Sharky Bar & Restaurant

Sharky Bar & Restaurant

Friday, May 25, 2012

Penhstock III (Day Three, Sunday 13th May, 2012)

Penhstock III (Day Three, Sunday 13th May, 2012)

No rain today. Nothing but bright sunshine. So what better way to start the day than a bit of rockabilly punk (The Cramps) - courtesy of Goo Goo Muck Muck & The Zombies ! With Ian The Punk, singing his little cotton socks off - the small, but vocal crowd enjoyed great versions of ‘What’s Inside A Girl,’ ‘Save It’’ and ‘Strychnine.’ The final day had started with a bang !

Exit ‘’The Zombies’’ and entrance ‘Gang Barang’ - a new, rock covers band from Siem Reap. With the lovely Gaby on vocals, and backed up with some fine musicianship and power drumming from Olivier. They belted a fine set of classic rock covers including great renditions of Black Sabbath’s ‘”Paranoid’’ and ‘’Iron Man’’ Tyrone on lead showed some neat touches and the first encore of the day was duly called for ! Great set by Gang Barang - and hopefully they will be back very soon ! Awesome guyz !

Probably, the only disappointment so far at Penhstock III, had been the late withdrawal of Khmer Rap Metal Band ‘Millennium’’ on the Friday night, due to the work commitments of lead singer Karona.

However, in order not to let us down, the drummer from Millennium brought his splinter band Aesthetic to the party – to compensate. And by crikey, weren’t we lucky that they did ! The subtle heavy metal licks of the guitars, were played together with some fine singing and rolling bass, to give us a brief insight into another of the new Khmer bands to hit the circuit ! A short but brief set from the boyz - but a nice appetizer all the same! Great stuff !

Bop P. & The Schkoots took to the stage during the short turnaround. Featuring Jan and Benoit from Dub Addiction on drums and bass – and the legendary Bob Passion on lead vocals and rhythm guitar. A veteran of all three Penstocks’, Bob played his customary French Punk/Pop much to the delight of the now very large crowd. He even found time for a bit of Iggy Pop (I Wanna Be Your Dog) and this of course was lapped up (no pun intended) by the bi-partisan crowd ! Great set by Bob - and some fine support playing by the Dub boyz ! Maybe we can twist their arms and get them back at Sharkys ! Hope so !

The crowd was now building very nicely and more than getting into the festival spirit. Oscars Band (our friends from St.104) took to the stage next and turned in a superlative array of musical medleys, that had the big crowd entertained from start to finish ! Be it James Brown, Lynard Sknynard, Chuck Berry, Wild Cherry or even The Carpenters, Oscars Band had them in palm of his hand, as he rocked his way effortlessly through his 25 minute set. The shouts for an encore were of course denied because of the time restraints - but a great set all the same by Oscar ! Brilliant Set !

Not to be outdone, local rock n blues legend Curtis King and his assortment of harp players, trumpet players and guitar players, crowded the stage and played a twenty odd minute boogie-jam - that only Curtis can do ! The crowd were enthralled and they loved every minute of the interplay between him on guitar, Kristain and the Japanese Harp player Fumi - San, which was ‘something rather special.’ They even found time for a bit of U2 - and this was complimented by their guest singer from The Philippines’ ! A great rock n roll boogie performance from Curtis King. He is definitely ‘’The Main Man ” !!!

 The Penhstock III crowd was now at fever pitch and the debut performance from another Siem Riep band – Cambo-Jam was greeted with wild enthusiasm and reveling ! They ‘rocked the house’ with a varied array of tunes that included Sting’s Englishman In New York (with the odd words changed) and even a bit of Hip Hop, that had the Khmer contingent, not to mention the bar staff, cheering and dancing in sheer delight ! The stand-out track though for KC, Aya, Fabian, Bertrand and Phillip, was a powerhouse version of Franz Ferdinand’s ‘’Take Me Out.” Absolutely superb and a great way to round off a great debut performance at Sharkys ! One of the best performances of the night ! Terrific !!

