It has been two years since I moved to Saigon, and it there has been plenty of music explored and performed in that time. I spent the first year performing with a pop/rock covers band (Pho Play) at various venues including Pacharan, Acoustic, Darts Darts Darts, The Intercontinental and Caravelle Hotels as well as private parties. It was the perfect introduction to the music scene here and a great way of meeting some talented musicians already dwelling in Ho Chi Minh City. The guys I played with are a storming success in the city with ‘Zunkbomb‘ and ‘The Wanderlusters‘ and I recommend their gigs at The Boathouse and O’Briens in particular.
The second year I shifted focus to performing solo (I felt like I was missing limbs without the Claire Cameron Band boys Pete, Jim & Mike but it was good to play CCB material again, as well as some of my solo numbers that work better as piano vocal) at various city centre venues including La Fenetre Soleil, DeciBel, Broma Bar and VANS Unforgettable. It was beneficial to have more time to reflect and head-space for writing. I particularly enjoyed my monthly residency at La Fenetre Soleil, playing their beautiful grand piano and enjoying lots of support from my brilliant friends who would come along to the gig and enjoy the cocktails and something to eat while I warbled for them.
The main song I was working on was the song about Saigon, and a local newspaper, Thanh Nien, heard about this and called me up to meet them for an interview. Mr Tuan was very charming and it was an open conversation about what brought me here and my impressions of the city. It was pretty exciting to see this in print a couple of weeks later, and my Vietnamese friends assure me that it was all nice things (my Vietnamese is not strong enough to translate it exactly!) Read the article here.
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Songwriting; moving on when the past still moves you
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