Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Stereophonics' Wild Night Ride
Welsh rockers Stereophonics' atmospheric park concert shows why the indie band are still around after 11 years
NO-FRILLS Brit rock was the order of the day at the Stereophonics gig at Fort Canning Park on Monday night.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Kelly Jones, bassist Richard Jones and drummer Javier Weyler showed a packed crowd of 5,000 revellers just why they have endured in the indie music scene for 11 years since the release of their debut album Word Gets Around in 1997.
The Welsh outfit have arguably achieved less of mainstream success than, say, Blur or Oasis, better-known Brit bands that gained notoriety in the late 1990s. But true to their underdog reputation, their following has not waned.
The mainly expat audience, some of whom flew Union Jacks or the Welsh dragon standard, started gathering at the venue from 6.30pm. Local band The Great Spy Experiment came on at about 8pm for a 30 minute opening performance.
At 9pm, the main act strolled onstage and launched into Bank Holiday Monday, an energetic track of their latest album Pull The Pin.
The focus was indubitably on songwriter Kelly Jones, the frontman with the trademark pin-up looks and raspy vocals. Sweltering in a leather jacket, he tore through a 1 1/2 hour retrospective of Stereophonics favourites that included recent songs such as Pass The Buck to Traffic and Thousand Trees, from their debut album.
Apart from bassist jones and drummer Weyler, the band were also supported by touring members, keyboardist Tony Kirkham and guitarist Adam Zindani. (Incidentally, it was Kirkham's birthday and the band members got the fans to sing him a birthday song towards the end of the gig)
The atmosphere went up a notch with Mr Writer, one of their biggest hits written as a diatribe against the media.
kelly Jones finally broke for conversation just before It Means Nothing, the lead single from Pull The Pin.
"We wrote this just after the bombings in London," he said before crooning the slow ballad inspired by the terror attacks of 2005. The lyrics:"If the bomb goes off again/In my brain or on the train/Then I hope that I'm with you/Cos I wouldn't know what to do."
After a perfunctory pre-encore exit offstage, he returned onstage solo for a stripped down, singalong rendition of the band's 2003 hit Maybe Tomorrow. The night then ended with the anthemic Dakota, which sent the crowd into a head banging frenzy.
"If you ride a bike at night, wear white", said Kelly Jones cryptically before leaving the stage. Whatever he meant by that, the ride was great, thank you.
Well some people work hard, some party hard. Thanks to some of this people, we get to see Stereophonics here. Really a great effort from them. Thank you too to YouTube, not sure how can we live without it.
Sit back and enjoy this.This is Stereophonics at its very best in Fort Canning Park
But lack of audience engagement takes some fun out of show
The Stereophonics (picture) were on fire, not just because of their scorching rock tunes. The three-piece band burst onstage with the rabble-rousing Bank Holiday Monday — clad in leather on a humid Monday evening.
"Who dressed these guys? Don't they know they're in Singapore?" someone in the audience asked.
Local band The Great Spy Experiment — fresh from its much-talked-about gig at The Esplanade on Friday — turned on the heat with their opening set, playing songs such as Class A Love Affair, Dance With Me and Siti In The City, from its debut album, Flower Show Riots.
After a blistering half-hour set, the 5,000-strong crowd were ready for the Stereophonics, who took to the Fort Canning Park stage at about 9pm.
The anticipation was palpable. After all, the band scored five No 1 albums in the United Kingdom and there was going to be no shortage of hits.
Frontman and guitarist Kelly Jones, bassist Richard Jones and drummer Javier Weyler unleashed song after song of their trademark alternative rock. Most of the set consisted of hits from Word Gets Around, 1999's Performance and Cocktails, 2005's Language, Sex, Violence. Other? and last year's Pull The Pin.
Fort Canning green was a forest of arms punching the air for most of the 100-minute show as Jones' tortured vocals sang of all kinds of troubles. They made having problems sound like fun. Except, at times, the fun began to seep away and it didn't help that the band hardly engaged the audience.
"Cheers, Singapore" said Jones after a solid hour of non-stop rocking. The crowd roared in excitement, but nothing more was forthcoming.
There was also a glaring omission in the set — there were no songs from arguably one of the band's most successful albums — You Gotta Go There To Come Back.
Perhaps, the band was saving the best for last? We were partly right as the Stereophonics returned for what was one of the shortest encores here in recent memory.
