Posts Tagged ‘substation


#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)


#001 aspidistrafly – No Chance of Reconciliation (live)

When did aspidistrafly become one word? Or rather, when did a s p i d i s t r a f l y become thirteen letters, even-tempered, stark and disparate? I’m not entirely sure. Back at the Tesseract gig held at the Substation in 2003, they were still Aspidistra Fly– but the spaces were always there from the start, the eloquent pauses between strums, ethereal haze of vocals wafting between audio drags. On this rendition of “No Chance of Reconciliation”, April and Ricks removed the song’s hypnotically scattered beats (as heard on their notoriously impossible-to-find first EP) to create the prettiest funeral dirge I’d ever heard. It was their debut gig and I hadn’t realised it then, but right from the start, a s p i d i s t r a f l y were ghosts, and their song would haunt me through time, chase me through the gaps between night and morning, prodding bleakness, sad reminders.

mp3: a s p i d i s t r a f l y – No Chance of Reconciliation (live at The Tesseract, Dec 16, 2003)

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

December 2017
« May    

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

Singapore Blog Directory

Buy homemades here

>> 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


  • 12,742 tuned in