Tuesday, May 24, 2011

[scene report] Shock&Awe! Tour to Sabah

On one March weekend, the Shock&Awe! team made their virgin trip to Ranau, Keningau, and Kota Kinabalu for a short tour. As Borneo is generally an oft-overlooked region by SE Asian bands and international bands alike, this Sabah scene report is a breath of fresh air. Now think about what the other regions in Borneo could be like! Touted by Shock&Awe! as a "best-kept secret" of sorts, this could no longer be the case as more and more bands (and punks!) head there in the near future.


On the weekend of 18th – 20th March 2011, the Shock&Awe! family made a visit to Sabah. It has always been our desire to meet up with the kids there even before the Shock&Awe! project commenced, as we have heard great stories from those who have been there. The tour was actually planned one midnight while dipping in a hot spring near Kampung Batu after a gig at Seventh Heaven, Tampin. It was rather unfortunate that a few bands could not make it -- one of CRIMESCENE's member was a part of those who were present while the informal discussion started.


A date was decided and we made the plans. As some of you might have heard, there was a problem with communication and yes, it turned out to be a rip off, that caused SARJAN HASSAN -- the initial band that we were supposed to be the supporting act to -- to not be there. Three shows were planned at Keningau, Ranau and Kota Kinabalu and it happened successfully. We hate to state the obvious, but the kids in Sabah are receptive of different genres of music and are open to visits from bands from anywhere in the world.


We are not going to go into details but we would like to share a few observations that we made from the tour. Firstly, the quality of the bands in Sabah is above average (read: good!); it is a good self-check for the bands in the Peninsular to check what Sabah has to offer and tighten up their own acts. Practice before you appear on any stage in Sabah! Secondly, the local bands in Sabah are close to their local politics and surroundings, most of them aware of what is happening in their locality and this is apparent from the lyrical contents of the bands there -- something that a lot of Malaya band cannot claim! Thirdly, diversity is all around in Sabah, and is embraced whole-heartedly by the kids there: the countless and almost futile-to-keep-track race and ethnicity, the various sorts of music genres and a wide array of local brews -- all under one roof, in one close-knit community (Ok, a little exaggeration, but better than what KL has). Whether you drink or you don't, whether you dig reggae or not, everyone embraces diversity, providing us with a glimpse of what a Discrimination Free (yes, there is even a band there by that name!) world would look like.


One conclusion that we could make was, as much as we like to keep Sabah as our best-kept secret, that is the place that touring bands should start heading to. While people are busy making plans to tour to Singapore and Indonesia, it is their loss if they fail to consider Sabah as one of the must-visits and must-haves in their tour schedule.


Can’t read text without pikturrreesss? Some pictures here:

That darn time-sucking bloody thing called Facebook (you gotta be friends with certain people though).

Also at: Quick Reverb


1) Do check out Omega Shop in Ranau if you are in Sabah! Run by our close brother, Rizo. Taking DIY to the next level.

2) Anybody can help with the video editing? Our labor department is over-stretched at the moment.

Pic credits to : Rikki Segantang, Freewheelin Man, Mel Mohd, Jan Omar and Brandon QuickReverb. Merci beaucoup!


* lightning speed
** resolution

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