Go Glam Goes Unplugged Concert Promo…

From hearing budding and up-and-coming talents introducing themselves on national radio in the “Opening Act” segment on Hafeez Glamour‘s daily radio show “Go Glam“, you can now watch them present their talents live!!! The stage that gives them the opportunity to realise and take baby steps to spread their wings in our local Malay entertainment industry is the brainchild of two music activists, Olly Ismail and Alif Nuramin and organised by CMX International, Ilham Kosmik, Anchorvale CC MAEC and People’s Association Youth Movement (PAYM). The event brings together over fifteen of the talents who have been featured on the daily popular radio segment on 31st March 2012, which is this coming Saturday. What is unique about this unplugged concert is that it is free, given the number of talents involved!!!

Not only will the budding acts be the performers on that day, they will be joined by already established local solo artistes and bands like Fuad Rahman, Ikhsan Ace (former vocalist of Aryan Band), Kraton, Virus Cinta, B8, Revalina, Shahridzuan Selamat, Rudy Djoharnaen, Rifa’ah Ridzuwanulhakim and Dinodi, amongst others. The show will be hosted by recently-anointed “Best Tukang Karut” at the recent “Terjah! Chingay 2012” event and part-time deejay at RIA 897FM, Dzar Ismail. He will be joined by his fellow Anugerah Skrin 2010 alumnus, Raja Razie, and part-time model / actress / host Deanna Manto. Seeing the huge line-up and with the weather being very fickle of late, I really hope what happened at last month’s “Muzik Festival Melayu” at Marina Barrage, will not be replicated. Moreso since this concert will be held at the Floating Atrium of the Anchorvale Community Club, an outdoor facade. The concert is slated to begin at 6pm and end at 10pm. If you support local talents, this is the place to be this Saturday!!!

Photographs of Muzik Festival Melayu Concert…

Some of you might have been wondering why I did not include more photographs in the last entry. It was deliberate as I try to spread my entries evenly. I do not attend a lot of shows so to keep you returning back for more entries, I will just split up my entries from now on. Below are some of the nicer photographs I managed to snap during the Muzik Festival Melayu (Muzik FM) Concert held at Marina Barrage on 18 February 2012. Hope that you will have a good weekend ahead of you… Enjoy!!!

Muzik Festival Melayu Promo…

Muzik FM 2012 promises one full day of entertainment galore on 18 February 2012 at Marina Barrage Green Top. With stellar foreign acts like One Nation Emcees and Sofaz, along with award-winning artistes KOTAK, Dayang Nurfaizah and Amanda Imani, the event brings together artistes from the Nusantara under one roof!!! The likes of Shahridzuan Selamat, Nana Zakaria, The Sallys, Merah and Virus Cinta are some of the artistes who will be flying the local flag. The first half of the event (1-6pm) will be helmed by local acts while some of them will join the foreign acts on stage when the second half resumes at 7:30pm. For $35, this is value-for-money with ten hours of entertainment!!! What’s more, there’s an offer of “Buy 5 tickets & Get 1 Free“!!! Let’s picnic under the sun and the moon with friends and family and be entertained by great music and songs from our local and foreign acts!!!

Anugerah Band Wildcard Round Review…

Those of you dropping in within an hour of the show’s end, or minutes even, would be surprised at the speed of which I’m posting this entry. Can’t be helped, especially with Euro 08 going on, and I need to have an early night before waking up to catch next morning’s double headers (France vs Italy and Netherlands vs Romania). Am updating this during every commercial break so yeah, this sure beats waiting and waiting for a report or review from Berita Harian that never appears, so much for being the “Official Media of Anugerah Band“. Hmmmppphhh!!!

Oh and not to mention the so-called “Official Website of Anugerah Band“. They have a segment on Weekly Recaps, but up till the 7th week now, they have still not updated that particular portion of the website. Next time don’t have it if they are too lazy to do something about it. I can think of a few old Malay idioms to describe this kind of attitude. One is “Melepaskan Batuk Di Tangga” and the other is “Hangat-Hangat Tahi Ayam“. For the benefit of my non-Malay readers, both idioms mean doing something for the sake of doing it without putting any effort or which does not produce any substance. I’ve said before in my Episode 2 review that I will not comment more till the weeks have gone by. A month on and still nothing much have been done other than the fact that they update photographs of each week’s episode or how to sms to vote. Oh and lately they’ve been quite busy promoting the series’ T-shirt mementos. Funny how come when it comes to generating income, they are quite on about it…

This week, thankfully, the audience is not subjected to voting and this I feel would result in a level playing field. I’ve said before, the groups in this Wildcard Round do not deserved to be here tonight. Why they were here was simply because of the fans’ votes. Simple as that. And when they go through to the next round, which is the semi-final rounds, they need the wisdom of these people’s fingertips and brains to bring them over to the Finals. So much for liking a certain group, but if they are just so-so, then please do a service to the industry and not undermine the quality that it is crying out for.

