I love seeing newcomers to the live music scene. New bands, new organizers, new websites – it’s all good and it all adds to expanding the scene and improving things. So when I saw that Here The Songs Fest Volume 1, a brand new event, was happening last Saturday in my neighborhood at Brownstone, I knew I wanted to go and cover it.
With a great lineup including The Pink Dolphin, Yueang Gentleman, Asss, Youth Brush, Sasi, Mahassajan Tammada, Inspirative and Yena, I find events like this a great opportunity to experience new music and allow yourself to really get blown away by a band or two, who you can then follow later. I knew Sasi and Yena already, but was happy to hear some really great bands on the day for the first time.
Brownstone is also a great venue that has steadily been improving for some time now. Recently there have a wide variety of events organized here, taking advantage of the different spaces available like the beer garden style area by the bar, the large covered warehouse space, and even a new space upstairs that has been used for hardcore events. I really like the people who have developed Brownstone into what it has become and I know that great things are in store for this music-loving community space.
I ended up waiting quite a while before the music started but was content to chill in what I felt was a very block party or community barbecue environment. Food trucks made great food, bands hung out and it was generally just really chill.
I got to Brownstone early, content to hang out at Ageha Café, which is a lovely coffee shop headed up by Narongrit Ittipolnavakul and couples as an indie music store, with a great collection. I ended up waiting quite a while before the music started but was content to chill in what I felt was a very block party or community barbecue environment. Food trucks made great food, bands hung out and it was generally just really chill.
When the music finally begun, The Pink Dolphin were up first, and I thought they were great. Their style was a mix of shoegazing and subtle rock and they seemed to hide their youthful shyness behind their very solid instrumentals. I talked to them later and they noted they had only done a few shows before, evident by short smiles at the end of each song. Some songs were intricate and melodic, while other songs obviously an opportunity to channel out some teenage emotion. They also played a revamped cover of Abstraction XL, another local indie band, and I can see why they chose it the song, a brilliant number with bits and pieces allowing the last singer, drummer and bass player to express themselves. Their set ended with a good reception from the small but involved crowd.
The rest of the day went quite similarly, with the chill but attentive audience paying good attention while enjoying food and drink. The second band Yueang Gentleman were a very soulful affair, with fantastic vocals, strong solos and a great back-line performing well revised covers and some good originals.
The third band Asss was a good example of a certain style of band, playing Thai folk, that’s often hard to come across as an expat or from generally following the English speaking music scene here. You have to get a bit deeper into the local scene to come across them. Their songs were deeper and moody, and for the most part stripped down, the sort of songs that put you in a contemplative state.
… great synergy, little elements mixing together, feet stepping in unison, drummers mouthing the lyrics as they play. It’s like they go into their own little musical world, breaking out of it at moments with little catches of the eye towards the audience.
Next up was Youth Brush, who I have been hoping to see since I saw news about their album launch at Play Yard online. I loved their music and thought they were one of the best bands of the night, brilliant. It’s difficult to describe their style so make sure to check them out online, but know that it’s dreamy and emotional.
The following band Sasi has long been one of my favorite bands and I’ve seen them grow and mature in their music this past year. They recently released an album titled “Bampola” which I was able to buy from them on the night and I was stoked to hear lots of their new songs from the album. Front-woman Deun is one of the best vocalists in the scene here and she’s a paradox, shy while explaining songs but completely bold singing them. The band has a unique setup of 2 full-drum kits coupled with a bass, producing really unique sounds, and they have great synergy, little elements mixing together, feet stepping in unison, drummers mouthing the lyrics as they play. It’s like they go into their own little musical world, breaking out of it at moments with little catches of the eye towards the audience. They ended their set shyly, incredible music presented in complete modesty, which I find is something a local music scene has that contrasts big acts.
At this point of the evening the audience had fully gathered, the evening darkness matched by great stage lighting. Time restraints were unfortunately causing sets to get shorter, and the next band up – Mahassajan Tammada – were nevertheless gracious despite time limits, delivering a great, unified set, ending with their big single “เธอบอก” which everyone loved.
Inspirative, the next band, had a sound completely different from the rest of the bands, getting the crowd instantly interested. They played as if a single person, everyone in place doing exactly what they should be doing, delicate melodies and perfect timing without being forced, this was one very developed band. The band was summed up by their drummer, barefoot and completely focused, she and the rest of the band played as if they were experiencing a single moment they will remember for the rest of their life, taking the audience their journey with them. As their fantastic set ended, all I knew is that I had to see this band again.
I get it, it’s tough to spend your Saturday afternoon and evening somewhere you’ve never been listening to bands you’ve never heard of, but check out a few on our weekly event list, browse through the songs of the artists on YouTube, and if something stands out to you, take the plunge and attend the event. Because when you’re standing there, the sound system blaring, hairs up on the back of your neck, hearing to lyrics for the very first time that stir your soul, it’ll be worth it.
Time flew, and it was suddenly time for the last band Yena, who I have heard a few times before, notably at Little Shot and The Radio Dept’sconcert. The two singers contrast nicely with the drummer, who is a vision of fury, with soft lyrics, clean harmonies and a really chill vibe. They also sang their newly released song “โถขี้” which the audience loved.
It was just a great evening. And you know what, this is the part where I’m going to do a bit of shameless promotion, and I won’t even be one bit ashamed of it. I think more people should go to events like this. I get it, it’s tough to spend your Saturday afternoon and evening somewhere you’ve never been listening to bands you’ve never heard of, but check out a few on our weekly event list, browse through the songs of the artists on YouTube, and if something stands out to you, take the plunge and attend the event. Because when you’re standing there, the sound system blaring, hairs up on the back of your neck, hearing to lyrics for the very first time that stir your soul, it’ll be worth it.
It’s tough for organizers to host events like this and for bands to play at them. 8 bands is a lot and the money probably wasn’t that good for the organizers or the bands. But these people are there because they love the music and they just want to share it. It’s a labor of love that is just there waiting to be experienced. What are you waiting for?
— Written by Abner Olivieri
Find out more about the event organizer ‘Here The Songs Fest’ here:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HeretheSongfest