Final act announced for first ever Singapore Rock Festival

Rock and metal fans have even more to be excited about for the inaugural Singapore Rock Festival this March, with the addition of one more band to the now seven-strong, two-day bill.

Heavy grunge godfathers Alice in Chains will headline and close the event on on 6 March, following performances by previously announced co-headliners Rob Zombie and Korn, and Five Finger Death Punch, Black Veil Brides, Alter Bridge, and Newsted.

Final act announced for first ever Singapore Rock Festival

In many ways, Alice in Chains was the definitive heavy metal band of the early 90s. They were hard enough for metal fans, yet their dark subject matter and punky attack placed them among the front ranks of the Seattle-based grunge bands. While this dichotomy helped the group soar to multi-platinum status with their second album, 1992’s Dirt, it also divided them.

After a long hiatus, the members of Alice in Chains have decided to honor their musical legacy by taking their beloved songs to the road this spring/summer throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

Singapore Rock Festival 2014
with Alice in Chains, Korn, Rob Zombie, Alter Bridge, Newsted, Five Finger Death Punch, and Black Veil Brides
Fort Canning Park
5 & 6 March 2014
6:30pm

Early bird double shot package: S$198
Early bird single shot: S$118

Standard double shot package: S$216
Standard single shot: S$128

At the door: $148

Tickets available now at SISTIC.

By Melissa Yong

Malaysia’s Upfront Arena launches with Foals in KL

Leading KL venue The Bee has just announced that it will be launching a brand new series of live shows called Upfront Arena this March, kicking off with acclaimed Oxford band Foals.

The series is an extension of the venue’s current Upfront series. While Upfront will continue to bring “up-and-coming” international live acts such as Mac DeMarco, Grimes, and Ra Ra Riot to The Bee; Upfront Arena will present “bigger names in bigger venues”, with Foals a perfect fit to launch the new series.

Hailing from Oxford, England, the band was formed by longtime friends Yannis Philippakis (guitar) and Jack Bevan (drums), along with Andrew Mears on vocals, guitarist Jimmy Smith, and bassist Walter Gervers.

The quintet aimed to stand out from the other “proggier” bands in Oxford, and began playing at house parties around the area. It wasn’t long until their poppy, jittery, upbeat, math rock/post-punk sound reached the radar of Transgressive Records, who have released all three of the band’s albums to date.

Debut album Antidotes was released in 2008, followed by Total Life Forever in 2010 and Holy Fire in 2013, all to critical acclaim, earning the band legions of fans all over the world.

Upfront Arena presents: Foals
KL Live
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
8pm
RM157 (pre-sale), RM187 (regular)

Tickets are available now at TicketPro.

By Melissa Yong

Empire of the Sun announce Singapore show

Singapore’s newest live event organiser, Forefront Asia (which quite strangely, seems to have popped out of nowhere) has announced that Australian electronic duo Empire of the Sun (EOTS) will be the first act to launch their new live music series in Singapore, titled ‘The Gathering‘.

Scheduled to perform on 21 February, (an entire one day before fellow new kid on the block, Hostess Club Weekender) at Fort Canning Green, the show will be the award-winning electronic music act’s first ever headline show in Singapore, following their appearance at Avalon At Large in 2011 alongside Chemical Brothers, Flo Rida, Above & Beyond, Santigold, Major Lazer, and Steve Aoki, amongst others.

The anticipated EOTS performance will include a “high octane display of lights, choreography and scintillating showmanship”, as the band performs hits from their highly successful debut album Walking on a Dream and their critically acclaimed sophomore album Ice on the Dune, which was released in June last year.

The Australian duo, who formed in 2008, comprises of longtime collaborators Luke Steele of alternative rock act of The Sleepy Jackson, and Nick Littlemore of electronic dance outfit Pnau.

However, judging from recent photos of their gigs, it seems that Luke Steele will be performing without Nick Littlemore for this run of dates. Littlemore is known for his last minute no-shows, and has recently been absent from some of the band’s live shows in Australia.