First performance – Putra (Sementara)

Contrary to what the judges said about their good performance, I thought that the introduction did not go down that well with me. The lead vocalist (Farid) was jittery and shaky and it showed when his voice cracked a few times. And what’s with that girly, lacy cut-off gloves that he wore??? As was pointed out by one of the judges, the bass and the drum was a bit off somewhere in the middle of the song. Certainly not my choice of semi-finalists as they were just too overawed by the occasion. Their only saving grace was their guitarist. 

Second performance – Knightwings (Nyalakan)

The group seems to have undergone a major revolution in terms of performance and tightness. I just cannot find any flaws on them tonight. The all-too-familiar prancing by their vocalist A’an was scrapped and this made his vocal execution the best tonight. It was evident for all to see and hear for themselves the range that this guy is capable of and the reason why I have a soft spot for this group.

Third performance – X-Tech (Yakin)

I was surprised they sang this song as I felt that it did not quite go down with what they had set off to champion, but they ended up smelling roses. From the start, the drummer stole the show with his energy and octopus-like moves. The original song which is of mid-tempo, transformed into a version that I myself was bobbing my head to. Trust X-Tech to come up with another energetic performance for us to savour.

Fourth performance – Virus Cinta (Sayang-Sayang)

They were given a reprieve, but I was surprised they did not grab their opportunity with both hands. While the ska-flavoured sound was music to the ears, the vocalist was having a lot of trouble executing the song as the key was too low for her liking. I dunno if they had enough practice on this song cos if they did, they would not have made this mistake and nip it in the bud before coming on stage to perform.

Through To Semi-Finals: X-Tech & Putra

Personal Thoughts – X-Tech should never have been subjected to this round, as was Knightwings. Personally I felt disappointed cos in terms of vocal stability, Knightwings could more than hold their own compared to Putra. Basically I knew who the judges would choose even before they made the announcement based on their comments after each performance. And I have a feeling when it comes to appeal, looks and style, Putra is more abreast with the current style and trend. So again, we might be falling back on the looks department that television is notoriously known for, above talent. I’m banking on X-Tech to sweep the competition from now on and be the winner, barring any sms hiccups…

No Reviews…

I looked at my blog statistics this morning and noticed a surge in readership yesterday. I believe this is relatively due to what most of you have come to expect just a few hours after every episode of Anugerah Band ends, which is my reviews. Like I’ve stated in my entry on Sunday, I will not be doing any reviews for this week as I was at work when the show was being televised. So I have to apologise for disappointing you guys there.

My thoughts on the results??? Those in the Wildcard round do not deserved to be in there and yes that includes Virus Cinta. Just look at the pedigree they have and compare it with those who were a shoo-in into the semi-finals. I will not say which groups already in the semi-finals I do not fancy, but I believe one or two of them deserves to be in the Wildcard round instead. But such is the “strength” of these groups when you subject this kind of competition to the fans, who sometimes vote out of blind loyalty, which in turn undermines the quality that the competition is crying out for.

For the record, those who have entered the semi-final rounds are Cucu Datok Merah, Fatskunks, Rancour and Trabo. While those in the Wildcard round are X-Tech, Knightwings, Virus Cinta and Putra.

Anugerah Band Episode 3 Review…

Ok this entry is gonna be a quick one as basically I was watching the show without giving full concentration since I had a guest at home. Show kicked off with the results from last week’s group being announced and to see who was eliminated. I had mixed reactions when it was announced that Virus Cinta was the unlucky one being kicked out. Personally I felt it was a complete injustice as they were one of the better performers last week whereas Cucu Datuk Merah and Fatskunks were signing their own death warrants with their inept displays, notably the former. But this is what you get when you subject yourselves at the mercy of the voters’ fingertips. As a result, a group which I had predicted to be a dark horse in the competition went out with a whimper. I hope Virus Cinta would not give up and continue to play good music in their quest for glory.

