Last Sunday saw me traipsing down to Nottingham for the monoloQue/Altimet gig organised by KNUKE. This year’s KNUKE tour has a different twist to it as two of the shows are latched on to the Malaysia Nights at Warwick Uni and UCL, as well as the tour brings them across the water to Dublin.

In all honesty, the only monoloQue material I was privy to were the demos that were on loQue’s website when he was at Berklee as well as stuff on YouTube which I had shamelessly muat turun-ed the mp3 (sorry, bro – ko tau aku nanti beli CD ko, kan?). The monoloQue demos were pretty much electronic/experimental in sound and before the show, loQue described that the finalised versions of these songs on their debut record Hikayat Halimunan Abad Ke-21 are pretty much organic. And, man, I was well impressed.

monoloQue’s also composed off the other two erstwhile Butterfingers bandmates, Kadak and Loko, as well as Ijoo (previously of Private Whizz) on guitar and noises, and Apex who handles both guitar and keyboard duties. The band kicked off the set with the poignant caklempong-tinged Chinta with loQue behind the keyboards. monoloQue’s allusion to well-known Malay verses or even day-to-day phrases strung together (“Kemalangan tak berbau/Hati-hati ketika melintas/Ada lencongan di hadapan“) can be heard on penghormatan terakhir. And no, it’s not a song about traffic awareness. Their recent P Ramlee effort, Tiada Kata Scantik Bahasa, which is a fantastic re-arrangement of the original tune from Anak-ku Sazali, proved to be a hit with the audience. To the punters with a hankering for a faster-paced rocker, Badang Kotaraya didn’t disappoint. monoloQue ended their short-ish set with the eponymous Jika Ku Seorang Robot, complete with a Thom Yorke-esque silat intro and Ijoo’s GT-8-generated noise outro.

We were then entertained by The Dayfuckers, made up of Bruneians (and a Malaysian) studying in Coventry, with their self-penned tunes. LoQue and I agreed that the singer did sound a tad like Julian Casablancas. After their 15-minute set, Altimet, DJ Fuzz and Adeep (of The Fabulous Cats) got onstage getting the heat up in the house with the resounding Syukur. For those who were born in the 1970′s, you’d be remissed to not notice the sample to the late Sudirman’s Nilai Cinta Mu forming the basis of this tune. Tonight saw a second tune from the P Ramlee Sebuah Indiepretasi record which was Altimet’s rendition of Maafkan Kami (from Pendekar Bujang Lapok) which got the house singing along to the chorus.

By this time, I had noticed how Atimet’s songs dealt with a bunch of issues including religion and those faced by artistes in the current Malaysian entertainment scene: “Hello cuba teka siapa kembali/Dia main sample lagi/…/Bisik bisik bikin kontroversi/Bukan lagu dia seakan seperti/Lagu si pulan yang itu ini/Tapi dilajukan key lebih tinggi“, only to hit back: “Jadi mereka menuding jari/Kamu tak kreatif sama cerita/Kamu kurang memahami/Dalam muzik kami inilah naluri“. As the previous gig at Warwick Uni, Adeep picked a birthday girl from the crowd and serenaded her with a beautiful rendition of Eric Benét’s The Last Time. The house got rocking again with Chantek and Kotarayaku (dedicated to all the KL people in the house). The evening ended with a short DJ set by DJ Fuzz.

As this gig wasn’t tagged to a university event, it was somewhat difficult to pull a larger crowd at Nottingham, especially with it being a Sunday night (yup, school night). Also, as booking a venue goes – getting the much coveted Saturday night slot is near-to-impossible, unless you are Pearl Jam or you try getting a less-than-satisfactory venue (like the Broomhall balairaya we used for the Sheffield Gig) for the likes of more established acts that KNUKE tends to bring over. The saving grace to the Nottingham show was the much smaller and intimate venue, and the fantastic sound provided by the front of house crew.

Choice YouTube vids of the gig can seen here:
monoloQue – Glitch Merong Mahawangsa, Badang Kotaraya, Jika Ku Seorang Robot
Altimet – Chantek

Photos at flickr.com as per usual: monoloQue, Altimet