Timbre Rock & Roots 2013: The Report

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The sea of black Led Zeppelin t-shirts on the first day (although a Joy Division Unknown Pleasures and a Pink Floyd shirt were visible) was a pretty good indicator as to who people are here for on Day 1 of Timbre Rock & Roots 2013. Still, people got into the festival vibes pretty early with the opening bands on both days and stayed on all through till the mega-closing act. Also, no labeling this event as one for the oldies – all the demographics were represented. A kid danced with Paul Simon on Day 2, after work yuppies sipping beer to Bonnie Raitt, the younger ones dancing madly to Jimmy Cliff and Mr. Plant. It was truly an admit-everyone-all-ages affair. 

We bring you a full and comprehensive report of both days of the Timbre Rock & Roots Festival, Bandwagon style!


Raw Earth with Kara Grainger

Opening statement: “We’re gonna start off with some blues.”

Achievement unlocked: Ultimate sing-along song ‘Let It Be’

Heart(s) Stealer: A kid called Miguel who handled vocals in ‘Let It Be’ 

Kara Grainger: The lady can really play a mean slide guitar and look cool and effortless

“United Nations of Blues”: Kara Grainger, now living/based in LA by way of Sydney, Australia and playing with our favourite local blues band, Raw Earth

Rufus Wainwright

Fashion vibes: Polished ah beng (Christian Louboutin shoes and all)

Amount of instruments: One Steinway grand piano and a lot of different guitars – including a Hello Kitty one from Korea

Let’s talk about Rufus Wainwright’s voice: Captivating, unequivocal, clings to every melody, vulnerable. 

King of one liners: “See, I’m not depressed all the time” (on Hello Kitty guitar), “Could you guys shut up there in the corner” (before starting on emotional song about his mother), “Get ready, we’re gonna get weird again” (when starting on several songs), “I’ll marry you in Saudi Arabia where I can have many husbands” (mid ‘Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk’) 

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters


Also: A jokey jokester, talked about getting turned away from Singapore several times, promised “amazing moments and some perhaps, questionable”

Once a rockstar: Stage antics include mic tricks and gyrating and albeit not fast-paced, some dancing - he still got it

Statistics: 8/12 Led Zep songs

Eclecticism: The set was already rooted towards the more folksy edge and then Juldeh Camara comes out with his Riti (one-stringed fiddle) and Justin Adams and his explosive guitar solos

More, more, more: Even after an encore, the audience refused to believe the set was over

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Statistics: 11-piece band, 2 drums, 2 tambourines, 2 guitars, a horn section, 1 bass, 1 keyboardist playing on two keyboards. And they all can probably sing. 

The First Lady of Guitar: Susan Tedeschi serious as hell when singing, her husband is a god

Highlight: ‘Midnight in Harlem’, Susan’s conviction when singing the song – we all had the feels

Audience approval: All the long solos warranted a lot of rowdy cheering and clapping


Mike’s Apartment

Who is Mike’s Apartment: Not a porn site (we googled), but a band from Indonesia. Although, we are not sure who came first.

Snooze worthiness: Not really, interesting cover version of popular titles such as Roxanne by The Police and the crowd identified with a lot of the songs

Other notable titles: Wild Cherry – Play That Funky Music, Coldplay – Every Teardrop is a Waterfall

Impressions: Just another cover band, should have focused more on their original works but a good opening act nonetheless

Bonnie Raitt

She is: THE rocker grandma

Mind-boggling: Combination of soulful vocals and guitar artistry

Note-worthy titles: Used to Rule the World (we think she still does), Angel from Montgomery and of course THAT song, I Can’t Make You Love Me

Prize: Best cover of Bob Dylan’s Million Miles

Paul Simon

Song choices: More vibrant than Kodachrome 

Special guest: Dancing kid Harrison that Paul Simon pulled out from the crowd for ‘Late In The Evening’ 

Crowd pleaser: Sang almost what everyone wanted to hear – Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard, Graceland, The Only Living Boy In New York, Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes

Highlight: The Sound of Silence, eerie yet alluring at the same time. Goosebumps for everyone

Other notes: You can all him Al

Jimmy Cliff

Music type: Reggae. Yes kids, there’s more to reggae than just Bob Marley

Crowd: Bonkers for Jimmy Cliff

Energy level: 11/10

Song topics: Pollution, corruption, and Afghanistan, no biggie

Stage outfit: Uniforms for everyone else but a regal red tracksuit with headgear for Jimmy Cliff

Check out our DAY ONE and DAY TWO photo galleries

Text: Delfina Utomo & Darren Goh