Live Music Scene at Equinox on Street 278 in Phnom Penh from 2010-2015
Comprehensive list of Photos, Links, and Information about the Golden Age of Barang Music in Cambodia.
We welcome any corrections, additions, or comments. View the Equinox Archives Youtube Channel.
Moments of joy in a country, full of contradictions
Melting pot of all colors, religions, ages
Island of the libertine
Dark Eyes everywhere, the Ukrainian Yews, Gypsies and today´s Expats song
Phnom Penh Hippie Orchestra´s chant
Forgettable borders of all kind
Unity in diversity, running down in fancy
As midnight descended, rushing back into each other’s thoughts
Reuniting day and night – for Equinox
LISTEN TO LIVE SHOWS:
SANGVAR DAY – Original Alternative/Hard Rock
From their FB page:
Cambodia´s one and only Ragga Dub Band. Original Reggae tunes with Khmer, African and German Raggamuffin MC´s. ONE LOVE!
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Member of this historic band now has a business in Phnom Penh that excepts Bitcoin. 😉
“Equinox, in my humble opinion, had the best sound and the friendliest staff. In a city like Phnom Penh, over saturated with bars and venues – Equinox wasn’t like any of them. It has class, style, and you could always count on there being talent there.
When I began playing across the street at Top Banana, as the host of Tuesday night’s open mic, I would often look over the balcony and think to myself “I hope I get to play THERE one day”. When it happened it as a true honour. I was impressed to have our set recorded live when the band played and to this day it was one of our most memorable gigs.
I can honestly say that it was the best of times to arrive at this rare gem. My unbridled love for the staff and community involved can but only be amplified when I recollect the days and nights we spent at EQUINOX” Greg
JOSHUA CHANG – Singer/Songwriter
CAMBODIAN SPACE PROJECT -Psychedelic Khmer Rock
Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan – Singer/Songwriter
Check out Mr. Scott Bywater’s websites:
From their FB page: Our vision is to bring all the unknown or lost music and the sound of golden age and unforgettable classic rock’n roll music from the year 1960s and 1970s to all Khmer young generations in this new century and also to the world……!!!
- VIDEO – Fever
- VIDEO – Equinox; Rockin’ the penh;
- VIDEO – Equinox; Clip 2
- VIDEO – Equinox; Clip 3
“The Fumes cranked out indie, alternative, and new wave covers from the Equinox grand stand for most of the “Golden Years” of the Phnom Penh expat music scene, from 2010 to 2014. When the Fumes got into the sonic business, it was atypical to hear Nirvana, New Order, Pixies, Garbage, Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Rage Against the Machine, and REM (to name but a few) covers in a music scene dominated by blues with a touch of punk and death metal. Hardworking and disciplined, the Fumes managed to gain a cult following by constantly adding new songs to set lists and by surprising audiences young and ancient!
As a long time act in Phnom Penh, the Fumes had the pleasure of performing at Equinox during a time when bands had to haul their own drum sets, before manager Anthony Mrugacz invested in the bar kit. This kept a few of our Khmer roadie friends happy and supportive as come Friday or Saturday nights, they got to take the night off from families, move our equipment, and drink beers with buddies at a local establishment. We appreciated how the quality of the gear at Equinox grew over the years and the constant professionalism of Anthony at the sound helm. His engineering was especially important as our sound, with heavy synths, vocoder, harmonising vocals, and guitar and vox effects pedals required constant tweaking during sound checks and shows. The folks at Equinox took great care to make sure that shows went off without a hitch, with minor interruptions (such as when the Equinox soundboard blew up a few hours before a show)…
To all the Equinox crew, the Fumes thank you for giving us the chance to perform and for providing the kind of open-minded, creative, encouraging, and equipped party environment that all dedicated bands could succeed within! We miss you all and the ‘Nox! Thanks man and see you soon,” Jon
Leonard Reyes is a photographer and development worker by day and a musician by night. From 2011 until he left Cambodia in 2015, he played guitar for a number of bands in Phnom Penh including Vibratone, RNA and Moi Tiet. He was also a regular fixture in open mic venues around Phnom Penh, being particulary inspired by spontaneous collaborations. He is now back in Manila playing with his two-decade old band the Village Idiots who play their own brand of socially concerned music. Leonard also performed with Los Illustrados and Vibratone.
In 2011, Scoddy & the Quality Drops was a six-piece band that played one performance in Equinox Bar, Phnom Penh just before I left Cambodia for what turned out to be a year in France. About half the material was original.
