At the end of a typical concrete township, in a dark gallery sits a barred door to a poorly lit staircase. ‘Yes, yes, it’s here’ a bystander tells us. We slowly open the squeaking metal door, walk 2 floors up and enter a space that looks like a normal apartment. ‘Well kept secret’ is clearly an understatement to describe the venue. Live Fact in Taman Danau Desa has been a rehearsal studio for 4 years. But only 3 months ago turned into a live venue.
‘We’re doing this, just for the music, to do our own thing after a long week of work’ one of the partners explains. After I asked him, whether you need to be brave or crazy to do indie gigs in Malaysia. For sure you need to be courageous. Tonight only a handful of people have shown up. If I deduct the musicians and crew, you’re probably left with 4 paying visitors. A ticket is 6 US $, you do the math.
Too bad, because tonight’s program features 3 local singer songwriters with high novelty factor. Fadhil Zulkifri is the first to hit the stage for some folk inspired tunes. His mastery lies in the songs with a seemingly, minimal chord progression. As if the same chord is repeated over and over in a hypnotic loop.
If German rock can be called ‘Krautrock’ - then somebody should coin the term ‘Sarong rock.’ Sitting in a comfy sarong and assisted by a discrete percussionist, Mr. Dragon is singing in Chinese, clearly influenced by Radiohead. ‘Are you the Chinese Thom Yorke?’ I ask him after the gig ‘No, tom yang’ he jokes back. My ‘Sarong rock’ term breaks the ice and his friends are happy to translate my questions. He explains me a few songs. Like the song ‘Hot Fridge’ describing how people living in a hot city, remain cold-hearted.
Next are the voice, the veil and The Venopian Solitude – a true enigma. Suiko Takahara is a one-woman band armed a soulful voice. With some lo-fi gear she beat-boxes, hums and scats layers on top of a simple beat or quirky melody. Your mind starts playing tricks, as you expect some soulful hipster – but instead, you see a friendly veiled Malaysian girl. Venopia seems to be an imaginative world for Suiko to spell out her malaise with this world. Or ‘Just a cool band name, because I’m just on my own’ she confesses to us.
For the next Live Fact gigs, I'm just hoping for a little less solitude.
For the agenda, idiot-proof maps and directions – please go to: www.facebook.com/LVFCT - Taman Danau Desa is 9 km from KL center – 12 RM with Uber