Saturday, November 12, 2016

FURIA (Pol) - 'Guido'

 
FURIA (Pol)
'Guido'
PAGAN RECORDS (Pol)
Release Date : 16/10/2016
 
FURIA has raised its bizarre head once again. For those who are familiar with the band, every EP - that comes out in between of full length, is always something to watch out for. It would normally turned experi-mentally bizarre and progressively insane.

They have earlier went to one isolated venue, and recorded their most obscure and rawest material ever - the exclusive 'Huta Laura/Katowice/Krolewska Huta' EP (2010). 'Exclusive' here meant that the tracks were never to be played and recorded again. For us, that EP was their best and in its most 'underground' form ever.

The 'Halny' EP (2010) started the bigger experimental and complex side of FURIA. While, 'W Melancholii' EP (2013) kept that bigger 'drone' influence and 'heavy' tone, yet still 'psycho'delic.

Now came 'Guido', recorded live in a depth of 320 metres down in an old Polish mine named - Guido. The band has brought back extreme metal back into the underground, in practicality now.

The materials basically consist of 2 parts. The 'Stara Polska Ksiezycowa' 7 'EP (which should translated as 'Old Polish Moon) offers 2 new tracks in the band's signature musical superiority. The track No. 2 was more mid-paced and epic with splashes of gothic and romantic vocal tone.

While, the 12 'LP - 'Ubrdy, Czesc 1' was the interesting pieces and said to feature 3 improvised tracks (with intro/sampling). It really revealed the experimental and progressive side of FURIA. It started with the intro - "320 w 2", which sounded like a sampling/real  recording of the band entering into the mine. While, the 3 tracks to follow were like transcendental music with Nihil (vocal/guitar) taking position to do the story telling about whatever mysteries can be found down there. The way the music was crafted is brilliant, from the progressive opening to the drone-style guitar chugging in the middle that built and drove the momentum, and the final explosion at the climax of Nihil's voice. The track "Hahary" was the perfect example.

Listening to FURIA is like goin' into 'astral journey', letting yourself out into wild unexplored terrain, but as soon as you began to drift afar, it will pull you back to whence you started.

The is already the band's 11th releases todate (inclusive of 2 demos earlier). For fans of FURIA, you all should have known what to expect ... If you don't, throw yourself into the deep of 'Guido', and listen to the album down there until you finally did ...

To order : http://www.pagan-records.com/webshop/
 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

WINGS : 25TH ANNIVERSARY HARD ROCK CAFE SHOWCASE : KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA : 08/11/2016


It was said that ticket sold out in just 4 days (approximately 750 tickets or so). That served as a statement on how strong WINGS has its fanbase here in Malaysia. It was their 4th appearance for 2016 after Sg Golok Bike Week (14/05/2016), Rockoustic (20/08/2016) and Rockaway (29/10/2016).

The interesting part about the showcase was how it was set to open - yes, in pure rock & roll style. Playing at club/pub/café-like venue, the vibe is normally stronger because of the close distance between the band and the crowds. We believed that all the gears must have already been set right. When the band was announced, one by one, the members of WINGS rushed to the stage with loud cheers from the crowds. With no further sound check, they hit the night. It was their 'rawest' sound ever. It sounded like plug & play jam session. The setlists was one of their best.
 
From the main floor we stood, the sound unfortunately went burst. It was too sharp at time and felt deafening. It was not able to support the high notes that AWIE delivered that night. Yet, the band was tight as usual. Hopefully we could get an official audio release from the showcase - soundboard recording with minor clean up here and there as to ease the ear piercing sound. Simply because of the 'vibe' and 'rawness', and we also liked the setlists.













Legend said that when the music is too loud to your ear, you are to old to rock & roll. But that was not the case at Hard Rock Cafe, the sound system appeared to be the night's biggest let down. It however started to improve when the set moved to "Inspirasi Taming Sari" later. Perhaps, the main floor facing the stage was the closest to the speakers and it might contributed to the ear slaughtering we experienced that night. But the fans rocked on nevertheless.
 
We moved to far back when WINGS did "Ranggi Metropolis", and the sound was better and appeared more balance. The crowds at the back looked stronger with the sing along especially during "Taman Rashidah Utama" and "Sejati". We're not sure how it sounded like at the main floor after "Ranggi Metropolis". But if you could compromise a little short of sighting at the band on stage, being at the back gave a better listening pleasure (you could always checked the in-house television on what was happening on stage).

Earlier, when the show was about to start, the in-house DJ played SCORPIONS' "Rock You Like A Hurricane" and as the song reached the chorus with the verse "... here I am, rock you like a ..." it then paused and the crowds gave a loud " ... hurricane ..." in return. By then, all in Hard Rock Café were ready.

Once WINGS was called upon at nearly 10.30 pm,  a guy well dressed in the traditional Malay costume came on stage. He was like being given a task to recreate the 'modern' atmosphere of Hard Rock Café with a strike of 'ancient' melody - the 'Nafiri'. We thought that the song "Amok" will open the night, but it was not.

Once the sound of 'Nafiri' reached every corner of the café, JOE rushed to the stage and grabbed the guitar. He appeared to keep the hat trademark (now wearing a cowboy hat) from the 'Rockaway' show. EDDIE and BLACK would soon followed.

Immediately JOE unleashed his signature strum just like when he opened "Hukum Karma" during 'Bongkar - Ta'kan Melayu Hilang Di Dunia' show in Istana Budaya. The drum and bass set in, and AWIE made his way out to the stage. A relatively similar version of "Hukum Karma" started the night and the cheers would then continue until the end.