First Performance – Knightwings (Seksa)

As expected, the lead vocalist’s voice was out of this world and they were a worthy opening act to the show. However, I just feel that there is a distinct lack of punch and verve associated to this song. I also feel that the lead vocalist’s image is too nice for such a song with attitude, even if his voice was the saving grace. He looks too decent to be a rocker in my opinion. Plus he moved and pranced on the stage a bit too much, which in turn made him sound as though he was panting. But these are all minor factors which can be improved on. They were still one of the better performers of the night.

Second Performance – Rancour (Lagu Untukmu)

Somehow this group did not learn the lesson faced by Cucu Datuk Merah last week, which is to cut down on eating cheese before the show. Other than that I thought they played to the crowd (their fans) and were quite compact as a unit. A minor flaw which needs to be highlighted could be the transition between the first vocalist and the second one as their keys were inconsistent. Other than that, another energetic performance.

Third Performance – Geiko Sphinx (Panggung Sandiwara)

Somehow when your energy levels have been pumped up by the first two performances, the last thing you need is for the third one to bring the momentum down. And this was what Geiko Sphinx managed to do tonight. While I cannot fault the vocals of their female vocalist, there is a distinct lack of wow factor from this group which makes the whole performance fall flat. Everything about this group reminds me of watching a wedding band perform, which of course you are not supposed to do on a grand stage like this.

Fourth Performance – Trabo (Pintu Syurga)

My goodness, what is this about RIA Band Remix champions setting the standards on a weekly basis??? Like X-Tech last week, Trabo had a flawless performance mixed with raw energy, compact, full of attitude with only their 80s style rock image being a bit outdated. Easily the best performance of the night.

Fifth Performance – Putra (Goda)

I thought they did ok but somehow there was a little apprehension in bits and parts. They need to learn to let go and just enjoy themselves on stage. Other than that, I’d rank their performance on par with Rancour tonight.

Sixth Performance – SilkSutera (Mimpi Laila)

This group gave me very good vibes when they began their performance with that solo performance by the flutist. But somehow, it went downhill as the vocalist spoilt the song with his off-pitch vocals and I also believe the new arrangement to the song kinda confused them altogether. Along with Geiko Sphinx, SilkSutera better pray hard that they have enough supporters to pull them through to the next round.

Random Thoughts – Overall I believe the standard in performances tonight was much better than last week’s. Judges were good, comments were better than last week and Addy Cradle seems to have grown in confidence with his personal takes. A pity Suzairhe and Nurul tripped on their words a couple of times. I don’t blame them really cos if one was to read Suzairhe‘s blog, you would understand the preparations, or lack thereof, with the scripts only being given out on the day itself. They should be applauded for their professionalism to carry on and lift the programme to its expected heights week in and out.

For those who are interested in voting, you may start to vote as at 9:00pm just now and it will end at 6:00pm next Tuesday 27th May 2008. Smses cost 60 cents and pre-paid card holders are ineligible to vote. For the uninitiated, this is how you should vote: Band <space> Group Code and send it to 73388. It’s that simple really. The following are the codes to vote for this week: Knightwings (1), Rancour (2), Geiko Sphinx (3), Trabo (4), Putra (5) and SilkSutera (6).

Anugerah Band Episode 2 Review…

Apologies if I did not make any reviews on the very first episode as I felt it wasn’t worth doing one, especially since the results to trim the Top 20 down to 12 had already been tabulated by the judges and the watching audience had no say whatsoever. Last week’s episode was more of an introduction to all the groups with short clips on their qualifying performances. From those few seconds worth of viewing, I must say that the quality is of some standard and that we should be proud that some of the bands are as good as those that most of us worship from across the Causeway or Indonesia. These groups just need that exposure to spread their wings and kudos should be given to Mediacorp Suria TV12 for organising this competition. At least there is a difference in that reality shows like Anugerah Skrin and Anugerah are not repeated every year cos more often than not, we get the same old faces entering, such is the saturation of our small market. I know cos I have a friend who enters every single competition there is but have yet to see him break the qualifying barrier.

I dunno if this is a gripe worth mentioning, but the official website of Anugerah Band doesn’t seemed to be updated with info on the Top 20, not even the Top 12 when it has already been a week since the results were announced. When you say you are the official website, please do the honours to update your website as and when there is that requirement to do so. And please give interesting trivia on the groups so those who dunno them would get some idea on what they are all about and what they stand for. Berita Harian, being the official media besides Manja magazine, has also not written much about the competition and the groups still in contention. Maybe I’m being too harsh and a little too expectant since it’s only a week into the competition. I’ll reserve more flak or praise as the weeks pass by. Right, so now on to my review proper.

