An old friend, Patrick Chng of the Oddfellows, got married a few weeks ago. A pioneer in the local music scene, he had a post-wedding gig, bringing together a few of his favourite bands to play.
The last time when local bands gathered to celebrate an occasion was not a wedding union but to pay tribute to the life and times of one of us – Wayne Thunder in 2007. I missed that show, but it’s available on DVD, Rock For Wayne.
But the mood and vibe would be the same for both – people digging the bands, hanging out between sets, shooting the breeze and basically catching up with old friends you haven’t seen in a while. We’re there for the music and the camaraderie. For some, there was a magical moment when Etc played a mash up of local songs from our youth – the Oddfellows’ Your Smiling Face and the Padres’ Radio Station (“we’re so young we got time”). The band even threw in Violent Femmes for good measure – a song that Patrick performed at the 1987 X’mas Underground gig at the old Marine Parade library. For me, I got a kick when Livonia opened their set with Backseat Star.
Still, I try not get sentimental about such things or else we’ll be just be talking about the glory days like that old Bruce Springsteen song. Me, Patrick and Joe Ng (Corporate Toil and later, Padres) were in a short-lived band called Primitive Painters, which hardly anyone remembers. That’s fine by us because we should always be on the lookout for new music. One of the better gigs I attended recently was the launch of Zai Kuning’s Live in Tokyo CD at Black Hole and I’m looking forward to B-Quartet’s new album.
One more story to tell: back in 1988, me and Patrick rushed down to Da Da Records (Funan Centre) after reading X’Ho’s review of Soul Asylum’s Hang Time. The song that closes Side A of that record is a fitting coda as Patrick and Stephanie begin a new chapter in their lives:
Rise and shine, keep your razor sharp
Size up yourself in the mirror
A slice of life to last throughout the year
But sooner or later it all comes back to you
You give and you take and you leave, leave it alone
What I want so badly for this to be a place you can call home
And I haven't felt this way since yesterday, but I don't remember when
What I want so badly to be someone you can call a friend till we meet again
Hello, hello, hello again
Btw, congrats guys.