Saycet and Friends

8th November 2011. Written by Vinleon.
To be honest, I’ve never heard of any of the three bands that played (well I guess that’s why they are know as indie, not mainstream). Three bands, three distinct styles, three kinds of impression.

Actually it was rather confusing that the concert was named “Saycet and Friends”, because Saycet was one of the supporting acts to The White Shoes and The Couples Company. One would’ve thought that Saycet was the main act. Oh well, that’s besides the point. 

In order of appearance:

Hailing from France, Saycet is not your conventional drum-and-guitar kind of band. 
“Warmly praised by Les Inrocks and Trax, the trio plays an unforgettable blend of experimental pop and electronica, matched with bewitching video projections.”
Saycet takes you on a stroll through dreamland, labyrinth or even back to your childhood with a variety of soundscapes. The dreamy, airy voice of the female lead occasionally adds  lightness to the sometimes heavy instrumentation. The dazzling lights from their table tops and the “bewitching video projections” help prompt the unimaginative, bringing the audience from scene to scene with each twist and turn of a rhythm. Saycet’s mix of beats and rhythm is like a tour around an abstract art exhibition - you may not understand it, but you know it’s beautiful.

The run-of-the-mill band set-up with a distinct style of their own, B-Quartet (from Singapore) defined music in their own ways.
“B-Quartet is a band that defies genres in search of a unique language, challenging conventions from concept to composition.”
They certainly did stay true to what they set out to establish. Instead of the tried and tested music formula, B-Quartet ventured into uncharted waters. For me, parts of the song sounded great, but the sum of these parts threaded together in a perhaps half-hearted fashion, almost incoherent manner made it sound sporadic. Instead of blending in “jazz with folk and rock accents”, each song sounded more like a sampler of a few genres, transiting from one genre to another within each 3-4 minute number. But their attempt at a rare 5/4 time signature for “A Dull Taste On My Tongue” left a lasting impression in me. B-Quartet’s brand of music is definitely one of acquired taste.

The White Shoes and The Couples Company
Originating from Indonesia, The White Shoes and The Couples Company sings in both English and Bahasa Indonesia. They’ve been named one of the top 25 MySpace bands by Rolling Stone, had been featured in Times Magazine and showered with praise by Pitchfork (and of course, more from me). Oh by the way, did I mention they were all in white shoes?
“The White Shoes and The Couples Company blends 1960’s Burt Bacharach-inspired melodies with winsome indie pop to create a truly unique sound that brings us back to the 1970’s or even to the 1930’s, with charming, distinct melodies and orchestration.”
Their segment began with the drummer bringing it on with whimsical beats, and each of the other 5 members took their place on stage one-by-one, joining in the rhythm. Though I couldn’t make out the lyrics of the songs performed in Bahasa Indonesia, their joy was infectious. They stayed true to their own style and identity even when doing covers. Their simplicity, down-to-earth style could be represented (in my humble opinion) by the song “Brother John” (no, not the children’s song! And for some strange reason, the movie “200 Pound Beauty” popped in my head as the music progressed.) Their stage presence and charisma was impeccable. White shoes is, simply put, pure entertainment.

So, you missed out on the action. Don’t fret! There’s recourse for you! Catch UpToTheSky Festival, where Saycet, The White Shoes and The Couples Company and 14 other bands perform on 3rd December 2011 at Old School! (Psst! The Great Spy Experiment would be there as well!)

There’s also a variety of fringe event going on that day (including a flea market), so do hit up the link for more information.

UpToTheSky Festival
Old School, 11 Mount Sophia
Singapore 228461
3rd December 2011
11.30am to 11pm


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