Empire of the Sun
Fort Canning Green
Friday, 21 February 2014
7pm
$85 (early bird), $98 (standard), $120 (at the door)

Tickets available now at EventClique.

By Cindy Tan

Inaugural Singapore Rock Festival set to kick off this March

LAMC Productions has just announced the very first Singapore Rock Festival, with six of the hardest and heaviest rock bands to join forces for two nights this March at Fort Canning Park.

Co-headliners Rob Zombie and Korn will be joined by acclaimed hard rock bands Five Finger Death Punch and Black Veil Brides on Wednesday 5 March 2014, and rock juggernauts Alter Bridge will headline the second night on Thursday, 6 March 2014 with support coming from Newsted (led by former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted).

A music artist and auteur filmmaker with shrewd insight and unlimited vision, Rob Zombie has continuously challenged audiences as he stretches the boundaries of film, music and publishing. The seven-time Grammy-nominated artist recently released his fifth solo album, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor and has sold over fifteen million albums worldwide to date.

The members of Korn built an immortal bond back in 1993 the first time that Jonathan Davis, James “Munky” Shaffer, Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu, and Brian “Head” Welch decided to make music as a unit. The band’s eleventh studio album The Paradigm Shift was recorded with producer Don Gilmore (Linkin Park) and melds the group’s ever-present spirit of innovation with their signature metallic catharsis, paving the way for the future yet again.

Inaugural Singapore Rock Festival set to kick off this March

Alter Bridge was formed in 2004 when three ex-members of Creed joined forces with former Mayfield Four frontman & Slash collaborator Myles Kennedy. The band’s gold-certified debut album One Day Remains spawned three singles as well as the track ‘Metalingus’, and was followed quickly with the release of their second album Blackbird in 2007 to critical acclaim, and their most recent album Fortress, released in August 2013.

After his departure from Metallica in 2001, former bassist Jason Newsted embarked on a number of projects & collaborations. In December 2012, he formed the band NEWSTED as his new project, and their debut album Heavy Metal Music was released in August 2013.

The success of the band’s The Way of The Fist (2007), War Is The Answer (2009) and American Capitalist (2011) albums over the years has made Five Finger Death Punch one of the few bands in the rock genre to consistently see significant growth not only in fanbase but also physical and digital sales — and there is no slowing down for them in 2014.

Formed in 2006, Black Veil Brides originally came together in Cincinnati, Ohio. Primarily the brainchild of vocalist Andy Six, the band combines cathartic metalcore/screamo with a dark, gothic image to set it apart from its contemporaries. Bringing together guitarist Jinxx (formerly of the Dreaming), guitarist Jake Pitts, bassist Ashley Purdy, and drummer Sandra Alvarenga, the band began to refine its image and sound, touring with groups like Eyes Set to Kill and From First to Last. For their latest release, their third, Black Veil Brides channelled their gothic image to create the conceptual punk rock opera Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, which was released in early 2013.

Singapore Rock Festival 2014
with Korn, Rob Zombie, Alter Bridge, Newsted, Five Finger Death Punch, and Black Veil Brides
Fort Canning Park
5 & 6 March 2014
6:30pm

Early bird double shot package: S$198
Early bird single shot: S$118

Standard double shot package: S$216
Standard single shot: S$128

At the door: $148

Tickets for the first night on 5 March are on sale now while tickets for the second night on 6 March go on sale 9am on 10 January at SISTIC.

By Cindy Tan

Malaysian songstress Yuna returns to Singapore

In the case of local talent bursting into the international scene, Yuna is a fine example.

In a remarkably short period of time, Yuna has risen from DIY notoriety to full-on international stardom. Released in October last year, her latest album, Nocturnal, made her the first artist from her homeland to conquer the American market, and marks a major step forward for the young singer-songwriter.

Having performed at major music festivals such as Bonnaroo and the 2012 edition of Lollapalooza, and with TV spots such as on Late Night with Conan O’ Brien and Last Call with Carson Daly, this 27- year old’s credentials are none to be trifled with.