Jones, alone on guitar, performed a stripped-down version of Maybe Tomorrow from the missing album before the rest of the band joined him for the monster hit Dakota from Language, Sex, Violence. Other?
"Take a look at me now," wailed Jones in the closing part of Dakota. We did, and it could have looked a little better.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
By SIM LEOI LEOI
PUTRAJAYA: Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament will have to inform the office of the chief whip if they have to miss proceedings due to various reasons.
This is particularly so when the Government's majority in Dewan Rakyat has been reduced to less than two-thirds in the last general election.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said it had always been the practice for Barisan MPs to inform the chief whip's office if they could not attend sittings due to various reasons.
"But when you had a huge majority, of course, the situation was very comfortable for us.
"It's not that we didn't enforce this ruling then. Many MPs are responsible and will explain but some may not be able to attend because they are visiting other countries, such as being part of the entourage of the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister's official missions overseas," he told reporters Tuesday after meeting with 11 Indonesian parliamentarians at his office here.
Najib, who is the chief whip for the Barisan coalition, said errant MPs who continue to absent themselves from Parliament without giving due notice might face disciplinary action.
"Warnings will also be issued to them. If they continue with their errant ways, they may not even be selected to stand for general elections in the future," he said.
The high rate of MPs' absenteeism, particularly those of Government backbenchers, during Dewan Rakyat sittings had often been noted in the past.
In the last general election, Barisan managed to secure 140 seats while the Opposition had 82, in comparison with the 198 seats the former used to have.
Twenty-nine MPs, including three ex-ministers and one former deputy minister, had also been come under fire recently for failing to submit any question to Parliament, which begins Monday.
Najib said although Barisan MPs were not compelled to submit any query, they were encouraged to do so as this would reflect their care for the rakyat (people) as well as being active in Parliament's proceedings.
"However, the number of queries is actually more than the question and answer time allotted for it. In every sitting, only some 12 questions in the list would actually get fielded so there are enough questions for this new Parliament," he said.
Comments: Yes Sir. BN MPs, better buck up or ship out. If there were some important laws or amendments that needs to be passed in Parliment, and BN tak cukup kuota to stop it or pass it, too bad lah. So starting from today, BN MPs need to kerja rajin. Good for rakyat, dont you all think so?
Plus heard that Pak Lah has a bad record for attending Parliment sittings to.So will he attend Parliment more regularly now? Not that I want to say we need to ape the West but in Britain, PM has always made it a point to attend Wed sessions. And how about Rafidah? She also not a regular attendee I heard, thats why Kit Siang had a hard time pinning her down for an answer for the AP scandal in Parliment not too long back.
But sorely miss would be Samy Vellu, as much as we hate him, this guy attends Parliment sittings regularly. But his unblemished track record for attendance is irrelevant since he wont be attending another Parliment siting for the next 5 years. Sometimes hard work just doesnt pay off huh.....
Monday, April 21, 2008
When I caught the trailer to this movie, I was left with my mouth open wide seeing the moves and hard knocks this young girl is taking while filming this movie.
Chocolate is the latest from director Prachya Pinkaew, the man at the helm of Ong Bak and Tom Yum Goong/The Protector starring the inimitable Tony Jaa.
The movie stars Nicharee Vismistananda who has been training for years in preparation for this role. She plays an autistic girl who goes after gang members to collect debts to help her sick mother.
So I asked one of my Thai colleagues, has he caught this action movie? He told me yes and thumbs up to Nicharee. Yes, this is back to basics, where special effects are virtually non existent. This will be plain old skool slobberknocker. Put a few guys in a scene and it will be battle royale, kicks and punches flying everywhere.
So when this movie is released in Singapore next month, you can be sure I will be there to watch it.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
And I have filled my IPod with only Stereophonics songs, all the way from their 1st album Words Get Around to their latest album which I find it brilliant, Pull The Pin.
Singapore welcomes Stereophonics...........
Kelly Jones, the Stereophonics frontman, talks about life, longevity and how not to get bored
FOR most employees, working more than 10 years with the same company usually means getting a gift of some sort — like a pen or a commemorative mug.
However, if your company happens to be the Welsh band Stereophonics, your "gift" might be a little different. For instance, you could find yourself in the studio recording new songs while in the middle of your world tour.
"We've got a 'greatest hits' coming out at the end of the year, so, we're in the studio recording new songs for that," Stereophonics' lead singer Kelly Jones told Today over the phone from London.