Continuing their usual repertoire, the selection of the first 3 tracks back-to-back was again brilliant. It was "Hukum Karma" - "Romania" - "Bujang Senang". But when the songs - "Nasib Kita" and "Harapan" were delivered (which got AWIE at his top of the lung), it turned quite disastrous with the sound system. AWIE then requested the technical team to check and help to improve the sound.

While "Ingatkan Dia" started with a long progressive organ/keyboard intro which AWIE joked to it like they were playing at hotel lobby.

Taking photo as a fan this time around was a challenge. We started at the main floor, and it was tough to get a decent shot as the crowds were really having great time, punching the air, singing along, capturing some moments with their smartphones, making the signature =W= sign everywhere etc. The crowds were at their best the whole night, and that's what the meaning of 'fans' was all about.

We then moved to the right corner (facing the stage), hoping to get one or two better shots.

Our biggest thanks to all the brothers and sisters who were cool and kind enough to give space for us to squeeze through (we've tried to be as careful as possible not to cause any discomfort to your enjoyment).



At that point, unintentionally, we somehow appeared to block part of the passage for the Hard Rock Café staffs to move through, and that 'one sturdy Hard Rock Café security' passed us a 'remark'. We just apologized and told him that it would take less than few minutes to snap a shot or two and will immediately move away once done. Having experienced WINGS 30th Anniversary celebration at Stadium Merdeka last year, the securities whom comprised of well built grim bikers from Lost Cowboy, Violent Storm etc were way cooler.
 
On second thought, we understood that 'he' was there to work his duty, whereas we were there for the love of rock & roll, and most of all, for WINGS, the band we have cherished for the last 29 years.

So were all the fans who were there that night, and that explained why all of you were the coolest. Rock Bro ! Hahaha ...

A late 'salam takziah' to Zul of Sayap2Wings & family for the passing of his beloved father recently, al-fatihah.

Setlists
  1) Hukum Karma (Hukum Karma)
  2) Romania (Teori Domino)
  3) Bujang Senang (Teori Domino)
  4) Nasib Kita (Best of Wings 2)
  5) Harapan (Teori Domino)
  6) Blues Ular Sawa (Double Trouble 2)
  7) Inspirasi Taming Sari (Belenggu Irama)
  8) Ranggi Metropolis (Naga Kramat)
  9) Ingatkan Dia (Menakluk Kosmos)
10) Taman Rashidah Utama (Hukum Karma)
11) Jerangkung Dalam Almari (Jerangkung Dalam Almari)
12) Opera Hidup (Hukum Karma)
13) Sejati (Teori Domino)

Monday, December 28, 2015

WINGS : KONSERT WINGS 30 TAHUN - BACK TO 80'S : PADANG B - PLAZA ANGSANA JOHOR BAHRU - MALAYSIA : 25/12/2015


The year 2015 was simply the best year for us witnessing WINGS at their best form ever and continuously making history. We were fortunate to be there at Melaka as they opened the year with Konsert Menakluk Kosmos - Melaka on 31/01/2015. Again, there we were at their final show : Konsert Wings 30 Tahun - Johor Bahru on 25/12/2015.

It was an honour for Johor Bahru to get the slot for Konsert Wings 30 Tahun. Thank you WINGS, AGE TECH, ANGGERIK EVENT and SAYAP2WINGS. As JOE did mentioned in one of the interviews - if WINGS do continue with the same show next year (2016), its not goin' to be their 30th Anniversary celebration, as the band will turn 31 years already. So, Johor Bahru was lucky to host the 2nd and final show. It has been 5 years since WINGS last hit the stage here down south (Konsert Double Trouble 2010). The long wait was finally over, and it should triggered all Johor born rockers to attend. Muafakat Johor !

The night session started at around 8.00 pm with guests like UCOP, RONNIE, ITO, AWEERA, MAEL and kumpulan SAYAP (Saiful Apek, Yassin & friends) doing tribute.

Approximately 9.30 pm, the same video montage (like Stadium Merdeka) erupted, marking the arrival of WINGS onstage.

WINGS stayed true to their 'Back To 80's' concept and opened their introduction piece with the usual 3 tracks back-to-back, all from the album 'Hukum Karma' (1988) in its relatively original form. It drove massive and loud sing along from the crowds. "Taman Rashidah Utama" was an all time fans' favourite that grew in most of us since our school days. It was pure nostalgic when the track was given its deserved right to open the Johor Bahru show. It came out complete with the rain/thunder effect and the guitar slide intro (with a little touch of choir like backing vocal in the opening as extra). It then continued with the blasting drum, just like in the album, and "Opera Hidup" was delivered perfectly. "Hukum Karma" was next and WINGS had already won the crowds over by then.


One crucial fact about WINGS is they always make sure that every single cent of our hard earned money is well spent by giving us back one professional and quality performance. It was announced that the Kuala Lumpur diehards had even organized a bus trip down to Johor Bahru for the show. Now, that's pure passion and dedication !

JOE also paid homage to his birth state, wearing embroidery shirt with Johor flag on it. There was also a Johor flag tied at his back pocket if someone could noticed. The traditional song turned 'agogo'- "Tanjung Puteri" also served the night well.


The selection of songs before the 'reunion medley' was really meant to give a big punch to the crowds. Once everybody have settled down with "Orang Kita" and "Gemala Saktiku", another round of maximum rock 'n' roll were let loose starting with "Bazooka Penaka" which has been pushed back and replaced "Romania". Who might have expected that WINGS brought in "Kau Masih Berdegil" and "Aku Pun Tahu" to replace "Jumpa Hilang" and the mild "Pengabdian Ku Kekasih". It was indeed brilliant !

