Rock it out in the heartland

Rock it out in the heartland
Singaporean indie rock acts such as Caracal (above) will take to the stage at TinHill Rock Fest, organised by Bukit Timah Community Club.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Tomorrow evening, Clementi Stadium will host an event rather different from the sports meets it usually sees.

It will be the venue of West Coast Rocks, a concert featuring homegrown husband-and-wife singers Tay Kewei and Alfred Sim. The gig will culminate in a fireworks display.

Organised jointly by West Coast GRC and Clarke Quay nightspot Shanghai Dolly, the event is one of several ambitious concerts put on by three GRCs in celebration of National Day. They are all of different genres, ranging from Mandopop to indie music, but play out on a larger scale than most community events.

The largest event is the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC Musical Concert, taking place on Aug 29 and 30 at Bishan Stadium. Organisers are expecting a daily average of 10,000 spectators. About 14,000 tickets, each costing $5, have been sold.

Performers at the Bishan event include Taiwanese singer Alan Kuo and popular Hong Kong Cantopop veteran Frances Yip, who will be singing a duet of Teresa Teng's The Moon Represents My Heart with Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. Dr Ng is an MP of the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

TinHill Rock Fest, a Bukit Timah Community Club initiative with a line-up consisting exclusively of Singaporean indie rock acts, will see performances from bands such as Caracal and Havana Social Club and singer Inch Chua.

It takes place on Aug 29. The performance venue, Merlion Sports-City, can accommodate 2,000 to 2,500. Admission is free.

Concert organisers say they are keen to shake off the image that grassroots events are amateur affairs. As West Coast Community Clubmanagementcommittee chairman Samuel Tang, 52, says: "This time around, the whole spectrum has changed."

Though the Clementi Stadium concert features performers from Mandopop nightclub Shanghai Dolly,MrTang adds that the gig will be family-friendly.

Besides singers Tay and Sim, the West Coast concert will feature Singapore a cappella group MICapella and Stereofly, the resident band of Highlander Bar, which will perform a range of genres from 1970s favourites to current hits. Entry is free.

Of a different genre altogether is Bukit Timah's TinHill Rock Fest, where an indie rock-only programme stands out. This was a deliberate choice by the event's organiser, Mr Eugene Yang, 59, who said he wanted to try something "totally different".

To research the Singapore indie music scene, he went online to find out more. After previewing some of the bands, he realised that "my goodness, the quality is pretty darn good".

He then contacted the bands he thought had a "broad appeal" and put them in the line-up.

BOOK IT / WEST COAST ROCKS

WHERE: Clementi Stadium

WHEN: Tomorrow, 5 to 10.30pm

ADMISSION: Free

BISHAN-TOA PAYOH GRC MUSICAL CONCERT

WHERE: Bishan Sports Stadium

WHEN: Aug 29 and 30, from 5pm

ADMISSION: $5 from Bishan-Toa Payoh Community Clubs, open 2 to 10pm daily

TINHILL ROCK FEST

WHERE: Merlion SportsCity, 790A Dunearn Road

WHEN: Aug 29, 3pm to midnight

ADMISSION: Free

INFO: www.facebook.com/TinhillRockFest


This article was first published on August 14, 2015.
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