In 2013, the band was reformed as a quite different concept: a three part harmony band. I enlisted James Speck (vocals, ukulele, harmonica) and RJ Marshall (vocals, guitar) and Troy Campbell (drums), and we played a handful of gigs at Equinox Bar and other venues before the departure of both Troy (to the US) and RJ (to Europe). In addition to a handful of originals, we tackled the likes of The Beatles, The Who, James Taylor, Gram Parsons, The Thorns and the Traveling Wilburys.
Richard RJ Marshall –Singer/Songwriter
From their FaceBook page: We are a group of musicians covering all corners of the world (France, England, Scotland, Brazil, Malaysia and South Africa, USA, New Zealand) We all share a love for music and are living proof that the language of music is universal.From the Leng Pleng:
Phnom Penh based folk band, Kheltica provide an entente cordial of musical traditions from France and the British Isles. Kheltica perform an eclectic mix of folk songs and dances from Brittany blended with traditional Irish and Scottish folk tunes and songs. The audience is invited to join in the Bretagne dancing, sing along with some well known Irish and Scottish songs or simply enjoy listening to the music.
JOE WRIGLEY – Singer/Songwriter
THE KNOCKOUTS -Rock
The band started in Thailand and moved over to Phnom Penh.
Espresso Thmey – Khmer Rock/Traditional 2010-2013
“Expresso Thmey was a duo established to present Srey Thy as a vocalist with a simple acoustic backing, singing songs from the Cambodian Space Project’s repertoire, and others from the wider Khmer Rock songbook, without the full catastrophe of the band. For the Equinox shows, the concert area was transformed into an intimate, cabaret-style setting, and the evenings showed off the full expressive range of Thy’s voice, with great sound as ever.” Scott
- WEBSITE Buy his music online!
- EVENT STORY
From his FB page: Singer-songwriter at Conrad Keely Music, Illustrator at Conrad Keely Art and on the road at …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
KEREN KEZIAH -Singer/Songwriter
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“That’s was one memorable night — rowdy klezmer, drunk expats from everywhere, Hasidic rabbi lighting candles.” Sam
Lisa A. Concepcion – Singer/Songwriter
WORDS FROM THE ARTIST:
The Phnom Penh music scene back then was that if you wanted to be along at the top tier of the plethora of bands playing in the city, it was frigging mandatory to land a gig at Equinox. Equinox was known to host not only the best bands in town, but also the occasional international acts that visited Phnom Penh. We were a relatively new band back then, and we had to make some noise if we wanted to be recognized. To us, the target was to be able to land a gig at Equinox. We had played at about almost all the other live music venues except Equinox, and when we were finally invited to come play, we were so happy I swear we saw an apparition of sneering angels just fly by. Ok, just ignore that last part.
We didn’t know what to make out of our first gig at Equinox – we were a little bit nervous. But then there was Anthony, Equinox’s revered and uber-meticulous sound manager. If you know Anthony, YOU’LL KNOW that he gets his shit done. If it means giving you a fucking lecture on sound, then fuck it. You’re getting it. It was like divine intervention. Only American.
Bands crave to play at Equinox for two reasons. One, it’s simply awesome. Two, you get free audio and video recordings. Now depending on how you played that night, the freebies will either make you feel good or it will shame you like a stripped down convict taking a shower with muscular naked men in a prison shower. But playing at Equinox has always been like ordering fries and getting a free bucket of cheese for free. It was just pure bliss in all its celestial, gastronomic goodness. Viva Equinox. Seth
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From their FB page:
Celebrating 12 years of uncompromising underground excellence, Bum N’ Draze remains the longest-serving, nastiest and loudest original-material playing hard rock band in Indochina. With over 130 hardcore shows during their first dirty dozen of decadence, BnD has developed an ultra-loyal following known as ‘Jungle Metal Mob’ and has released 33 CDs (albums and singles, including the solo productions of the band members)… and still counting. BnD enters into their 13th year with the 2015 ‘Dirty Dozen’ tour and a new original material to be recorded soon! Not all that you hear about Bum N’ Draze’s maneuvers is true, but better to believe the legends. Rock’n roll can never die!
From their website: Crowds go bananas for Kiss the Funky Monkey. The band offers a unique punk-pop, funk-rock blend and the party-all-night energy of these five German guys is contagious.
From their FB page: The Digs is a world class musical powerhouse. Featuring a collection of Toronto’s finest musicians, The Digs make amazing music for an unforgettable night.
