Jason Mackaway

distinctly different

The Travelling Musician - Bangkok, Thailand

"Another travel blog?" you say with disdain. The mere thought makes you quiver with disgust! Yes, travel blogs are overdone, but before you let your attention slip back to the endless scrolling of your Facebook feed, take note that I am neither an experienced traveller, professional writer, nor a music critic. So if you're a fan of poor humour, the worst grammar you've ever seen, and terrible analyses, you've hit the jackpot!

Amazingly, it took me a meagre three days to find any music in the ever busy, ever hot, Bangkok. Granted, pretty much anyone else could have done it come day one, I'm still proud as punch of my achievement. I happened across a three piece band who were out busking. My Friday night (17/11/17) was made then and there. They had a psychedelic pop sound with Thai vocals. Personally I was a fan.

This discovery proved significant, as the old adage of "when it rains it pours" came into play shortly after.  Wandering out of Terminal 21 (one of numerous shopping centres), a stage out on the street, was set up with lights, professional audio techs and cameras. A five piece band was on said stage, performing overtly pop songs with Thai lyrics (refer to Ex. 1.1). With some help it was translated to me that they were filming for a music show that was comparable to The Voice, and the singer on stage was in the top three. The show was either called Joox Live or was sponsored by them. Due to language barriers and internet restrictions (now that I'm back in the land of Aus) I have thus-far been unsuccessful in finding out more information about the show and the performer (someone please tell me his name!!!). This was potentially the last I heard anyone singing in Thai.

Ex. 1.1

Ex. 1.1

Following a few songs at the Joox, I was enticed into a pub called Country Road by the sounds of LIVE MUSIC! The two 6 piece bands were musically tight and their covers sounded very close to the original songs (refer to Ex. 1.2). Surprisingly these covers bands were performing exclusively western pop songs in English. I had some expectation of hearing Thai folk or Thai pop, or even just lyrics in Thai at some point in time, but I was wildly wrong. The songs performed ranged from "Enter Sandman - Metallica" to "Simply the Best - Tina Turner", from my perspective an enjoyable, varied mix. A fun little element of the performance was the allowance of patrons to submit song requests and then take to the stage to perform them à la karaoke. The atmosphere of the pub was so joyous and gratifying and being able to sing along with songs, while in some ways disappointing, is always fun on a night out.

Ex. 1.2

Ex. 1.2

If you've made it this far then congratulations are in order. You've passed the test and hopefully are willing to come on an adventure with me again sometime soon.

Thank you for your time,
Jason.