The 'reunion medley' did not changed but was without MUS, and AZLAN stepped in probably because of his high stretching voice which can suit MUS parts better. Once "Jerangkung Dalam Almari" was done, AWIE was kind enough to invite the other ticket holders at the back to come into the Rockzone area.

The better backdrop play was astonishing which lighten up the stage even more. "Awang Trasher" returned and was accompanied with 'Bersama Selamanya' backdrop. It brought most of us back to GAYOUR masterpiece cartoon series from the legendary old comic - Majalah Ujang. The cartoon storyline connected well with the song. There were also pyrotechics and exploding fireworks at stage front through out the show. The night ended nearing 1.00 am with the guests joined the band on stage for "Peronda Jaket Biru", and then came the final and bigger fireworks display.

We don't think that WINGS was expecting something like the Stadium Merdeka turnout, but 8,000 attendees in Johor Bahru was still satisfactory. We have a great time just like everytime we came and saw WINGS onstage. But to those who were there at the 'mother of all rock concerts' (Konsert Wings 30 Tahun - Stadium Merdeka), the Johor Bahru experience might turned out a little ordinary.

Yet, we were very thankful that WINGS came down and willing to have another round of celebration with those who were unable to come to Stadium Merdeka earlier. Somehow, we would not get "Kau Masih Berdegil" and "Aku Pun Tahu" after all these years if the Johor Bahru show did not took place. So, the show was still significant.

But on the other hand, the Stadium Merdeka show had already left the biggest mark in the local rock 'n' roll history. So, should it continued elsewhere ? It was not for us to say ...

Let 2016 comes and we look forward to continue rockin' with one of Malaysia's oldest and greatest rock 'n' roll band ever - WINGS !

To those who have rocked with WINGS in 2015, we salute you !

Setlists
1) Taman Rashidah Utama (Hukum Karma)
2) Opera Hidup (Hukum Karma)
3) Hukum Karma (Hukum Karma)

Selawat Nabi

4) Orang Kita (Hukum Karma)
5) Gemala Saktiku (Jerangkung Dalam Almari)

6) Bazooka Penaka (Bazooka Penaka)
7) Kau Masih Berdegil (Double Trouble)
8) Aku Pun Tahu (Jerangkung Dalam Almari)

9) Satelit Puaka (Bazooka Penaka)

Medley
(WINGS with SHAM, MEL & AZLAN)

10) Intan Ku Kesepian (Belenggu Irama)
11) Biru Mata Hitamku (Biru Mata Hitamku)
12) Belenggu Irama (Belenggu Irama)
13) Potret Monalisa (Teori Domino)
14) Misteri Mimpi Syakila (Hukum Karma)
15) Di Ambang Wati (Bazooka Penaka)
16) Semalam Yang Hangat (Orang Asing)

Drum Solo (BLACK & JOJET)
Both continued on drum for the following tracks :-
17) R'N'R Lu Punya Suka (Jerangkung Dalam Almari)
18) Jerangkung Dalam Almari (Jerangkung Dalam Almari) + AZLAN

19) Blues Ular Sawa (Double Trouble 2) - AZLAN on vocal
20) Nasib Kita (Best Of Wings 2)
21) Tanjung Puteri (Malay traditional song)

Guitar Showcase - Gelap Nan Terang (JOE)

22) Kota Kemusnahan (Belenggu Irama)
23) Awang Trasher (Jerangkung Dalam Almari)
24) Inspirasi Taming Sari (Belenggu Irama)
25) Ingatkan Dia (Menakluk Kosmos)
26) Sejati (Teori Domino)
27) Peronda Jaket Biru (Belenggu Irama)

Official merchandise from Grousiey Printhouse







Monday, November 2, 2015

WINGS : KONSERT WINGS 30 TAHUN : STADIUM MERDEKA KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA : 31/10/2015

 
It was cold, it was raining heavily, but it didn't stop 25,000 peoples to witness the biggest anniversary celebration. We have fans from different generations, coming together making history. Nobody seems to move from where they stood or sat despite drenching wet in the blessing rain. Konsert Wings 30 Tahun set a new benchmark in the history of Malaysia Rock 'N' Roll. We don't think that there will by any local rock concert in the future that will come close. It was monumental ! (let's wait for SEARCH 35th Anniversary next year). The sweat, the rain, the excitement, were all blended into one massive energy which then collided with WINGS all out killer performance. It became like a nuclear explosion !

Earlier, we arrived in Kuala Lumpur quite late and made our way on foot from Jalan Pudu to the once iconic Stadium Merdeka. It was about 6.00 pm then and it started raining as we walked. If there was a madman accidently shooting a video, and coincidently with "Taman Rashidah Utama" played in the background, its goin' to be the worst WINGS tribute video clip ever been made, hahaha !

There was a relax busker-like performance at the entrance and their rendition of WINGS songs were interesting. The one with the acoustic guitar had a full WINGS autograph on his guitar, cool. As we entered the building, we caught a glimpse of familiar face inside. That one guy approached us saying that he somehow remembered seeing us at the Melaka show. He was Hamizi from Pagoh, one crazy guy at MITC, front row facing centre stage.


The show started at approximately 9.30 pm with guests like LAN KRISTAL ("Gegar Gunung Gemora"), AWEERA ("Alam Barzakh"), BILA ("Semalam Yang Hangat"), ONE NATION MC  ("Kau Bukan Brader"), AFLIN SHAUKI ("Midnight Blues"), HATTAN ("Dia"), ITO BLUES GANG ("Biarkan Berlalu") and AZLAN & THE TYPEWRITER ("Enigma") paying tribute with a song each. The sketch from comedian SAIFUL APEK and YASSIN was hilarious (with LAN SCENARIO later joined in). Hat off to the young talented drummer - Nur Amira Syahira.

