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Sofar Sounds Singapore #2 aka Holding a Gig at Your Own Home


I remember going down my walk-up apartment to get some chairs for the Sofar Sounds show about to happen in my living room and coming up to find that there were already huge speakers set up on gigantic stands where my telly and entertainment console used to be. Efficiency +10. 

After a successful first round with These Brittle Bones, Charlie Lim and ANECHOIS, I was 75% serious when I told Sam Drury, the Sofar Sounds Singapore coordinator that I was offering my place for the next session. 75% only because everyone else started offering their place for the next show as well. 

And then here I was feeling a little overwhelmed in my own house as the sound people and Monster Cat began setting up. I had a bare house as I was in the middle of moving homes and thought 'A gig, why not?' But with gigantic speakers, a little sound mixer console, drums were present, it was very extravagant for an acoustic living room show. And one was feeling a little doubtful about the neighbours' happiness. 

As for the happiness of the people who turned up at the second Sofar Sounds session, I would like to apologise for the lack of bottle openers and corkscrews. If it's any consolation, I had been living on plastic picnic utensils for the past few days due to the overzealous packing of my entire family. Here, have my cat as a peace offering. 


Still, sans alcoholic beverage or not, people turned their attention to the acts once the show started. As a rule, no one should be chatting during sets or fiddling with phones noisily. That's not so hard really, when you have Tall Mountains playing a few feet away from you. Sydney Yeo was backed by Mark John Hariman on guitar and the talented Josh Wei on violin. We've seen her play at Home Club and the Esplanade Concourse before but right here in my living room, man it was surreal. One thing about Sydney Yeo is that her songs take you through landscapes and stories. Singing her blend of comforting and melodic folk, we let her take us places. 

Inch Chua was the only one that night to take the stage (or rug) solo. A lot is going on for this lady, who was looking a lot like Knives Chau of Scott Pilgrim the film, complete with blue highlights. Having recently released her whimsical video for 'Artful Dodger', Inch is back in town for a bit and hence, this second Sofar Sounds show was crafted around that, before she leaves again. Kooky with indie-rock sensibilities, Inch took on five songs for the night. 

One of the best parts of the night was watching RJ of Monster Cat meow-ing at my cat. Quite the taciturn one, she did not reply. Another good part of the night was also watching Monster Cat in my living room, drums and all. If I was going to piss off the neighbours, let it be because of something cool. Now functioning as a 3-piece band, they debuted a new track 'Mother' for the attendees, treated us with an amazing stripped down version of 'These Hands, and finished off with 'Salem' at the encore. This is the most subdued and calm we have seen of these guys and they still sound stellar as ever. 

And then it was a wrap. It took some time getting used to an empty living room again. The chairs I borrowed from the poolside earlier? They're still in my house. Just hours earlier, it was bustling and busy. Also, just months earlier, I was only a Sofar Sounds attendee and now, I was kinda hosting one. I got to see the work the organisers have put in, the sound people trying to perfect how things sound like for your enjoyment, and even small things like sorting out the guest list. Good thing is, you can help out too. If you're a videographer, sound engineer or have ample space in your house, lend us your services (or living room)! For more information, head to sofarsounds.com and while you're at it, remember to sign up. 

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