"Yes, we're pretty much in the middle of a world tour, but in between venues we go into the studio to do some new song ideas and stuff, just to keep the writing thing going — and it's going really well."
The rock trio are also gearing up for the Australasian leg of their Pull The Pin tour, which will cover New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and Singapore. They will play at Fort Canning Park on April 28.
"We've been going around the world for about 10 or 11 years now, so, it's always good to go round to places you've never played before," said the 33-year-old father of one.
"The gigs have been great because we've been showing off our catalogue of the last 10 years, so, if you've been a follower of the band from the very beginning, you get a bit of everything."
And fans here can expect the same thing. "The show is a high-energy, rock 'n' roll show with lots of big songs, so it's going to be good," enthused Jones.
Stereophonics — Jones, bassist Richard Jones (no relation) and drummer Javier Weyler (original drummer Stuart Cable was replaced in 2003 due to commitment issues) — have come a long way since 1997, when they released their first album, Word Gets Around. Before that, they were known as Tragic Love Company, a name amalgam of Tragically Hip, Mother Love Bone and Bad Company — bands the trio liked.
The band celebrated their 10th "official" anniversary last year with the release of Pull The Pin, and their retrospective DVD Rewind. In between, the band lost a drummer, found a new one, scored five consecutive No 1 albums, recorded and performed with some of the biggest names in pop music, played to their biggest audience at Live 8 and wrote the theme music for Ewan McGregor's TV series Long Way Round.
"Many things have happened, but I think the band's biggest achievement is to still be as relevant as when we first came out," Jones said, explaining Stereophonic's longevity. "There's no special formula. We do what we do, we work hard, we play hard, we try to do our best … and that's it really.
"We've had a lot of ups and downs, but we've all stuck together as friends. We get along really well and socialise with each other. We're not a one-trick pony and I think we've always enjoyed showing a different side of our abilities. That's what excites us the most," added the former youth boxer.
And no, he's not tired of playing rock star. "It's what I've always done, since I was 12 and played my first gig," said Jones. "I don't see it as a job — it's what I love to do. I love creating, I love writing. It's a challenge, really. I love the process and all that problem solving — that's what I get off on. I like challenges, otherwise, I get bored. It's not the trophies and the accolades. It's knowing that we've still got so much to offer that we haven't even touched on half of them yet."
But doesn't playing the same songs over and over get a little tedious? "You don't get bored!" said Jones. "Because when you've got six albums, you can vary the songs in your set list every day if you want to! It's quite surprising how all the songs almost blend into one another really well. We really enjoy playing them live and that shows. As soon as we get bored with a song, we stop playing it."
As for critics in the crowd at the Fort Canning gig, Jones isn't bothered: "I don't really analyse myself too hard, really. I used to do that when I was younger, but now I just get on with it and accept where I am. I know I'm a good person and I do what I can. The band does what the band does and people will react or they won't — there's nothing more we can do about it."
"Generally, I've found that if people have bought a ticket, they're halfway on our side."
ROCK BAND ADVENTURES
.Kelly Jones, Richard Jones and Stuart Cable form Tragic Love Company.
.Tragic Love Company changes its name to Stereophonics and becomes the first band signed by V2, a record label started by Richard Branson.
.Debut album Word Gets Around is released, and hits No 6 on the UK charts.
.Sophomore album Performance and Cocktails gives them their first No 1.
.The band face media backlash because their song Mr Writer, from Just Enough Education To Perform, attacks the media.
2003 to 2004
.Original drummer Cable is sacked because of "commitment issues", after missing several rehearsals and live concerts. Steve Gorman, drummer for The Black Crowes (with whom Stereophonics were touring with) stands in for remaining dates.
2004 to 2005
.Jones writes the theme song for Ewan McGregor's road trip TV series, Long Way Round. "Ewan was a fan of the band and he asked me to do the song, and that was that, really. I just did it for him. It's a good show," he said. Jones altered the lyrics for the sequel Long Way Down. The fifth studio album, Language. Sex. Violence. Other?, features new drummer, Javier Weyler. The band gets its first No 1 single with the punky, upbeat Dakota.
.Pull The Pin is their fifth consecutive No 1 album. Jones releases his solo album, Only The Names Have Been Changed. Said Jones: "I had a few songs leftover from Pull The Pin. They had a theme with the girl song titles and it just became its own project. It had no singles, no marketing — it was quite refreshing, actually."
