Kicks Fest is quickly becoming a favorite live music gig series of ours

Kicks Fest is quickly becoming a favorite live music gig series of ours

Friday last week we checked out Kicks Fest 2, the second edition of a new event series that we think is quickly becoming one our favorite live music gig series. There’s a lot of great gig series, and each one is unique and has its charms, with Kicks Fest specifically being a good place to enjoy great bands and meet a good mix of expats and locals.

Kicks Fest 1 was hosted at Brownstone on On Nut road and had both a folk and hardcore stage, with food trucks and a really social vibe. And while Kicks Fest 2, which took place at Soy Sauce Bar on Charoen Krung Road, was mainly rock and hardcore, it still kept that social vibe and a primarily expat crowd.

Oh, and it was an utter blast!

This was probably due to a mix of things, like the fact that live music gigs were just starting to pop up again after the recent break and everyone was keen to enjoy a good gig, or the fact that the event featured 5 bands with 2 from out of town, but I think there’s a bit more history to it than that.

 

… while Kicks Fest 2, which took place at Soy Sauce Bar on Charoen Krung Road, was mainly rock and hardcore, it still kept that social vibe and a primarily expat crowd

 

You see, Kicks Fest is organized by John Bailey, who’s quite an active member of the music scene with a lot of great projects including organizing a variety of regular singer/songwriter gigs across town and bringing in rock bands from abroad under the monikers of Other Road Records and Brutal South Touring. He’s also a solo act himself under the name John Will Sail and tours throughout SEA regularly. All of this experience has culminated in this new Kicks Fest event series, and I really think it benefits from his experience in these different areas.

Besides the locally based bands, I really enjoyed the 2 visiting bands last week, which included James And The Van Der Beeks from Vietnam and Valley Of Chrome, who are quite popular in the Philippines. These bands made the effort to travel all the way to Bangkok, knowing that they may only be playing 1 gig and it showed in their performances, as they fully took advantage of every moment, enjoying every song and every bit of audience participation.

The evening started off with Spitting Dicks, who I unfortunately was late to see and missed, but have made a point that I must see in the future, as I have heard such good things about their music. Up next, and playing to an already very packed room, was Cursed Habit who sported a really intense sound that was almost too much for the sound system.

 

Bangkok is a big city and it can be hard to know where to go and what to join in on. But for me, I’m always going to show up somewhere I know I can meet some new people, enjoy a few great music moments and just have fun. Kicks Fest checks those boxes for me and I can’t wait for the next one.

 

After them, James And The Van Der Beeks took the atmosphere up a notch with a really energetic, fun set full of great lyrics and punchy music that didn’t dip despite a broken string here or a technical difficulty there. Every gig has that tipping point where the audience decides “screw it, this is good, let’s get involved”, and their set was exactly that.

The next band, Metal outfit Falling In Between, brought things back to a more intense mood with a really crazy dark set, and finally it was time for the headliner Valley of Chrome, all the way from the Philippines.

By this time the entire front of the room was rocking, with lots of moshing, and even some Filipino fans up front getting crazy and involved. The crowd loved every song, asking for a 2 song encore to finish things off, with some members of the crowd taking the lead singer crowd surfing during a particularly upbeat song.

At the end of the day, maybe hardcore isn’t your thing, but from what I’ve seen from the Kick Fest events so far, there’s a really friendly and social air that I think is great. Bands bought each other’s merchandise, the audience interacted with the musicians between sets, and everyone just had a really great time, with people hanging out long after the music was finished.

Bangkok is a big city and it can be hard to know where to go and what to join in on. But for me, I’m always going to show up somewhere I know I can meet some new people, enjoy a few great music moments and just have fun. Kicks Fest checks those boxes for me and I can’t wait for the next one.

Find out more about Kicks Fest here:
Other Road Records – Click here
Brutal South Touring – Click here

 

— Written by Abner Olivieri, image courtesy of Brutal South Touring.

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