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The Oddfellows

Genres: Indie Pop, Indie

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The Oddfellows was formed in 1988 (original line-up: Patrick Chng, Casey Soo Wai Cheong on drums, and Stephen Tan on bass) at a time when Singapore original music was unheard of except for those in the small growing underground scene. Yet it was a time that started the Singapore music revival that has continued to this day. Thanks to fanzines that sprouted out—most notably, BigO Magazine, with whom S. Tan is an editor to this day and Chng was once a writer—in the mid to late ’80s, the rise of the indie scene began in earnest with lo-fi DIY cassette releases by the likes of Corporate Toil, The Ordinary People, Mortal Flower and The Oddfellows. The Oddies, as they were also affectionately called, became an underground favourite with their 1988 demo EP, “Mild”, their 3-song 1990 cassette, “Phooney Accent” and their two songs on BigO’s New School Rock CD. In 1991, Vincent replaced Stephen and Kelvin Tan came on board, and The Oddfellows released their debut album, “Teenage Head”, essentially a demo 8-track recording to secure a record deal but BMG Singapore released it as it was, that sparked an interest in Singapore alternative and indie rock music. The first single, “So Happy”, became the first Singapore song to hit No. 1 on Pefect 10 98.7FM radio chart and a top 3 hit on Radio Heart 91.3FM (now WKRZ). The second single, “Your Smiling Face”, also smashed into the top 10 on 98.7FM. Intense gigging in late 1991 at schools and popular night spots broke the band in the mainstream.


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