Archive for August, 2008


#005 My Precious – I Love Daddy (For Baghdad) (live)

One moment, Zool is projecting the punchy, elastic groove of his roiling bassline while coursing overhead, hand-hoisted like a passing angel; the next–POW!—he’s carried off towards the back of the room by some merry pranksters and then–out the door! We crack up (someone in the audience has a wild cackle!) as the rest of the band holds fort. Our favourite screamo duo, Kyn and Rina, are in ferocious form, taking us through a feral climax but then sounding a little shaken during the breakdown in which Dyn manages to transmogrify a bummed chord into SY Evol-era arpeggios. At some point, Zool returns to the room, and everyone’s rallied together– here, a punchdrunk-singalong, there a clapped outro– these, all, precious moments.

mp3: My Precious – I Love Daddy (For Baghdad) (live at “The Venom in My Veins” launch party, Jun 18, 2005)


pleased to meet you

Being a fairly reserved person, blogging was long anathema to my sense of private space. Maybe that’s why I am told UNITY SONG feels hermetic, obscure–unfriendly, even. Okay, then how to make the site friendlier? “Post something personal,” goes one helpful suggestion. Ah– so I thought a bit about what bloggers like to put up on their pages: pictures of their pets, their food, themselves…

Well, given that I’m not quite ready to camwhore, here’s my shelf:

Let's get personal

Let's get personal


#004 I am David Sparkle – Apocalypse of your Heart (live)

An audience member's letter to Life!

An audience member's letter to Life!

Reply from the Esplanade management

Reply from the Esplanade management

Despite a truncated set, I am David Sparkle‘s Baybeats 2005 show went down as one of the most memorable performances in the history of Singapore’s largest annual “indie” music festival. Fans were talking about the event weeks after and an audience member even felt strongly enough to write to the national press about it. At the heart of the matter was a bureaucratic absurdist drama that began when a half-hearted drizzle ate into ten minutes of the band’s allotted half-hour set. For a foursome known to play lengthy, Mogwai-styled instrumental rock pieces, twenty minutes is not a lot of time at all; and as their second song began trundling past 11pm, the Esplanade’s stage manager appeared by the side of the drummer with an authoritative scowl on her face, gesturing reprobatively at the band to stop playing. When the band headed, instead, towards another climactic section, the crowd got in on the action, clapping and cheering alongside Zahir’s crashing drums and rallying behind the band to Stick it to the Man–or, perhaps more appropriately in this case, to Stick it to the Ultraman, as the stage manager affectionately came to be known by due to the churlish figure she cut, with arms akimbo and icy glare. Expectedly, many were annoyed with her, as she seemed to exemplify the sort of despised tunnel-visioned bureaucratic inflexibility found in government institutions of this country. Yet, relistening to those tense minutes, I do think we should all be a little kinder in our judgement of her; after all, with the structural twists, rousing climaxes and electric air of “Apocalypse of your Heart”, it’d be difficult not to be caught up in the drama–in a way, let’s just say that the music made her do it.

mp3: I am David Sparkle – Apocalypse of your Heart (live at Baybeats, Jul 16, 2005)


#003 Leslie Low – Time of Rebirth (live)

Photo by Julia

Photo by Julia

October 2002. Three years after the last Humpback Oak album and nary a whimper from the band. Have they broken up? Then a solo Leslie Low reappears in public and presents a new song at the old Substation garden that couldn’t be more appropriately titled…

Leslie eventually records “Time of Rebirth” with his present band The Observatory and it appears on their demo (2003) and first album (2004), but here is the song as some of us first heard it: the delicate picking, the comfort croon, collected wisdom in a guileless lullaby. This is music that quakes with such quiet fragility that just as the man begins playing, a motorcycle passing by on Stamford Road threatens to swallow him up in its gaping roar– instead, through some fortuitous twist of shape, human and machine weld in respectful accommodation. On this bootleg, the souped-up engine sounds like the reverberations of an anxious snare drumming up a lead-in to Leslie’s first words… “Count the mistakes… the chances we take…”

Two months later, The Observatory is unveiled at the inaugural Baybeats Festival as a trio consisting of Leslie, Vivian Wang and Dharma.

mp3: Leslie Low – Time of Rebirth (live at I’m Not Kylie Minogue, Oct 5, 2002)

a paean to bootlegging,
to memory,
to ubiety,
and to the Unity
of the Song

please leave a comment if you were there too. i'd love to hear from you

thanks, debbie, for helping with the logo

if you enjoyed the writing, do consider donating to help me keep this going. thanks so much xx

UNITY SONG at Blogged

August 2008
« Jul   Sep »

cd reviews

i'm always looking forwards as well as backwards, so i'm opening up the site for cd reviews of new music

if you're a band in singapore, malaysia or southeast asia with an album or ep out and would like your music savagely torn apart and skewered on a fat stick, drop me an email with UNITY SONG in the subject line at:

reviews will be done the UNITY SONG way: i will choose one song from your release to feature and provide an audio stream. cheers

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>> Roxy Records & Trading
Excelsior Shopping Centre, 5 Coleman Street, #02-15
Tel: 6337 7783
Open: daily, 11am-9.30pm

>> Straits Records
766 North Bridge Road
Open: daily


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