Yuna is a unique case in the face of Asian music, and the connecting divide between culture and pop sensibility. The eclectic indie-folk princess will return to Asia this month with a one-off show in Singapore.

Yuna
Esplanade Concert Hall
Friday, 24 January 2014
7.30pm
$118, $88, $68

Tickets are available now at all authorised SISTIC outlets.

By Evan Woon

GUIGUISUISUI books totally absurd 43-city tour of Asia

After an eight-city tour of China, South Korea, and Japan at the start of 2013, DIY punk-blues artist GUIGUISUISUI is now embarking on a significantly more comprehensive tour across Asia that will see him playing in 43 cities over just under two months.

His first since early 2013, this massive tour will begin in Beijing on 3 January and will conclude on 1 March, with 29 Chinese cities in between, plus 14 cities across Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

Originally from England, GUIGUISUISUI started making dark garage blues on a variety of instruments including a one stringed skateboard guitar (The Diddly Board) in Changchun, northeast China in 2012. Since arriving in Beijing in the summer of 2013, he has worked with a number of DIY labels, most prominently the vinyl-only label Genjing Records.

He won’t be the first artist from Genjing Records to tour the region, fellow labelmates including Fanzui Xiangfa (犯罪想法), Pairs and Alpine Decline have also previously toured throughout Asia… though perhaps not with such an insanely busy and ambitious tour schedule.

GUIGUISUISUI tour dates

China Part I

January 3, 2014: Beijing (Temple) w/ Streets Skill Strange Animals, Low Bow etc
January 4, 2014: Nanjing (Castle Bar) w/ Plastic Heads
January 5, 2014: Suzhou (Tunnel) w/ Plastic Heads, Roundeye
January 7, 2014: Jiaxing (Old Wood Bar) w/ Plastic Heads
January 8, 2014: Hangzhou TBC
January 9, 2014: Songjian (Alone Bar) w/ Plastic Heads, Roundeye
January 10, 2014: Shanghai (696) w/ Pairs, Plastic Heads
January 11, 2014: Wuhan (VOX) w/ Plastic Heads
January 12, 2014: Changsha (4698)
January 13, 2014: Nanchang (Black Iron)
January 14, 2014: Fuzhou TBC
January 15, 2014: Quanzhou (Linsa Folk Bar)
January 16, 2014: Xiamen TBC
January 17, 2014: Shenzen (Hongtangguan)

Indonesia

January 19, 2014: Sidoarjo TBC
January 20, 2014: Batu TBC
January 22, 2014: Malang TBC
January 23, 2014: Surabaya TBC
January 25, 2014: Sragen TBC
January 26, 2014: Salatiga TBC
January 28, 2014: Jogja TBC
January 31, 2014: Bandung TBC
February 1, 2014: Tannerang TBC
February 2, 2014: Jakarta TBC

Singapore/Malaysia

February 4, 2014: Singapore TBC
February 5, 2014: Johor Bahru TBC
February 6, 2014: Penang TBC
February, 2014: Taiping TBC
February, 2014: Kuala Lumpur (Findars)

China Part II

February 10, 2014: Guangzhou It’s a secret!
February 11,2014: Hong Kong (Saffron At the Peak) w/ Say Mosquito
February 13,2014: Guilin (Cats and Rabbits)
February 14,2014: Liuzhou (Fei Bar)
February 15,2014: Nanning (King of Live)
February 16, 2014: Kunming TBC
February 18, 2014: Dali (Bad Monkey)
February 21,2014: Chongqing (Nuts)
February 22, 2014: Chengdu (Little Bar) w/ Hi Person
February 23,2014: Deyang (There Live)
February 25,2014: Xi’an (Apperature)
February 26, 2014: Zhengzhou TBC
February 27, 2014 Xinxiang (Subark Live) w/ The Fallacy
February 28, 2014: Taiyuan 80’s Impression Live House
March 1, 2014: Beijing (XP) w/ Alpine Decline, After Argument

By Katherine Pollock

And So I Watch You From Afar make Southeast Asian debut in Singapore

Irish band And So I Watch You From Afar (ASIWYFA) has just announced their debut show in Southeast Asia, to be held in Singapore on 28 February.