 Just as the crowd were catching their breath, local Khmer band and Green Day sound-a-likes ‘’Anti-Fate’’ exploded onto stage with their own firebrand brand of Alternative Rock. Not be outdone, the healthy Khmer section of the crowd were very vocal in supporting their local heroes - and there wasn’t a ‘’foot or hand’’ that wasn’t ‘’tapping or clapping’’ in the house - when their best song ‘Ámerican Idiot” sounded out ! A truly great version of that song - and proof that ‘’The 2011Battle of the Bands Winners’’ are a force to be reckoned with in Cambodia ! Great power set from Propey and the boyz !

Twenty-eight bands and counting, surely the next two bands can’t keep this electricity going ? Wrong ! Still to come The Stiff Little Punks and Bum N Draze !  Two of Phnom Penhs legendary cult bands! Better reset your pacemakers and pack some more protein pills. Cause none of these guys take prisoners !

With their guitars turned up high and the decibels louder than everyone else that had gone before – The Stiff Little Punks – battered the crowd into punk submission with lively versions of Sonic Reducer (Dead Boys), Hong Kong Garden (Souixsie & The Banshees) - and of course being Penhstock III – they just had to play Holiday In Cambodia (Dead Kennedys). Brilliant ! There was even time for a bit of 20th Century Boy (T.Rex.) Rock on !!! A great loud, entertaining set by SLP - and hope to have them back very soon at Sharkys !

Well, how can you finish Penstock III with all what has gone before ? Answer: With their final performance of their‘ ’DEATH OR TCHI TCHI TOUR 2012’’ who else but the inevitable Finnish Heavy Rock Superstars - Bum N Draze !!!!

What can you say about Pasi, Youni and Jet ? Are they Mega-gods or just simply drunken nutters ? Who cares ? Complete with Sexy Dancer (Asa) and a Seven-Foot- Black-Coffin waiting to be prised opened – always expect the unexpected from The Flying Fins !

The wailing guitars of the Bum N Draze classic song‘’If Mekong Was Whiskey’’ had hardly subsided when bass supremo Pasi approached the coffin with guitar menacingly in his hand– and as it slowly opened – out popped a scantily clad Welshman with a large three-foot inflatable dick between his legs ! He was in turn then severely beaten by a large man wearing welders goggles and brandishing  a baseball bat ! All done in the best possible taste of course !

The final part of the coffin act – finished with band members smashing their guitars on top of the coffin - with the Welshman and his battered dick - retreating into the confines of his burial for the last time !!

Great macabre fun ! Bum N Draze ! Who else ! And what a smashing way (literally) to finish Penhstock III – three days, of Peace, Love and Music.

And Big Mike (Sharky Boss) at the end of the night, typically, just waved to the crowd and thanked everyone enourmously for their support - as well as his crew and his bar staff for a job well done. He knew all the time, it was going to be a success. He just knew. Big Mike. He just knew. Was there ever a doubt !

Penhstock III was brought to you by the following Sharky Bar Management Team.

Big Mike (Sharky Boss, MC, Chief Soundbyte and Inspiration)

Rossy ‘’Ramone’’ Hounslow (Entertainments Manager, MC Extraordinaire, Chief Sound Technician and Vocalist - Sharky Ramone Blitzkrieg)

Curtis King
(Musician, Asst. Sound Technician, Rock N Roll Boogie Guy, The Main Man)

Dave The Punk (Music Manager, Guitarist for Clash City Rockers, Shambollick-69, Sharky Ramone Blitzkrieg, Goo-Goo Muck Muck & The Zombies and Stiff Little Punks)

& our lovely, hardworking Sharky Bar Staff !

Thanks to all of you (Muscians and Penshtock III crowd)  for ‘’History In The Making’’ at Sharky Bar …… it was all down to you !

Cheerz !!!!!

........ and Penhstock III Video to follow !!!!

Penhstock III (Day Two, Saturday 12th May, 2012)

Penhstock III (Day Two, Saturday 12th May, 2012)

It of course rained again, but not long enough to deter Marten The Martian (USA) and his percussionist Vince (France) from doing a great acoustic opening act. Nice, vocals from Marten and a great assortment of percussion instruments played by Vince, that kept the afternoon ‘firmly in the groove’ and ready for the opening electric act of the evening. Cheerz fellaz ! Great job !