When the clock hit around 10.30 pm, the big screen at far left and right of the stage started to roll that one grand video montage (the sound effect really drove the excitement). The final sound check on stage was then heard especially the drum roll and bass solo that really got you damn excited and just wanted to scream your heart out. We really need an explosive start to help us survive the cold and freezing night. But when you got "Bazooka Penaka", "Inspirasi Taming Sari" and "Bujang Senang" as opener, back-to-back, its dynamite ! From where we stood, there was no hold back, everyone just exploded ! We didn't even cared to bring out the camera, the impact was just huge. The stage was wide and WINGS played a little bit at the back under the roof as it was raining (understood as it involves electric gadgets). But AWIE came upfront nevertheless. "Bujang Senang" should just continued with the guitar attack after the legendary intro just like from the album, no keyboard. We wished the arrangement for the older songs had fully came back to the original, just like their old heydays.


A live audio CD would really help all of us to revisit that magical moment. We hope that they will include the sound from the video montage and final sound check onstage as that started the big adrenalin rush before everything go 'kaboom' during "Bazooka Penaka". The 1st speech from AWIE should be kept as well (just like the movie 'Rock Oo' - "dah lama tak dengar ucapan yang berbaur politik semacam ni .. hahaha").

While DVD is definitely a must release, no question. This is WINGS greatest concert ever !

We read somewhere that WINGS planned to have segments like the 80's, 90's etc. So, it should started with tracks from the albums 'Belenggu Irama' (1987) and 'Hukum Karma' (1988). But which tracks would really blew the roof off as opener ? Our pick would be "Inspirasi Taming Sari" (the band 1st ever track from the debut album), "Peronda Jaket Biru" and "Jerangkap Samar". But WINGS did not do such sequence in the setlists - starting with tracks taken from the 80's album, then 90's and onward. They just brought back the attire.

While, the bikers cum securities from Lost Cowboys and Violence Storm were cool and easy despite their vicious look.

 
"Orang Kita" was a surprise, thank you WINGS. The crowds got crazier and louder during the chorus. "Gemala Saktiku" was rare from the album 'Jerangkung Dalam Almari' and we didn't mind they skipped "Awang Trasher" for it. So were "Jumpa Hilang" and "Nasib Kita" that got the crowds more excited. The album version of "Nasib Kita" was actually done by MUS and guest vocal - MAEL (XPDC). So the concert version with AWIE and MUS on vocal was definitely special. We also got an exclusive "Satelit Puaka" version with AWIE alone on stage, strumming and singing on acoustic guitar before the band entered in full force later. He also did electric solo during "Blues Ular Sawa", while JOE lent some vocal parts.

 
The medley was added with one extra track "Intanku Kesepian" as compared to the 'Menakluk Kosmos Tour' version. Just before the medley, AWIE and BLACK threw out some shirts at the audience as a form of souvenir. Former vocalist - MEL and MUS as well as SHAM (original guitarist in 'Belenggu Irama') joined the band on stage. They were also accompanied with guest axeman RODY KRISTAL and EDRIE HASHIM. While JOJET  (one of the founding member but only appeared in the 4th album 'Jerangkung Dalam Almari') came out later during the drum solo and continued on the drum stool with two more songs. "Misteri Mimpi Syakilla" replaced "Taman Rashidah Utama". Why ? So WINGS could play "Taman Rashidah Utama" in full, and the best part was they finally did it with the original guitar intro. Gone was the piano/keyboard intro for 'Taman Rashidah Utama" at last (the versions at 'Versi Tanpa Distortion' and 'Rockestra 2013' were interesting but we all have been missing the original version far too long).


We always love to have "Romania", "Ranggi Metropolis" and "Sayap Illusi" in the setlists everytime. While the track "Menakluk Kosmos" was the best pick from the new album, aggressive and hard hitting, worked very well for live show. The part where the backing vocal came in on some verses sounded good. The song "Ingatkan Dia" on the other hand was already a big hit in Malaysia, especially after being part of the soundtrack for one Aaron Aziz movie, so it turned out to be a loud sing along. The organ/keyboard intro was indeed catchy, the crowds instantly knew it as soon as the intro started.
 
 
Right after "Nasib Kita", AWIE announced that they have been instructed to stop the show but pleaded to the authority to allow them to continue so they can fulfilled their promise to deliver 30 songs that night. WINGS had been goin' on with tracks after tracks for nearly 4 hours already. While AWIE was still delivering his vocal at top notch. If we counted each track from the medley as one, we actually got 31 songs excluding the drum solo, guitar showcase - "Illusi Intonasi" and M. Nasir tribute appearance in the midpart.

They continued to deliver 3 more numbers in a rush before ended with "Peronda Jaket Biru" but with bigger rearrangement at the opening part. Once the track is done, BLACK continued to blast the drum and JOE hitting the string, probably trying to hit another song fast, but the sound was eventually turned off. It was nearing 3.00 am, and it was one glorious night. 31st October with 31 songs. Definitely the best show for 2015 ! It was legendary !
 
