Live Music Bars

My favourite pictures #10

I love live music. Preferably in small venues or bars rather than stadiums or Arenas.

At a gig with a band that you love there is that feeling of community, a shared experience, a hot sweaty mass of bodies all enjoying the music and atmosphere.

Live music in bars is a different experience. Much of the time you don’t know what to expect and what you are going to get. Will it be an experienced performer with a slick set? Will it be nervous newbie? What kind of music will it be? Will it be good? Bad? Amusing? Entertaining? Painful?

When you wander around tourist areas in Southeast Asia there are quite often a number of bars competing with a local or house band. Hoping to catch your attention and get you to sit down and have a few drinks.

The other thing that most of them seem to have in common is the type of music that they play. There are many, many bands all playing songs from the 60’s to 90’s, much of it some sort of rock. There is not much music from this century.

The audiences don’t seem to mind the choice of music however, watching a group of Chinese tourists singing along to some 70’s rock song can be as entertaining as the band themselves.

Quite often as the night goes on a member of the audience decides it’s time for them to sing or play along. Some are surprisingly good, most are not and you hope it is a one-song appearance as you politely applaud.

The bar in the picture is the Full Moon Bar in Ao Nang, Thailand. We have spent many an evening enjoying a drink, or two, listening to the excellent house band.

My favourite house band though was in Chiang Mai a few years ago. Unfortunately no picture of that bar or band but it is a memory that will stick around for a long time to come.

The first night we saw them was purely by accident, you can read that story in Chang Tower. They were that good though we returned the following night.

The band were the usual mix of ages and looks, some probably had very serious daytime jobs. The singer however had gone for the full “Rock God” look. Long dark hair, tattoos both down of his arms, tight leather trousers and boots and a swagger.

He patrolled and commanded the stage, tables and the Harley Davidson that had pride of place in the middle of the bar. He would jump on the bike, feet on the seat and handlebars as he sang to some classic rock song.

He was a born entertainer and a great, rock, singer.

The strangest side of the one night was the man sat further down our long table. He looked like a local and had an aura about him. The bar staff were all very respectful and deferential towards him. He sat down with another man and a bottle of whiskey and two glasses quickly were brought to him.

At one point he started nodded along to the music. He stood up a strolled to the Harley Davidson. He started it, it rumbled and gurgled in that way Harley’s do. He revved it once, twice, more times. Harley’s are loud, very loud when they are in a bar. The music continued. He switched the bike off, wandered back to his seat, raised his glass and drank the whiskey. The music continued.


We loved it.

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Published by flyingdogtravel

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