this shows in PLF's coverage. Loadsa columns talking about the good and bad of compact discs, punk mullets (!), happiness, isolation, girl zines VS boy zines, etc. A lot to read and unlike many other politico-punk zines, it's not direly serious allatime. I got this from the Coalition people, so write to: coalitioners@yahoo,com for info.

3. THE COALITION ZINE #1 (48-page, xeroxed)
A zine by the Coalition people themselves. A lotta columns, mostly by the tireless Terengganu kids like Fazri, Shabri, Mat Pang, Nizang Jellybelly, Mat Yie Dakootyroaches and more. Also articles such as a short intro into the art of street performances written by somebody called xBearx, which very well done; a lengthy Indon scene report, interviews with KT's new combo, 18 Valencia; the amazing Jhai Alai, Second Combat and the inevitable audio and gig reviews. Another good one. Write to: coalitioners@yahoo,com for info

4. KEPALA PENGAT #2 (4-page, A5, xeroxed)
A short newsletter by Nizang Jellybelly. Bits and bobs, a lilttle run on the recent Dialectical Boredominism gig at the Blue Planet and a lil news on the Terengganu happenings. Short and free. Write to nervousrecs@email.com

5. RAI KO RIS — Guerilla tape
The first proper release on cassette from Nepal's one and only Rai Ko Ris. My tape player's fucked so I can't say but as many of you have seen them playing Unclogged moons ago, this tape's a must! Write to: coalitioners@yahoo,com for info.

6. MARJINAL — Termarjinalkan tape
Another tape I bought from the Coalition stall. They said it sounds like a street-punk band and, according to the lirik sheet, it's all bahasa with finely written heavy political tunage. Marjinal are from Jakarta it seems, with mohawks and bondage gear in tow! Thinking mohawks is always a rare breed. Should be good. Write to: coalitioners@yahoo,com for info.

Note: Visit http://www.brattyella.com/myp/news.html for pictures of the July 26 gig and for updates on gigs in Malaysia.


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