Next up were Tango N Snatch. But nobody really knew what to expect from them ? It didn’t matter. With Ziad (on guitar) and Melanie (on drums) they played as if they were auditioning for the next ‘Punk And Disorderly’ gig to be held at Sharkys.

Bizarrely, and seemingly like a mutant cross between Billy Bragg and John Otway and Wild Willy Barret ! They sounded great ! Highly entertaining ! Ziad was electrifying on vocals and guitar ! And Melanie wasn’t too bad either on the ol’ drum kit ! Real entertainers! Can’t wait to see them again ! Good Fun !

Shambollick-69 were up next. As the name suggests, Shambollick by name and Shambollick by nature, Laura and Melanie from The Herding Cats joined forces with Dave and Rob from The Stiff Little Punks for a little bit of  ‘Ói Oi Oi’

Jimmy Pursey must have been laughing his little cotton socks off - as the Sham 69 tribute band - served up such classics as ‘’Ángels With Dirty Faces’, ‘Hersham Boys’ and ‘Hurry Up Harry.” Great Cockney fun - and great vocals too, from the amazing Laura !

Violentine brought things back to sanity (well almost), with a well rehearsed, heavy rock set that featured covers by Slayer and Metallica. A very underrated band and a very compact and entertaining set, from some very good Khmer guitar players ! Good job boyz !

The Khmer theme continued with a next act starring the excellent ‘P.Seng’ taking to the stage. Judging by their legions of fans and their hard-hitting rock sound, this could be the next big Khmer band to explode in Cambodia. With two ex-members of Cartoon Emo and the ex-singer from Pilgrim Band taking centre stage, I don’t think it will be too long before this band is playing to even bigger crowds. Ones to watch for sure ! Great set !

The recent tour around Asia by ‘Marky Ramone Blitzkrieg’ prompted some local columnists to question why Marky didn’t come to Cambodia with his famous band.

Not to worry ‘’Sharky Ramone Blitzkrieg’’ a subtle collection of Sharky Managers and Customers, came to the rescue, with a wig wearing, black leather, Ramone t-shirt tribute band - that wouldn’t have looked out of place at The Hard Rock Café venues were Marky has just toured.

Their hi-energy tribute performance, was further eclipsed only by lead singer Rossy Ramone, who rumour has it, maybe jetting out to Marky’s next gig In Rio (or is it Buenos Aries?) as direct replacement for Michael Graves (formerly Lead Vocalist for the Misfits )!

The band was good - and the t-shirts were even better ! Sheena Is A Punk Rocker ! Only in Sharkys !  After The Ramones whatever next ? What about some Stones ! Yeah why not !

Chick Jagger (Karen) and her boyz then took to the stage and belted out half-a dozen Rolling Stones tunes to a very appreciate audience. This band ‘Stoned Again !’ who featured recently at the ‘Wildlife Alliance Fundraiser II’ - just gets better and better !

The last strains of ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ were still echoeing away, as the chants for More ! More ! More ! More ! sort of fell on deaf ears (sorry time restraints), as the excellent Stoned Again left the stage to a thunderous applause ! Well Done ! And Karen ‘Moved Like Jagger’ too ! Great stuff !

The audience still sweating from the Stones groove, were soon back up on their feet as Sharkys Resident Band ‘The Lazy Drunks’ took to the stage and started off with a rip-roaring version of Neil Young’s ‘Rocking In The Free World.’ Other great rock covers followed, as the crowd seemingly lapped it up! There was even time for some Stealers Wheel ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ before Tom and the boyz exited the stage. Great job from The Drunks !  See them most Fridays in Sharkys !!

The dust had hardly settled, before the crowd seemed to swell, when The Fumes took centre stage. With Karen in fine form vocally, an eclectic mix of Indie/New Wave covers, rocked the house. The place almost exploded when their version of ‘I Predict A Riot (Kaiser Chiefs) was played - and once again The Fumes proved beyond shadow of a doubt, that they are still one of the best live bands in Cambodia ! Bravo !