Setlists
  1) Bazooka Penaka (Bazooka Penaka)
  2) Inspirasi Taming Sari (Belenggu Irama)
  3) Bujang Senang (Teori Domino)
  4) Orang Kita (Hukum Karma)
  5) Gemala Saktiku (Jerangkung Dalam Almari)
  6) Romania (Teori Domino)
  7) Jumpa Hilang (Naga Kramat)
  8) Pengabdian Ku Kekasih (Bazoka Penaka)
  9) Satelit Puaka (Bazooka Penaka)

Medley
(WINGS + MEL, MUS, SHAM with RODY KRISTAL & EDRY HASHIM)
10) Intan Ku Kesepian (Belenggu Irama)
11) Biru Mata Hitam Ku (Biru Mata Hitam Ku)
12) Belenggu Irama (Belenggu Irama)
13) Potret Monalisa (Teori Domino)
14) Misteri Mimpi Syakila (Hukum Karma)
15) Di Ambang Wati (Bazooka Penaka)
16) Semalam Yang Hangat (Orang Asing)

M NASIR (tribute)
Hikayat Penuh Ranjau (Hukum Karma)
Quote - 30 years ago WINGS was brought to him with hope to record album that can sell 10,000 copies, but the band sold hundred of thousands instead, and WINGS grew to become legend.
 
Drum Solo (BLACK + JOJET)
Both continued on drum for the following tracks :-
17) R'N'R Lu Punya Suka (Bazooka Penaka)
18) Jerangkung Dalam Almari (Jerangkung Dalam Almari) with MUS
 
19) Blues Ular Sawa (Double Trouble 2) with MUS
20) Menakluk Kosmos (Menakluk Kosmos)
21) Ingatkan Dia (Menakluk Kosmos)
22) Sayap Illusi (Naga Kramat)
23) Amok (Bazooka Penaka)
24) Taman Rashidah Utama (Hukum Karma)

Guitar Showcase - Illusi Intonasi (JOE + HILLARY)

25) Kota Kemusnahan (Belenggu Irama)
26) Ranggi Metropolis (Naga Kramat)
27) Nasib Kita (Best of Wings 2) with MUS
28) Hukum Karma (Hukum Karma)
29) Opera Hidup (Hukum Karma)
30) Sejati (Teori Domino)
31) Peronda Jaket Biru (Belenggu Irama)

Official merchandise from Grousiey Printhouse




Wednesday, October 28, 2015

SEARCH : KONSERT PANGGUNG KHAYALAN : STADIUM EDUCITY NUSAJAYA JOHOR - MALAYSIA : 24/10/2015

 
 
It was always special when SEARCH came home and played homeground - Johor Bahru The City of Rock 'N' Roll.

It was even more special this time around. They show was scheduled to start at 8.00 pm, but for whatever reasons, SEARCH only hit the stage at approximately 9.30 pm. The crowds have been waiting helplessly, our old legs have started aching, standing to nothing and some have continued to chant 'We want Search ! We want Search !'.

By 9.00 pm, this one male singer came out (FIQ of the reality TV singing program - Mentor). From the look of his face, it was like he was asked to perform as to fill in the slot. He delivered 3 tracks and we could only shook our head in disapproval. We all came for SEARCH, aren't we ?!
 
So dear Universal Music Malaysia, no opening act please unless it has been planned and announced earlier. We could plan our schedule better if we knew the show will start so late. Some would probably skipped him for a fast and light dinner outside.

But thankfully, as soon as SEARCH took centre stage, they redeemed the night with a bang. The stage and lighting were incredible. Earlier newspaper report said that SEARCH would probably brings the Istana Budaya setlists down to Nusajaya. It turned out that there were a few changes, the 'Konsert Panggung Khayalan' setlist was good enough for us.
 
The first 3 tracks were just great. The song "Panggung Khayalan" was that perfect track to open the night, no other. Next was even bigger - "Paranoid" (there was none from 'Karisma' in Istana Budaya, and this time we also got "Melastik Ke Bintang") and then "Gadisku" which raised the atmosphere higher when the crowds started to sing along.

NASIR (bass) was calm with glimpse of smile, singing along to the lyric while pounding the bass in style. DIN (guitar) and KID (guitar) at far left and right did really well. KID was far better from his disastrous 1st night Istana Budaya appearance. While, AMY was electrifying with his amazing wild stage antic. His move at time reminded us of Jacky Chan from the movie 'Drunken Master'. The younger sessionnist PAE (drum) was a madman and worked well with the heavy numbers, capitalizing on his rough drum strokes.

Photo Credit : The Photoshooterz
AMY also talked about their coming 35th Anniversary next year and planned to celebrate it in Johor as this was where the story of SEARCH began.
 
When YAZIT came onstage, AMY relates the song "Teguh" to him which somehow reflects his strength and dedication. Then it happened, SEARCH did "Ku Taklukkan Dunia", simply unbelievable, and the crowds joined in during " ... Masih Ada ...". So AMY finally realized that they haven't played it live for a very long time. 

The session after YAZIT started with "Gothik Malam Edan" which remained as one good heavy number. We hoped that they will skip "No Way !!!" and replaced one more song from the album 'Rampage'. Perhaps more tracks from 'Karisma'. It ended with "Pawana" as always. We do think that SEARCH is more "Balada Pemuzik Jalanan" than "Pawana".

SEARCH came out with an encore surprisingly, and returned on stage with "Cakap Memang Murah". AMY then came down and hop onto the back of one security and walked pass those at the front, shaking hands. He also tried to let himself loose at the crowds as they began to lift him up to attempt body surfing but was denied by the security.

If 'Konsert Pangung Khayalan' was the Johor version of the Istana Budaya show, then it was surely the winner. Should they kept "Balada Pemuzik Jalanan" (a must have) and "Langit Dan Bumi" in the setlist, we will be more happier, but not at the expense of "Ku Taklukkan Dunia". Welcome back SEARCH ! This is SEARCH we all knew !

We still put hope for 'Konsert Fenomena 30 Tahun' DVD after 4 years. So, make the move Universal Music Malaysia, we want the 'Panggung Khayalan' show in DVD please.
 
