the last time i went to a malaysian underground gig was like 10 years ago at the basement of one utama. i remembered that the gig was delayed due to an amp that blew up during soundcheck. that was the time my brother introduced me to saiful of seven collar t-shirt, and returning to the gig after a meal, missing out on performances by the likes of love me butch! last night, i had the opportunity to catch up with lost time (every time i had a vacation in KL, there’s be no gigs due to ramadhan!) at jam asia, a small establishment in hartamas. i wonder if the label underground is still apt as gigs in KL in this day and age are a dime and a dozen. in the old days, when there were a handful of local acts in the scene, the punters would lap it up fervently, no matter how crap they sound. the underground scene had to have a beginning and it was no surprise that ten years down the line, new local acts have improved in leaps and bounds.

i went to jam asia with some mates to check out bittersweet and they will kill us all. i knew none of their material and was keen to hear after paying 12 bucks at the door we managed to catch the latter half of killeur calculateur‘s raw punk-tinged set. the gig was reminiscent of the one shemubroja organised in sheffield last month, the big difference being the jam asia acts play only original material. there weren’t much in the ways of punters (?school/work night). getting the bands off and on the stage was done in an efficient ten minutes and we weren’t left in a lurch waiting on our asses. they will kill us all got onstage next and their screamo-tinged set simply blew me away. ably fronted by a chap named fizul, the band sounded amazing and was tight as hell.

bittersweet is a britpop/rock-influenced six-piece from perak who had a bloody great drummer. you could hear the R’n’B (the 60’s brit one, not of the jodeci variety) twang in their songs which were greeted by a small yet enthused mosh-pit. they exuded a confident air in their set and their faux british look (complete with burberry-esque mufflers) was somewhat, how should i put it, interesting. i enjoyed myself enough to check out their debut CD, perfect match, sold at the door.

being at jam asia last night made me think of how much further the malaysian student bands can go, especially with the new trend of gigs being organised in the universities around britain. one could lament on the lack of original material but one can be optimistic as there are a few individuals who dally in creating their own stuff. so, here’s to hoping that we get to see more of these bands then!

band member spotting that night? saw alda tan, hana (lucy in the loo) and i’m sure i saw chi of the old OAG, checking out TWKUA’s set at the sideline.

next stop: moonshine @ laundry, the curve.