The four-piece from Belfast is one of Ireland’s most beloved alternative musical outfits, receiving overwhelming critical acclaim and accolades for their dynamic post-rock and trademark guitar riffs.

Forming in 2005, they have released three EPs and three albums to date, also touring at an unparalleled pace for over five years building a legion of fans around the world from Belarus to China, and most recently, India.

In the band’s latest record, All Hail Bright Futures, there is a new colour scheme in place: new textures, emotions, sounds and voices — a positive uplift that more closely matches the euphoria the Northern Ireland quartet has been instilling in audiences through their music in a live setting.

All Hail Bright Futures is ASIWYFA’s first recording done as a three-piece following the departure of Tony Wright. They will head back out on the road as a four-piece with their new, full-time member Niall Kennedy on guitar and perform songs from the new album — their boldest statement yet — that states a renewed case for a magnetizing band at their best.

And So I Watch You From Afar
with sub:shaman
Zouk
Friday, 28 February 2014
$45 (early-bird), $55 (regular)

Tickets are available now.

By Melissa Yong

Mosaic Music Festival announces its tenth and final line-up

Mosaic Music Festival is a ten day festival in Singapore that features both local and international acts every year.

The festival has built a solid reputation in Singapore’s music landscape of always providing punters with a trustworthy line-up, regardless of how familiar you may be with certain genres. And next year’s line-up is no different.

A host of international talent including Hellogoodbye, The Big Pink, ALPINE, and The Cat Empire will join one local act (the first of many), Charlie Lim & The Mothership, as part of the festival, with more to be announced in January next year.

2014 will also mark the tenth and final year for the Mosaic Music Festival. Speaking of the end of the festival, organisers said in an informal Facebook announcement: “The scene has blossomed since we launched in 2005, and with such a wide variety of concerts and festivals out there, we can now take stock. We’re going to see what more we can do for you as music lovers and for music in Singapore.”

The festival’s aim when it started in 2004 was to provide a platform for interaction between Singaporean and international artists, and by the sounds of it, organisers feel that with the recent success of festivals like Camp Symmetry and Laneway Festival in Singapore, their efforts are no longer needed.

Despite the increasing instances of international artists killing it in Singapore, the burgeoning local scene — and the infrastructure that surrounds it — continues to struggle. The recent closure of Broadcast HQ revealed the legislative and financial challenges facing business owners trying to support a local alternative music scene.

Nevertheless, Mosaic remains a good example of efforts to support the alternative music scene in Singapore. This is only the festival’s first announcement, with just about the remaining half of the programme to be announced in January, including the remaining ticketed shows as well as a guaranteed packed schedule of free performances.

And despite this being the end of the festival as an exhaustingly exhilarating ten day affair, organisers have promised that the Mosaic name is by no means dead: “keep a look out to see who we’re bringing to Esplanade for the Mosaic series in the near future,” they assure us.

Mosaic Music Festival 2014 line-up:

Esplanade Concert Hall

11 March, 2014: John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension (UK)
13 March, 2014: The Cat Empire (AU)
14 March, 2014: The Big Pink (UK)
15 March, 2014: John Pizzarelli Quartet (USA)
16 March, 2014: Neko Case (US)

Mosaic Club (Esplanade Theatre Studio)

7 March, 2014: Hellogoodbye (US)
8 March, 2014: Caspian (US)
14 March, 2014: Young Dreams (Norway)
15 March, 2014: ALPINE (AU)
16 March, 2014: Charlie Lim & The Mothership (SG)

Mosaic Studio (Esplanade Recital Studio)

7 March, 2014: Kurt Rosenwinkel (US)
9 March, 2014: Ólafur Arnalds (Iceland)
11 & 12 March, 2014: Buika (Spain)
13 March, 2014: Omar Sosa & Paolo Fresu Duo

Mosaic Music Festival
7 – 16 March 2014
Esplanade, Theatres By the Bay

Tickets are on sale now. For more details, click here.