Photo Credit : The Photoshooterz
Setlists
  1) Panggung Khayalan (Rock 'N' Roll Pie)
  2) Paranoid (Karisma)
  3) Gadisku (Mentari Merah Di Ufuk Timur)
  4) Metropolitan (Rampage)
  5) Hongky Tong Kosong (Gema Di Timur Jauh)
  6) Kejoraku Bersatu (Selepas Banjir)
  7) Melastik Ke Bintang (Karisma)
  8) Menuju Puncak (Gema Di Timur Jauh)
 
With Yazit
  9) Ku Taklukkan Dunia (Fenomena)
10) Fantasia Bulan Madu (Mentari Merah Di Ufuk Timur)
11) Kejora (Cinta Buatan Malaysia)
12) Rozana (Langit Dan Bumi)
14) Isabella (Fenomena)

15) Gothik Malam Edan (Gothik Malam Edan)
16) Pelesit Kota (Mentari Merah Di Ufuk Timur)
17) No Way !!! (Gema Di Timur Jauh)
18) Diari Habil & Qabil (Rock 'N' Roll Pie)
19) Isi Dan Kulit (Cinta Buatan Manusia)
20) Pawana (Fenomena)
Encore
21) Cakap Memang Murah (Double Trouble)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

WINGS : BONGKAR - TA'KAN MELAYU HILANG DI DUNIA : ISTANA BUDAYA - MALAYSIA : 11/06/2015

 

WINGS was majestic and mystical on stage with Orkestra Tradisional Malaysia, yet still stood proud as a loud long haired rock 'n' roll band (BON JOVI's "Blood On Blood" anyone ?). We attended the 2nd show and it was a very big night indeed !
 
When we first heard that WINGS will hit Istana Budaya with this cultural approach, roping in malay traditional instruments, we started thinking to bring our two kids along.

If somehow 'rock' was not their cup of tea, at least, they will have a brief insight about malay traditional instruments and what was 'silat' (ancient malay martial art) all about, especially when 'modernization' is eating up all the 'old tradition' piece by piece. These will also give them a good understanding that 'rock' music is not just about getting wild all the time. When age started to catch up, our affection for 'rock' music has became more relax, though sometimes old habits did rose its ugly head occasionally, hahaha.

There was no hesitation, WINGS will definitely goin' to nail it. It will be a straight 7 nights performance and the turnout was okay for the 2nd night. The energy will be more monstrous if somehow it goes for only 3 or 4 nights - full house probably.
 
In line with the theme, there was no long scarf tied at the mic stand as per the 1st night, we have a 'songket' instead for the 2nd night (a traditional patterned type of cloth that comes with metallic thread). All in WINGS wore the traditional heroic outfit, and so did the others on stage. The show started with a poetry like narration by the host and some amazing 'silat' showcase. 
 
The introduction piece was a 2 songs back-to-back. It started with the 'nobat performance' (traditional musical performance during royal coronation) coming to play, where the trumpet-like 'nafiri' (sounded like bagpipe) was blown out loud and the sound moved in hypnotising rhythm. It actually marked the start of ceremony. JOE gave his electric strumming in response, and the excitement began.

"Hukum Karma" was then executed, sounded so rich musically when the traditional instruments started to blend in here and there. AWIE was at his best. The 'gamelan' (set of brass percussion) was astonishing and WINGS was set to conquer the night.

The sound of 'kompang' (tambourine lookalike hand percussion) then came roaring, giving the cue for 'Bazooka Penaka" to blast in (normally it was the drum making the cue). It was grandeur like a big traditional malay feast goin' mad. We simply lost our sanity at that time, and sang along to it madly. Everybody started singing we believed. 

The 1st segment started with JOE narrating deep about their music. It has always been rock & heavy years after years, but never have they lost their origin, their root. The background was the sound of 'seruling'' (malay traditional flute) mixed with JOE mesmerising string works, and it then continued with "Sayap Illusi' which made the track felt more heavier, not musically though. At that point, we turned to our little girl, she was singing along slowly with her eyes wide opened.

"Sembuyi" was a surprise and broke all boundaries. The 'gamelan' stood out and we got 'gambus' solo (arabic guitar) at the first break before JOE wrapped it up with his electric solo. It was then 'kompang' with female backing vocal at the 2nd break as AWIE hit the high note "...ramai manusia...". Incredible !
 
Coming all the way from Johor, it was an honour to hear "Tanjung Putri" which started traditionally at first, before turned heavy. Then, there was another long narration to drive up the might as its "Inspirasi Taming Sari" next. Another highlight of the night especially with the short 'silat' showcase at midway which AWIE took part. Once the showcase ended, the track blasted back in style. BLACK got extra pounding support from the 'rebana' and 'gendang' (traditional drums).
 
"Anugerah" and "Dari Tuhan" (though still heavy at midpart) was accompanied by nasyid group, and  "Zikir Asma Ul-Husna and "Selawat" was added in so that we have a more meaningful night - our compliment.
 
WINGS also revisited BLUES GANG' - "Ibu" (from 'Versi Tanpa Distortion') with JOE and EDDIE pairing up front for the guitar and bass intro. AWIE was emotionally heavy but still delivered the track well. Then came the 6-tracks medley (from 'Menakluk Kosmos'). The crowds joined in everywhere, and it became so lively. The song "Sejati" was a loud sing along, and the intro was brilliant where JOE took on the 'nafiri' with his wild tremolo play.

Photo courtesy of Sayap-Sayap Wings

So come on and head to Istana Budaya for the remaining nights. Be part of this historical event, or else, you need to wait for 2 years if you are lucky enough to see the show to be released in DVD/CD - just like Rockestra 2013. 'BONGKAR' was extra ordinary and indeed another milestone achievement for WINGS. A must attend !