It was now deep into Saturday night and the whole place was buzzing in anticipation as the next band ‘The Funki-Munkees’ from Singapore began to get ready. A seven-piece soul/funk band with full horn section. They certainly did not disappoint.

Probably, the killer act of the weekend, as they funked and souled - and boogied their way through an extremely professional fifty-five minute set - much to the delight and enjoyment of the packed Penhstock crowd!

If nobody had heard of the Funki-Munkees before, they certainly had now. And all of this with ‘no singer.’ Unbelievable !

Yes, a quite fantastic performance from this Singaporean based band, and hopefully we’ll have them back very soon at Sharkys ! Great act ! Great Sound ! Great Music ! Yeah, Just Great !

Surely there was no band that could follow that energy and vibe ? Yes, only one.

Up next, the final act of the night. The chainsaw guitar sound of deathcore metal Khmer band - Sliten6ix. If you think Nightmare On Elm Street or Halloween, then think Slipknot or Nine Inch Nails…….. or Sliten6ix.

Fronted by gravelly, throated vocalist Misfit - he is to music - what sucking razor blades through a vacuum cleaner on a bomb scorched battlefield must feel like - while blasting out hundred decibel torturous screams - whilst singing at the same time!

Whether it was participating in the large Mosh Pit or The Wall Of Death at the front of the stage, or just curious onlookers, the Sharky crowd just loved Sliten6ix. Their versions of ‘’Cannibal’’ and ‘’Annihilate The Meth’’ - bringing the house down - literally! A great climax - and a fitting end to a fantastic night !

Awesome Sliten6ix – just awesome!! And a great way to end Day Two: Penhstock III.

Penhstock III (Day One, Friday 11th May 2012)

Big Mike (Sharky Boss) had made the ‘’off-the-cuff’’ remark on the eve of Penhstock III (Cambodia’s biggest music festival), that he hoped that the Phnom Penh fraternity would fully get behind this grandiose event (which unceremoniously advertised three days of peace, love and music) and duly hoped the Phnom Penh faithful would turn-out in their hordes and support this the largest massive local music event held at Sharky Bar.
He needn’t have worried. Even the start of the rainy season (well it is based on Woodstock after all!!) could not deter the enthusiasm and the excitement generated by this premier showcase event that promised ‘’30 bands over three days.”’ On that note Penhstock III duly delivered.

Maybe they weren’t quite wallowing in the mud like the original Woodstock of ’69,  but under the shadow of the Sharky Bar Tee-Pee (reminiscent of those ‘hippie-love’’ halcyon days.) . The crowd turned out night-after-night in the hundreds and hundreds! With the bar packed-out every night, the customers reveled  in the party-festival atmosphere - dancing, drinking and enjoying themselves - even pogoeing and joining in the occasional mosh pit - while watching and listening to music performed by musicians from all over the world.

This was Penhstock III (Sharky Bar 2012) - and what follows is how it unfolded. Not so much a ride, but more of an adrenaline rush. Believe me when I say…. this was History in the Making ….and if you were lucky enough to be there, you will know exactly what I mean !!!

Penhstock III (Day One, Friday 11th May 2012)

Ok it rained (a bit) on the first day, but that did not deter “Shawn Miller & The Kampot Peppers ‘’from kicking off this event in true bluesy, rock n roll style. With Curtis King ‘aiding and abetting’ on bass and Shawn’s very own personal fan club down from Kampot (was there anybody left there?) We were entertained to some great guitar blues from Shawn-  and that all of course was more than welcomed by his travelling entourage down form Kampot ! What a great way to start to Penhstock III !!

Just when you thought it was safe to go to the bar ‘’Varaman’’ exploded onto the stage, with their very own brand of heavy metal, rock covers - Khmer style ! With Veansa and Violentine on ‘twin axe guitars’ up front, the festival was slowly winding it’s way up for a feisty and sweaty evening of glorious rock n roll ! Another great hi-energy performance!