By Katherine Pollock

Hostess Club Weekender to bring five international acts to Singapore

Following the announcement of the launch of its label in Singapore a month ago, Japanese independent label Hostess Entertainment Unlimited has just announced that it will be bringing their live series Hostess Club Weekender (HCW) to our shores.

HCW for the past two years has become a permanent and hugely popular fixture in the Japanese live calendar, and has so far presented Hostess artists established and new of the calibre of Vampire Weekend, Dirty Projectors, Travis, Bloc Party, Hot Chip, Spiritualized, Dinosaur Jr, Toro Y Moi, Youth Lagoon, Deap Valley and Perfume Genius.

Hostess Club Weekender to bring five international acts to Singapore

As part of Hostess’s continuing regional expansion, HCW will take place in Fort Canning Park on Saturday, 22 February next year. The inaugural show in Singapore will feature critics’ darlings The National, Mogwai, as well as up-and-comers King Krule, Asgeir, and Buke & Gase to make a compelling and relatively fresh line-up.

“It’s been amazing watching HCW grow with its audience and gradually start to matter in other countries as well, ” says Andrew Lazonby, Hostess Founder and CEO. “It’s made with us as fans of the music in mind, and we’re excited to be able to now properly introduce the unique Weekender vibes to Singapore.”

With the onslaught of events including Laneway and HCW hitting Singapore in January and February next year, indie music fans of the region have exciting times ahead and a big hole in their wallets to look forward to.

Ticketing details will be announced soon.

By Cindy Tan

Local acts join Singapore’s Laneway 2014 line-up

We’ve already covered the amazing line-up Laneway Festival have planned for January next year, but the three new bands just added to the line-up are Singaporean acts: GemaThe Observatory and Vandetta

This is the first time so much local talent has been shown at the festival, Laneway Festival co-founder Danny Rogers explained. “We have always wanted to showcase local talents since we started here in 2009. This year, with the addition of a third stage, we finally had the room to actually do it. These three acts I picked personally are all truly worthy of their position in this incredible group of artists. Festival-goers are in for such a treat.”

Gema is an emerging electronic act part of the Syndicate group of audio and visual artists in Singapore. His Soundcloud has some pretty nice remixes, including a few featuring fellow Laneway performers James Blake and Vandetta, and his James Blake x Justin Timberlake mix is particularly good.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/86935458″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

 

Vandetta’s appearance at the festival follows the recent release of her debut solo EP. The darkly electronic and soulful sound of her EP was created using only her voice as an instrument: her vocal pops, clicks, whispers and hisses formed the beats for each track.

The Observatory are perhaps the most established of the three acts: the band have toured extensively overseas and have been kicking around for more than a decade. Comprising mostly of the alumni of significant Singaporean bands from the 90s, they have created a very unique blend of spooky folktronica — check out their track “Headworm” for a better idea.

The new addition of the third stage functions as a great opportunity for local acts to perform alongside international headliners, and also makes good on Laneway’s promise of bigger and better for 2014 — the third station turns The Meadow into a festival in the truest sense of the word.

Including the new acts, the line-up for Singapore’s Laneway Festival 2014 is as follows:

Chvrches
Daughter
Frightened Rabbit
Haim
Gema
Jagwar Mar
James Blake
Jamie XX
The Jezabels
Kurt Vile
Mount Kimbie
The Observatory
Savages
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Vance Joy
Vandetta
XXYYXX
Youth Lagoon

Laneway Festival Singapore 2014
The Meadow, Gardens By the Bay
Saturday, 25 January 2014
$150

Tickets are available now from eventCliQue.com and SISTIC.

By Katherine Pollock