This week, the first six groups battle it out to win the hearts of the judges and voting audience. For those who are interested in voting, you may start to vote as at 9:00pm just now and it will end at 6:00pm next Tuesday 20th May 2008. Smses cost 60 cents and pre-paid card holders are ineligible to vote. For the uninitiated, this is how you should vote: Band <space> Group Code and send it to 73388. It’s that simple really. The following are the codes to vote for this week: Fatskunks (1), Cucu Datuk Merah (2), Virus Cinta (3), Helven (4), Edmushyta (5) and X-Tech (6).

First Performance – Fatskunks (Kau / Buka Api)

This group is different than most of the groups on display in that they have a raggae / R&B / jazzy feel to them. I dunno what it was they were trying to put across but it did not give me good vibes other than the fact that the lead vocalist’s voice was their saving grace. Not convincing enough but I believe they have a lot of supporters out there who could save them from being eliminated.

Second Performance – Cucu Datuk Merah (Terharu)

This group is touted as one of the favourites by the others in the competition and it is easy to see why when you see them perform minus the vocals. I didn’t quite understand why there were too many cooks trying to spoil the broth when one vocalist or at the most, two could have been enough. Worse still, those who sang seemed to have eaten cheese before they performed and it was evident when you hear the unnecessary slang. To top it off, they forgot the lyrics on a number of occasions. Truly a performance not worth remembering.

Third Performance – Virus Cinta (Kau Atau Aku)

I thought the show only properly kicked off when this group came on stage. From the short clips I saw of this group from the audition stages, I thought they would be one of the dark horses of the competition. And I was not made to feel disappointed when I watched their performance tonight. Turning a pop song like “Kau Atau Aku” into a ska-flavoured one certainly did not spoil the essence and I feel this group still have more up their sleeves if given the opportunity to progress.

Fourth Performance – Helven (Marabahaya)

This song requires one to add zest and punch in the delivery and I only felt it at the start during the rap part. Watching them perform this song is like charting a graph where the performance level went up at the start, goes down with the non-singing part in between and then up again with the rap and ended off on a slight whimper, though it has to be said that their showmanship was quite a sight to behold. Harmonising is not their greatest forte and they would do well to avoid singing songs that require them to do so. Funnily enough, this song by Pop Shuvit has yet to be played on our local airwaves / did not catch on with the listeners.

Fifth Performance – Edmushyta (Farhana – Putri Bumi Kenyalang)

I can’t fault the vocalist’s delivery of this song other than the fact he tripped on his lyrics once, which is a minor factor that most people might have missed out. There might also have been a slight pitching problem but overall I thought he made a difficult song to sing quite easy in the end. Maybe the only grouse I could say is that wearing what he wore (a vest) and singing the song he sang did not quite match up. Reminds me of a wedding singer actually. One of the better performances but still lacking that oomph factor.

Sixth Performance – X-Tech (Pangeran Cinta)

Best performance of the night by a mile. This is to be expected since this group is afterall the champion of Band Remix in 2006 organised by RIA 89.7FM. Everything from the execution to the delivery to the showmanship, I felt that none of the other contestants could touch them tonight. I think they have just set the standards to achieve what is needed to win this competition and the rest would do well to learn from them. I’m salivating for more from them in the coming weeks ahead.

Random Thoughts – I thought the judges were ok tonight, surprisingly, since regular readers of this blog would know I’m not Eddy Ali‘s biggest fan. The only thing I would like to point out is that Addy Cradle is too nice to be a judge. He would do well to express his own opinions without trying to repeat what Jatt and Eddy had already said before him. To be fair to him, he did improve as the show went on but commenting on three or four of the performances was not enough to know what goes on in his mind. He should also show enough gumption and say which performances were bad rather than say they were good to mask whatever failures there were. Still, Addy‘s comments on the technical aspects were refreshing in my point of view. Likewise Jatt‘s who is a veteran in the scene.

Six down this week and another six to go the following week. I can’t wait to see what Knightwings have in store. Ever since I saw the lead vocalist performed at last year’s Band Remix competition performing for Opurzit Youth who were eliminated from the Top 20, I have a feeling he’s destined for a career in the music industry. Cos it’s difficult to sing a rock number and in a high pitch voice without going off key or off pitch. And everyone knows that I always have a soft spot for singers who manage to make my hair stand when they open their mouths to sing. This guy is no different. Hopefully he would repeat the same performance he did last week.