Next up, fellow Khmer head bangers ‘’Six-String’’ turned in a more of a laid back sounding performance than their country cousins - but nevertheless, were still grungy, and alternative enough to be well received by the steady stream of customers  pouring into the bar at  8pm ! Newcomers to Sharkys but impressive all the same !
The five-minute turn around, didn’t seem to deter any of the bands from eagerly waiting patiently for their slot at the side of the stage. In fact, so well executed was this ‘roll-on-roll off’’ that it was better than any of the festivals I had ever been to at Glastonbury or Reading. Well done Ross and Dave !

Next up were the French students ‘’Astra-Nova.’’ They came on and played some fine Red Hot Chilli Peppers and even a rendition of ‘’Final Countdown’’ (Europe.) You can see them again at Sharkys on June 2nd when they support their tutor and mentor JP (Jean-Philippe Petesch) - who will be flying in from Japan to do a special one-off gig ! Should be a great night ! A big thanx to Loy, Alexis and the boys for a fine set !

The great thing about Penhstock III, is that musicians can almost play anything they wish to - and this was never truer that the next band up - Muscle Of Love !! An Alice Cooper Tribute Band !!! Classic Alice Cooper tracks like ‘’Welcome To My Nightmare,’ Raped and Freezing’’ and of course ‘’Schools Out’ were belted out in no uncertain glam rock style by ace guitarists JJ and Jet ! Great set ! Great vibe ! Great entertainment !

Next up, Splitter made their long awaited return to Sharkys with the return of Doug, Wayne, Toby and front man Martin. Infact, Doug and Wayne had that many guitar effect pedals this time round, that they needed Jimmy (Teaner Terners) to help them carry out onstage (that in itself surely a statement !) Guitar effects apart, Splitter turned in a rousing performance and were surely one of the ‘hits’’ of the night. Great performance and a fully deserved encore - one of the very few of the weekend ! I kid you not !  Great stuff !
Penhstock III was now in full swing and The Teaner Terners took to the stage in what was to be their final performance featuring guitarist and visionary Lance. They truly rocked the joint and none moreso than when they played their own original songs such as ’Traffic Light” and “Pygmy Tin” ! Great Set ! Scotty was vocally outstanding - and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house for Lance’s last performance ! Good luck Lance ! We’re all gonna miss ya mate ! Brilliant !

Another band, maybe making a swansong appearance as well, were Little Duke & The Messengers fronted by the irrepressible Kristen. This great blues band put on a show typical of their undoubted quality and the guitar licks of Jonas were a pleasure to behold. The Sharky crowd were lapping it up and the calls of an encore were only lost on the ‘tight musical turnaround’ for each band that Penhstock III demands. Nevertheless, a vintage performance, from one of the stalwarts of the current music scene ! Gonna be missed !
The crowd were now full-on and the beer was flowing.. The Clash City Rockers took to the stage and played some of Clash’s finest ! Eddy Grant’s ‘’Police On My Back’’ a bootleg cover by The Clash, was backed-up with other memorable punk songs of that era such as  ‘Çareer Opportunities,” ‘’Garageland’, ‘White Riot’’ and a gritty, rock n roll version of “Rock The Kasbah.’’ Great vocals from Ian The Punk and a great set from The Clash City Rockers !

The clock was ticking and with the energy level now at fever pitch  - the emergence of the female punksters - Herding Cats  - raised the roof !  One-Two-Three-Four …… Someone’s Gonna Get Their Heads Kicked In Tonight ……. what a way to start, with Laura blasting out The Rezillo’s classic with a voice that sounded it had been soaked in battery acid the night before ! Great vocals Ma’am !

With the crowd firmly on their side, other notable punk renditions included Iggy Pop’s ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ and The Sex Pistols ‘Pretty Vacant.” There was even time for Social Distortion’s version of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring Of Fire’ and even a bit of Suzi Quatro ! Absolute Magic Ladies !

A great way to end the night ! A big thanx to Laura, Lesley, Melanie and Kate for bringing down the curtain on Day One: Penhstock III. The final word on the female punksters ! F*****ing Brill !
Surely, Day Two: Penhstock III cant get any better than this. Can it?