With the impending ‘O’ levels arriving on Monday, I could hear the students quake and fear as they scribbled on whatever minuscule amount of paper that was left and methodised formulas in abbreviations. But to the remaining student body of Guangyang Secondary, they were all out to play. After all, they’ve still got a full year to think about that.
Seated in single-filed rows, the students were eased and settled in before the teachers subjected them to more butt-moving in the early mornings. The students groaned more when the teacher exclaimed, “We want to see you squeeze!”. A teacher berated a student in the side corridor, punishing him by allocating a spot in the front row, just for him. He accepted it with a sullen look on his face. Phones stayed hidden from the sharp gaze of teachers, kept in deep pockets and crevices between leg and thigh — nothing but discreet buzzing to remind its owner of its existence.
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This is usual business in secondary schools but the groaning stopped when Tabitha Nauser from 987fm came on, and a surge of excitement took over when HubbaBubbas appeared onstage.It was the teachers who did most of the photo-taking on their smartphones before the criminal act of phones out in the open was temporarily halted for all. “Don’t worry we’ve asked your teachers” reassured Tabitha.
HubbaBubbas has had a reputation for being bubbly and uplifting in the early morning assemblies from their previous Invasion dates. Packed with the same amount of vigour, the trio slammed in a collection of beat-box sounds and melodious lines into ‘How to Solve a Nightmare’, pretty much like how Willy Wonka compresses a three-course dinner into a single slab of gum — downright tasty (or tasty AF, as Willy Wonka in the Instagram age would possibly say).
Despite playing another *SCAPE Invasion set the day before at Yishun Junior College, there was no exhaustion apparent in THELIONCITYBOY’s facial expressions. He didn’t interact much waiting from the back of the heavy felt curtains, his eyes focused and intent on battling the atmosphere at Guangyang Secondary. The students stayed relaxed, remaining at their comfort level, reluctant to move — aside from the modest shuffling of shoulders and nodding of heads.
One thing about THELIONCITYBOY is that he does not accept no for an answer. He halted in his steps and called the Guangyang Secondary crowd into motion, pulling handful of students in various directions with his guile and commanding words, “When someone ask which school is wildest on the Invasion tour, can I say that Guangyang Sec was crazy?” A few students responded, appearing like odd patches of overgrown grass in the well-tended garden, before falling back onto their seats and met with the look of disdain on their surrounding classmates.
“When someone ask which school is wildest on the Invasion tour, can I say that Guangyang Sec was crazy?” THELIONCITYBOY aka Kevin Lester
THELIONCITYBOY geared into action, calling on the students to move to the front. He halted his set till the students “check their attitude.” Ironically, the teachers rose and egged the students to move — which they did, in droves of fives and tens. By the end of ’Overdrive’, the crowd was on their feet and raring to go. Entering final track ‘She Wild’, THELIONCITYBOY was finally pleased.
At the break of the set, a student begged THELIONCITYBOY to follow him back on Instagram, eliciting a quick fire response, “You follow me, I’ll follow you back.” This can very well be symbolic of the current Singaporean music scene — lose your prior disposition and take a chance with local acts, and in return you will find yourself holding onto something intangible but memorable.
"...take a chance with local acts, and in return you will find yourself holding onto something intangible but memorable."