.During a performance at the monthly Q The Music Club event, Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones joins the band onstage. "I've no clue what's going on," said Jones at the time.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
IDA then said that this service will be ready by Q2 2008. And today ChannelNews Asia has revealed that this service will be available come 13-June-2008. Just as they predicted last Sept-07. When implemented from 13 June, full mobile number portability will allow anyone who wishes to keep their current number when they switch mobile operator, to do so by the next working day. How cool is that? IDA was spot on. Thats why they say Singapore is a great nation.
Now this brings to mind 2 things. First, why in the hell I renewed my contract just to get a new handphone? And how about Malaysia anyway? Back then they said, Q1-08 it will be ready. Is the service already in place? Can someone across the causeway let me know?
Datin Seri Rafidah Aziz
Is she right in saying this? I think Rafidah should take a step back and tell herself that being UMNO President does not equate to having one becoming the Prime Minister of Malaysia. It was never written in the Federal Consitution that an UMNO President automatically becomes Prime Minister of Malaysia. However the Constitution does say that to be the Prime Minister, one should be able to command the majority of Parliment.
So since UMNO being the single most dominant party and head of Barisan Nasional (BN), theoratically being President of UMNO indirectly makes him Prime Minister of Malaysia.
However this may not be true anymore. A recent case can be seen in Terengganu where Idris Jusoh was passed over by the Sultan despite him having the majority support of the State Assembly.
Plus, with Pak Lah's shaky position in UMNO itself and Opposition's hold on 82 seats in Parliment, it just take some no confidence votes from his own camp mixed together with Opposition members votes, sending Pak Lah into an awkward situation never seen before in this country. Thus putting into doubt his ability to command a majority in Parliment.
So Rafidah, please dont oversimplify the situation. Things are not as clear as it is anymore after the General Election. And nothing is engraved in stone.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Frankly I want to ask this protesters which I assume mostly made of UMNO, whats their anger is all about? Is it because pig is considered "haram" in Islam or is it because its an environmental hazzard or both? As we all know, this project was initally agreed upon by BN state govt although now Khir Toyo said he agreed only on principal, dont know what he means by that and I dont even care. Tanjung Sepat is plagued with illegal pig farms and polution today, so to centralized it under one roof in Kuala Langat utilizing the latest technology from Germany certainly is a viable option to pursue.
It doesnt help as well, Ali Rustam's blog Dari Kacamata Mohd Ali Rustam, http://www.mohdalirustam.blogspot.com/ penned a writing titled Ladang ternakan babi hadiah pilihan raya. But based on the barrage of negative comments he has received in his blog, I believe he can pack his bags and give this topic a rest.
So we are witnessing protests in Selangor, then why protests seems muted in Sarawak? In Sarawak, it was reported that there are plans to build a pig farm to cater 30% of Singapore's domestic needs, located in Pasir Puteh along the Pan Borneo highway.The farm is estimated to cost RM70 million, not too far off from the RM100 million project in Selangor. So is there hidden motive behind these protests? In Sarawak, BN is controlling the state elsewhere in Selangor its an Opposition controlled state. So its okay to have pig farm under BN but not under Opposition? I seriously believe BN hasnt learn their lesson yet.
If BN is is trying to destroy Selangor state govt credibility hoping to drag PAS along with it, then they have underestimated the voters intelligence yet again.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Above was an excerpt from his letter to The Sun on 7th Apr 2008. Sounds like a barrel of baloney to me. How would he like it if someone suggest hanging him and then say it was a joke? Plus come on, Cabinet meeting is a serious time for serious business and not a parody of jokes by Ministers. Lucky for people of planet Earth, he was once only Prime Minister of Malaysia.........nothing more than that.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Here is my Top 10 List of People That Should Shut Their Bloody Gab
1. Dr Mahathir - His recent attacks on Pak Lah I liken as a case of pointing 1 finger with 4 fingers pointing back at you. During Dr M administration, there were blatant and tonnes of gross injustices which I should not waste anyone's time itemizing it here. So Dr M, you deserve the No.1 spot for being the man who still unrepent and still demonizing others when the person you should reflect is yourself.
3. Samy Vellu - 3rd time is a charm for his opponent, Dr Jeyakumar. beating incumbent Samy Vellu in his own turf. But still he is clinging on to his post of MIC president. And how can I forget his famous remark in TV3, and I quote "DAP sudah mati". Well looks like we know who mati in the end, well literally speaking. And dramatically Samy has changed his spots asking for Hindraf 5 release.