By the way, the track "Orang Kita" will also work out well for the night ...
 
Setlists
 
Introduction
  1) Hukum Karma (Hukum Karma)
  2) Bazooka Penaka (Bazooka Penaka)
Monologue (JOE)
  3) Sayap Illusi (Naga Kramat)
  4) Sembunyi (Hukum Karma)
  5) Ranggi Metropolis (Naga Kramat)
Monologue (BLACK)
  6) Tanjung Putri (malay traditional song)
  7) Inspirasi Taming Sari (Belenggu Irama)
Monologue (AWIE)
  8) Zikir Asma Ul-Husna
  9) Anugerah (Hukum Karma)
10) Selawat
11) Dari Tuhan (Belenggu Irama)
Monologue (EDDIE)
12) Ibu (BLUES GANG)
13) Medley
      a) Biru Mata Hitam Ku (Biru Mata Hitam Ku)
      b) Belenggu Irama (Belenggu Irama)
      c) Potret Monalisa (Teori Domino)
      d) Taman Rashidah Utama (Hukum Karma)
      e) Di Ambang Wati (Bazooka Penaka)
      f) Semalam Yang Hangat (Orang Asing)
14) Sejati (Teori Domino)
15) Opera Hidup (Hukum Karma)

Event Shirts
Official merchandise from Grousiey Printhouse



Saturday, May 2, 2015

OUR PHOTO - NUNSLAUGHTER (US) : 'SOUTH EAST ASIA' TAPE (2015) : MORBID TAPES (MAL)


 
We are not professional photographer, but it is a must to let our lense ran loose when attending gig. We are honoured that our photo taken at NunSlaughter's Johor Bahru - Malaysia gig on 24/03/2012 (Hellbanger South East Asia Tour) was used in 'black & white' for the inner sleeve of the tape release by Morbid Tapes (Mal).

(photo credit : Morbid Tapes)

The photo was earlier contributed to Majalah Karisma online portal and later published in their printed issue - No # 24 (May '2012 : Page 50). It showed up on this blog as well.

Yet, the photo was not properly credited. Nevertheless, we welcome any band to use our photo in the future. Just drop us a line will do.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

MIDNIGHT (US) : INTERVIEW : TRUE METAL INVASION # 2 - SINGAPORE : 26/04/2015



We remembered how we wished that MIDNIGHT would hit South East Asia when we were doin' the review of 'Complete And Total Hell' for Hells Headbangers Records back then. Thanks to the organizer - BURSTIN' OUT for finally bringin' them over.
 
Simply, this is a show that you all should not missed. We all had a blast during True Metal Invasion # 1 with ONSLAUGHT (UK), DEATHHAMMER (Nor), DESECRATION (Ire) and other South East Asian bands back in 2012. Looking at this year line-up, it's goin' to be another all hell breaks loose.
 
So we get hold of Athenar for a brief interview as to get your adrenalin burning mad. Its 14 days to Midnight ! Get the ticket and be there !

We are MIDNIGHT ready !!! Are you ?!!
 
WELCOME ATHENAR ! EVERYTHING CHECKED FOR THE 'TRUE METAL INVASION' (SINGAPORE) THIS COMING 26TH APRIL 2015 ?
Yes, I hope all goes well. I always expect the worst out of live though !
 
WHAT FINALLY MADE YOU TO COME OVER SINCE YOU ARE NOT A HUGE FAN OF TOURING ?
Somebody asked me in a very polite way ! I'm not really a fan of touring many dates in a row and playing the same songs night after night. I do like visiting cool places I've never been to though. I'm really looking forward for the gig.
 
WILL MIDNIGHT MAKE ANY STOP TO OTHER SOUTH EAST ASIAN COUNTRIES ?
It's just a one off gig. We're doing a few shows in New Zealand and Australia before the Singapore gig.
 
MANAGED TO CHECK OUT SOME OF THE BANDS THAT WILL SHARE THE STAGE WITH MIDNIGHT ?
I'm looking forward to hearing them live. It keeps it more interesting and fresh.
 
YOU DID SAID THAT - 'DON'T PUT ON EXPECTATION SO YOU (CROWD) WILL ENJOY THE SHOW EVEN MORE' ...
Well, that what's we shoot for. Like I said, I always expect the worst but hope for the best !
 
BUT WHENEVER MIDNIGHT PLAYS, THE ROOF WILL EXPLODE ! ITS STARTED TO SOUND LIKE MANOWAR NOW ... DO YOU STILL LOVE THE BAND (MANOWAR) ?
MANOWAR are one of the best bands ever in my opinion. Of course the first 5 albums are my favourites but they're still really good live. They're really underrated band here in the States.
 
SUPRISINGLY, MIDNIGHT ALREADY PLAYED IN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE) ...
Yes, that was a very unique gig, very different from what we're used to in the States. I think most of the peoples at the gig were not from UAE but other countries.
 
DOIN' ANY COVER SONGS ON STAGE PERHAPS ?
No, I don't think we've ever done cover song live. One time a few years ago we did do "Earache My Eye" by Alice Bowie but that's the only time I can remember. Oh, we did "TAP" from Black Ax in Philadelphia.
 
VENOM APPEARS TO PLAY BIG PART IN MIDNIGHT, AND WE FINALLY GOT "TOO LOUD (FOR THE CROWD)" FROM THE ALBUM 'POSSESSED' ON FLEXI FOR DECIBEL MAG ...
Yeah, that song was supposed to go on Venom tribute LP coming out soon. But then the Decibel thing came out, so I gave them that song, and just recorded another Venom song "In League With Satan" for the tribute LP.
 
