The only thing that’s as hot as the Singapore weather is the concert schedule for July. British indie legends The Stone Roses are the pick of the bunch although the likes of The Kooks, Metric and Korean girl group Kara are definitely very sizzling hot picks too.
Pick Of The Month: The Stone Roses
One of the pioneers of the “Madchester” movement in the late 1980s, The Stone Roses were the darlings of the UK indie music press in 1989 when they released their excellent self-titled debut album. Their songs were melodic, melancholic and their sound was a throw back to an era gone by yet refreshing and contemporary. In guitarist John Squire, they had a bona fide guitar hero who coaxed out beautiful chiming riffs and soaring solos. Too bad the Manchester quartet failed to build on their debut.
Fans waited for five years before The Stone Roses released “The Second Coming” in 1994. The general consensus was that it failed to match the brilliance of their debut and the band eventually broke up a couple of years after. Frontman Ian Brown went on to a decent solo career and I thought watching him ‘live’ some years ago was the closest I was going to get to seeing The Stone Roses. Who cares if Ian is prone to singing off key? Fans like me are excited that the band has re-united and we want to see them play songs like “Elephant Stone”, “I Wanna Be Adored”, “Made Of Stone” and the epic “I Am The Resurrection”. Maybe I just want to relive the “Madchester” era where the fusion of psychedelic rock, dance grooves and indie pop meshed into one glorious vibe and sound. I wished they had come in 1990 but better late than never.
When: 22 July 2012; 8pm
Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium
How much: $148, $128, $68 from Sistic
The K-Pop phenomenon shows no signs of abating in Singapore. The Koreans took the Spice Girls and Girls Aloud formula from the UK, refined it, pumped big money into the acts and unleashed them onto the unsuspecting world. The K-pop conveyor belt has given us girl groups like the Wonder Girls, Girls Generation and Kara. It’s hard to tell them apart but at the same time, it’s so hard to take your eyes off them.
Kara was formed in 2007 and comprises of Park Gyuri, Han Seungyeon, Jung Nicole, Goo Hara, and Kang Jiyoung. The quintet has sold over 1 million albums in Japan, became the first Korean female group to top Japan’s Oricon Weekly Singles Chart and received the New Artist Of The Year (International) award from Japan Gold Disc Awards in 2010. The girls will be here for the first time and while this is promoted as a showcase gig, fans can expect 80 minutes of catchy songs, slick dancing and good clean fun.
When: 10 July 2012; 7pm
Where: Festive Grand™, Resorts World™ at Sentosa
How much: $148, $98 from Sistic
Formed 8 years ago, The Kooks have built up quite a fan following with their potent hybrid of melodic ‘60s British Invasion pop sensibilities, folk influences and late ‘70s post-punk sound. They’ve also been compared to The Libertines and Artic Monkeys although personally, I think they sound a lot like Ocean Colour Scene at times. Well, everything old is new again. The Kooks are currently one of the hottest UK indie bands and they’re heading our way!
‘Is It Me’
If you’re big on melodies and song craft, then The Kooks will probably be your type of band. Their third and latest album, “Junk Of The Heart”, is filled with melodic hooks and catchy tunes. It’s jangly guitar pop at its best. So yes, I’m looking forward to catching The Kooks ‘live’ and I think the feel-good vibe in their music is going to permeate throughout the Esplanade that night.
When: 25 July 2012; 7:30pm
Where: Esplanade Concert Hall
How much: $148, $128, $108, $88, $68
Canadian indie pop band Metric are playing first ever gig in Singapore on 31 July. Formed in Toronto back in 1998, the band released its debut album, “Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?” in 2003. The follow-up album two years later, “Live It Out”, was a breakthrough in Canada and gave them three Top 20 hits. It wasn’t long before the UK and American indie music press took notice of Metric.
‘Youth Without Youth’
The quartet’s fourth album, “Fantasies”, won the Alternative Album of the Year and Group of the Year categories at the 2010 Juno Awards, Canada’s equivalent of the Grammy Awards. The quartet’s fifth and latest album, “Synthetica”, was released two months ago, which is the reason why the band is currently on tour. The band is at its creative peak so this is a gig that’s definitely not to be missed.
When: 31 July 2012; 7:30pm
Where: Esplanade Concert Hall
How much: $148, $128, $108, $88, $68 from Sistic
Forever young at heart, Patrick Chng loves going to gigs and checking out Singapore bands. He has also been playing in bands since the late 1980s, writing about music and being an important mover and shaker in the Singapore indie music scene. When he's not checking out or playing gigs, he's at home playing with his guitars and updating his Facebook.