We've been playing quite a few shows in Bangkok and have been getting some nice feedback. Renowned American journalist Joe Cummings wrote a great review of our recent set at Fatty's Bar and Diner for Bangkok 101 magazine. The published review was an abridged version, so I thought I'd post the full version of the review here:
By Joe Cummings
Triggs & The Longest Day
Fatty’s Bar & Diner, Thursday, 12 September
If you’re into live bands and haven’t been to Fatty’s yet, now is a good time to start looking at the weekly line-ups. This is a venue that’s on the verge of becoming a dependable stalwart for local music.
One of the only bars – very possibly the only bar -- in the Rama 9/Din Daeng neighbourhood featuring original live music, Fatty’s sports the grungy feel of long-departed Rain Dogs, in a smaller space but with a better sound system and a menu of reliable food with such provocative names as Buffalo Hot Wangs, Cream Cheese Burgers and the Wisconsin Johnson.
On a rainy Thursday night last month, four bands and their local fans and groupies, along with Fatty’s regular diehard beer-drinking music junkies, tucked themselves into the bar’s comfy nooks and crannies for a thumping evening of what the posters called ‘experimental garage rock twisted pop rock n'roll’.
Arriving around 10pm, Bangkok101 missed the opening act, called Wednesday, consisting of experimental guitar by Put Wednesday Suksriwan. Fatty’s gregarious owner and chef (himself an accomplished singer-songwriter in the Neil Young/Wilco vein) Matthew Fischer described it as ‘looped guitars and a Kaoss pad I think. It’s probably genius stuff’.
Pool People were Benji Surangkanjanajai, a Thai-German keyboardist, singer and composer who lives in Berlin, accompanied by Nat Sanpawait Soikum on drums. Pool People songs consisted of intricate keyboard figures accompanied by wistful vocal melodies sung in English. More rehearsal would have yielded a tighter sound, but a rough, naïve charm shone through nonetheless.
The highlight of the night came next. Plastic Section is led by Ben Edwards on guitar and slapback echo-drenched vocals, with Pok Pongprayoon on bass and harmony vocals and Put Wednesday again on drums. Those familiar with the local indie scene may recognise Ben from the band Basement Tape, while Pok is well known as one half of the duo Stylish Nonsense and for his production work with Panda Records.
Unlike Basement Tape, a more sedate affair in which Ben alternates composing duties with Tat Bunnag, Plastic Section is clearly Ben’s pet project, with the Australian writing all of the band’s songs himself. He also played all the instruments on the rustic Plastic Section (Panda Records) CD, but tonight Pok’s inventive bass and blissed-out vocal support take the material to another level. In press material, Ben describes his music as ‘an experimental, idiosyncratic update of crazy rock 'n' roll, rockabilly and rhythm and blues’ and cites as influences Bo Diddley, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Gories, The 5678s, Beasts of Bourbon and The Cramps, among others. What we heard was good rockabilly bordering on great psychobilly. (Bangkok rockabilly poser bands take note; this is how it’s supposed to sound.)
Capping off the night was Triggs and the Longest Day, who hacked at their guitars and howled into their mics with drunken abandon. Led by Tokin Teekanun on guitar and lead vocal, with Nopphon Cheng on bass, Sanpawit Soikum on drums and Chawalit Saowapakpongchai on guitar and backing vocals, their performance was haunted by a heavy hum – possibly from the guitarist’s pedal set-up -- that wouldn’t be tamed. The effort was there, though, and Bangkok 101 would like to catch this band again when their gear is cooperating.
Conclusion: Without reservation, we can recommend Plastic Section if you like your rock 'n’ roll raw, raucous and clever.
Fatty’s Bar & Diner, Rama IX Rd, Tel 08 0557 1959