From their FB page: Trunk Trunk Rock and Boom -For the past 15 years, Joul – the creative force behind DR.EGGS – has delivered hundreds of high energy performances to charged up audiences across Europe (France, England, Germany, Swiss land, Belgium…), Asia (Thailand, Philippines, Japan, China, Cambodia, Singapore, Taiwan…) and USA. The basic elements of the DR.EGGS experience are still there – angular synths, driving bass, aggro guitar and complex rhythms all topped by infectious melodies, slick raps and highly personal lyrics. DR.EGGS is returning to the studio again for recording their 3rd album, and will present another surprising music video soon after their last acclaimed music video – Little Things.
GTS JAZZ QUARTET -Jazz
“People outside the Philippines got accustomed to seeing Filipino cover bands. Generally, people think that Filipino musicians only do top 40 and nothing more because that is what they usually see. That notion also held true in Phnom Penh, until our band, Jaworski 7 came into the scene.
Jaworski 7’s music is influenced by indie rock, new wave and post-punk. So many local expats were surprised when they saw us playing our originals and doing covers of Joy Division, The Smiths, The Cure, Sioxie and the Banshees etc.
Playing at Equinox was always a joy. The P.A. system always sounded better than the other clubs and the band always enjoyed the grub there. More importantly, the crowd in Equinox went to our gig to see us and enjoy our gig. Playing before the Equinox crowd was like playing before a UN congress. We had mixed nationalities as followers and many of them seemed to enjoy each other’s company.
I mentioned it before but I am just going to mention it again, even until now as I surf the net to view or listen to songs recorded in the venue, I realize the place really had a good audio bounce. Probably it was how the house was constructed and how their sound rig was set-up. I still don’t know how I will feel when I go back to street 278 without Equinox there.” Jerby
Listen to Live Shows:
WORDS FROM THE ARTIST…”My fondest memories of our performances abroad are linked to Equinox all thanks to the ambiance, professionalism and overall great vibe there was thanks to you guys every single time we were in town. Every gig was a blast, the place was always packed…” RaphWe’ve performed at equinox every time we ‘ve been to Phnom Penh simply because that was one of the best bar in the city to perform in. The crowd was always down to discover new artists and the staff always friendly. Nuff respect to Marco and Anthony for their true love for music.” Mehdi
*UPDATE* Mehdi (12Me;) has relocated and is now living in Phnom Penh.
WORDS FROM THE ARTIST… “2 Shots and a Chaser began as a casual request to fill a slot on a random Friday night and what sounded good at the time was strumming out a little rockabilly. I (Jet Odrerir) had kicked out some tunes with my mate Ziad Samman during my open mic nights and he was game for cranking a couple of acoustic guitars through a board to see how bad it could sound. Norwegian pounder Henrik Rasmussen became the ‘chaser’ to our impromptu double-frontman chaos machine. If The Cramps could make their best records without a bass player, we could give it a shot too. We had a great crowd but everyone sat outside because our acoustic guitars combined with one of the loudest drummers I’ve ever played with was a bit over the top. It was so fun and obnoxious that we had to keep doing it. We had a number of lineup changes during our venture but the main ones were – Brent Clark joined in on saxophone and Julien Mariani replaced Henrik on drums after he left Cambodia. So what if it was now a four piece? We liked the name so it stayed. Playing at Equinox was particularly good because getting loud acoustic guitars to behave is a challenge, mix in a saxophone and it really gets messy. Gigs are so much better when everyone can hear themselves and we tore it up. On top of that, local swing dancers the Phnom Penh Pswingers came down to take advantage of there being a dance floor in front of the stage (something a surprising number of PP venues lack). A helluva night that even sounded good listening back to it later (another bonus, getting a recording of the show).” Jet
“A Brit, a Filipino, a South African, a Frenchwoman and two Australians walk into a bar and unleash a melange of all-original pop/rock/funk/soul/blues tunes, with a double-vocal front, one of the most celebrated rhythm sections in town, a mesh of jazz-influenced horn with guitar effects. Occasionally an unorthodox approach to stringing guitars as well. Another of the wonderful melting pot Phnom Penh bands, where visual and experiential diversity, it seems, is important a consideration as any –We made ‘em laugh, we made ‘em dance, we made ‘em sing along. Songs written by Scott Bywater, Andre Swart and Jenna Holliday. You’ve got to put some love in the love bank if you want to take a withdrawal.” Scoddy MUSIC: Scoddy.net POETRY The Silver Pepper of the Stars
OCTOPUS – Brass Band from France
Los Illustrados – dalawang Pilipino
Power of Love -Rock
Ukes of Hazard
Rio Samaya – Latin
OSMOSIS – Oasis Tribute Band
MUSIKERO -Rock / Pop
Eastern Jazz Brigade
DRUMS, BASS, & HORNS
BAYON BLUES – Blues