i would have been walking on the albert dock right now if i hadn’t decide on the last minute to return to sheffield at midnight last night.

i was at the liverpool gig, organised by a mate, yesterday. it was the first time i attended a malaysian-organised gig where i was not playing. did feel quite weird, but with ALHP being in a state of flux (yeah, wong, it’s all your fault. haha.), i’d rather not get onstage just yet.

the gig was well-organised. there were a few hiccups, but i have to say, in my experience, shit will happen and you just have to deal with it. the seven-band line-up was down to six, which thankfully helped made the gig to end on time (wasn’t sure there was a curfew or not!). the venue was a gem. the kit, backline and the JBL PA was top knotch. and most important of all, the punters who attended were supportive, unlike this one gig i played many years ago in a university up north.

my favourite band for the evening had to be kemunchup chenta se-malu, led by iedil, who played a great set of indie tunes and a lovely ska-infused no doubt medley. despite admitting to having very little practice, which i think is them being too modest, they knew how to engage the crowd and actually looked like they enjoyed themselves. i’m happy that they would be coming down our way in march.

seven leaf clover played some metallica material, whilst lighter fluid played a great set, as usual with aizat’s cacophony of effects, ayi’s frantic drumming and dan’s classic 50’s-styled shure mic. bleedinggums did great renditions of a couple of tunes from kembara’s back catalogue with much aplomb. pity they won’t be able to make it to sheffield this march! bantal kekabu ended the evening with a collection of malay rock classics, as per usual.

sheffield’s forbidden donut got onstage as the penultimate band. despite of the cuak factor and the cold affecting 50% of the band (in fact, many of the people i met yesterday had it!), they played very well. what surprised me was kazman’s antic onstage, hopping about like a chocobo who just ate a red pepper (perumpamaan peminat FF je yang paham ni). my shin-ei companion got its stage debut and sounded gorgeous plugged into the ampeg. sham did a great job on the bass for hysteria, which complemented xombie’s effect-laden guitar riffing. kenny’s drumming was rock solid behind the kit. and aboo looked chilled with his new tele.

talking about new guitars, i noted a significant difference in malaysian-organised gigs in the ten or so years i’ve been in this country. in the old days, every mat, abu and kassim had a BC rich warlock. it doesn’t even matter if they were bloody playing wing’s bernafas dalam lumpur with an axe that deserved tunes like sepultura’s refuse/resist. stompboxes were seen but they were all bog standard multieffects fare. last night, i saw guitarists with complex effects setup. guys with beautiful american-crafted guitars costing more than a grand. preferences for more classic guitar makes (i saw an epiphone sheraton, several fender teles and a silver glittered danelectro last night). tunes of various genres not limited to just metal.

things have changed, as they should.

photos on flickr.