ANY SPECIAL RELEASE TO CELEBRATE MIDNIGHT IN SINGAPORE ?
No, not that I know of. I should've have planned better !
 
WILL THE HOODS STAY ?
Hopefully the hoods will stay.

WILL WE GET TO SEE YOUR BASS BURNT ON STAGE ?
I really don't think the bass will burn though. From what we know in the States, if you spit on the sidewalks in Singapore, you will be beat. So I will behave good.
 
ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD ...
Can't wait for the gig and hang out with the South East Asian metal maniax !

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

WINGS : MENAKLUK KOSMOS 2015 : MELAKA INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTRE - MALAYSIA : 31/01/2015

 
 
Melaka became the 2nd state after Penang to play host to 'Menakluk Kosmos' tour. Next will be Terengganu where all east coast fans will assemble. Since there was still no announcement when WINGS will hit Johor, so why not Melaka ?!

We never seen them live on stage elsewhere except in our hometown - Johor (the last time was 'Konsert Double Trouble 2010') and most of the times in Kuala Lumpur. Its goin' to be one good experience to see how Melaka pays homage to this rock & roll legend.

We reached the historical city of Melaka at noon and went straight to the venue to meet Zul of Sayap2Wings (official fanclub) and got our ticket. Next was to find one affordable place to get the family safely check-in, get lunch and refresh ourselves before the show starts later at night.

The indoor venue - Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) was perfect. The stage looked good. WINGS had never let us down so far, so one memorable rock & roll night was for sure.

We arrived later at the venue at 8.00 pm, and the strong Melaka fans have already gathered. By the look of their faces, everybody were excited. Even the Melaka event shirt had already sold out.

The show started around 9.20 pm and Isma Halil (rock DJ and emcee for the night) came on stage and said that there was no harm for the fans to bring out handphone or camera (except for big commercial video cam recorder). Everyone wanted to bring back some good memories of the show, so be it. Anggerik Event (organizer) and Sayap2Wings (official fanclub) simply treated the fans well. Salute !

WINGS opened the night with "Amok", which tend to relate well with the host since Hang Jebat did ran amok if we looked back at the Melaka history. The response was enormous. But if given a choice, we opted for the track "Menakluk Kosmos" as opener, a very fast heavy number which would make MITC exploded severely. Its 'Konsert Menakluk Kosmos' after all.

 
Anyone has the complete setlists for Penang by the way ? Looking at earlier local newspaper reports about the Penang show, the setlists in Melaka didn't changed except for "Inspirasi Taming Sari" which came in for "Ameringo".
 
The song "Inspirasi Taming Sari" would fit well if WINGS wanted to drive up the adrenaline even more at the start of the show. But it was "Bujang Senang", followed by "Pengabdian Ku Kekasih" (with the bluesy "how are you Melaka" intro). The band was rockin' on stage, but at this point, we started to have this 'Rockestra 2013' dejavu. 

AWIE then started to communicate with the crowds and he said that this was their first nationwide tour after 20 years.

It was pure joy when "Komplikasi Pramaya" came next. One of our favourite new tracks and hearing it live for the first time was satisfying. We got 5 songs from the album 'Menakluk Kosmos' which was good enough for us.

The best must be the song "Menakluk Kosmos" where AWIE gave his all to match that musically fast pace and heavy track, stretching the high note which he did really well frankly. JOE was electrifying, while EDDIE and BLACK thundered the bass and drum at full blast. The song even stop at the mid part with AWIE took a stint at the crowds before the song hammered back to the end. Killer !
 

We have already heard "Peti Pandora Mu" and "Ingatkan Dia" during 'Versi Tanpa Distortion' last year. But it was the distorted version this time around. While, "Raja Segala Duri" was all good.
 
It was always a pleasure to have "Sayap Illusi" in the setlists, a slow number yet heavy in substance. We also got "Ranggi Metropolis" and "Romania" which made our trip to Melaka even more memorable. While the long medley revisited 6 albums straight on, a definite trip back to memory lane. We just can't get enough of "Potret Monalisa".

WINGS however did the 'Rockestra 2013' version of "Bujang Senang", "Awang Thrasher" (JOE's guitar didn't sound that well on this song), "Kota Kemusnahan" and "Opera Hidup". How we wished for the original version though.

It was a grandeur 2015 opening for WINGS, and we were fortunate to be there. Menakluk Kosmos Melaka was just brilliant !

Setlists
  1) Amok (Bazooka Penaka)
  2) Bujang Senang (Teori Domino)
  3) Pengabdian Ku Kekasih (Bazooka Penaka)
  4) Komplikasi Pramaya (Menakluk Kosmos)
  5) Awang Thrasher (Jerangkung Dalam Almari)
  6) Peti Pandora Mu (Menakluk Kosmos)
  7) Ranggi Metropolis (Naga Kramat)
  8) Sayap Ilusi (Naga Kramat)
  9) Menakluk Kosmos (Menakluk Kosmos)
10) Ingatkan Dia (Menakluk Kosmos)
11) Inspirasi Taming Sari (Belenggu Irama)
12) Raja Segala Duri (Menakluk Kosmos)
13) Medley
      a) Biru Mata Hitam Ku (Biru Mata Hitam Ku)
      b) Belenggu Irama (Belenggu Irama)
      c) Potret Monalisa (Teori Domino)
      d) Taman Rashidah Utama (Hukum Karma)
      e) Di Ambang Wati (Bazooka Penaka)
      f) Semalam Yang Hangat (Orang Asing)
14) Romania (Teori Domino)
15) Kota Kemusnahan (Belenggu Irama)
16) Opera Hidup (Hukum Karma)
17) Sejati (Teori Domino)