After six months of top international gigs from the likes of The Vaccines, The Radio Dept. and Cold Cave, the second half of the year is shaping up to be even more explosive.
Jul 10: Ronan Keating Live in Bangkok
The biggest promoter in town, BEC TERO, kick off this live music season with a concert from sensitive Irish pop crooner Ronan Keating. After starting out his career as a member of the boy band Boyzone in the late 90s, Keating really shot to fame with the single “When You Say Nothing at All,” which featured on the soundtrack for the super-soppy rom-com hit Notting Hill (1999) and can still be heard being belted out in karaoke bars across the Kingdom. After splitting with his band, Keating went on to release a string of commercially successful pop albums, Ronan (2000), Destination (2002), Turn It On (2003) and Bring You Home (2006). Despite reuniting for a tour with the other Boyz, he’s now back with a fifth solo studio album, Fires, which he’s promoting with his first world tour in many years. The Fire Live in Bangkok concert will also feature local pop singer Two Popetorn as warm-up act.
Where: Impact Arena Muangthong Thani
Tix: B2,500-4,500 from Thaiticketmajor.com
Brought to you by: BEC TERO Entertainment
Aug 7: Peace
While Godung eventually took the credit for Brit-rock upstarts The Vaccines rolling into town earlier this year, the gig was initially teed up by Dudesweet before they handed over the reins. Apart from that, and organizing a DJ set by Ladytron’s Ruben Wu at Badmotel back in March, things have been pretty quiet on the gig-front for Dudesweet. (They did, of course, throw a rather dazzling Great Gatsby-themed bash just last month.) But now our favorite party people are back, and they’re bringing over fresh-faced, fashion-conscious British rockers Peace. The four-piece, made up of Harry “Harrison” Koisser, brother Samuel, Douglas Castle and Dominic Boyce, have been hotly tipped for the top since their first release, “Bblood,” saw them named one of NME’s Ones To Watch in 2012. Later Madchester-influenced singles “California Daze,” “Bloodshake” and “Follow Baby” have also cranked the hype machine in to overdrive. Support on the night will come from local art-rockers PLOT (search YouTube for their crazy recent single “Mai Sa Nid Ya Len”) signed to the SO::On Dry Flowers label. If you can’t wait till August, you’ll be pleased to know that the Dudesweet Party is set to shake Cosmic Café this weekend.
Where: Sonic Ekkamai
Tix: Early birds B1,000 from www.dudesweet.org and B1,200 on the door. Limited to 350 tickets only.
Brought to you by: Dudesweet
Aug 14: Japandroids
If there was an award for 2013’s most enthusiastic concert promoter, Lullaby Entertainment would be a shoe-in (rivaled only by Popscene). After kicking off the year with singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata (Feb 28), they enjoyed a busy April welcoming Japanese post-rock veterans Mono (Apr 3) and TOE (Apr 20) as well as UK indie-pop trio Delphic (Apr 29). But the best is still to come, in the form of Canadian rock duo Japandroids. Formed in 2006 by Brian King (guitar and vocals) and David Prowse (drum and vocal) with the intention of playing with the same ferocity as a five-piece band, the duo’s much-lauded last album, Celebration Rock, was included as one of Rolling Stone’s Top 50 Albums of 2012. That album’s scorching single “The House That Heaven Built” was also named the fifth best song of 2012 by online tastemaker Pitchfork.
Where: Route 66, 29/33 RCA Block B, Rama 9 Rd., 02-203-0936. www.route66club.com
Tix: B1,400 from Thaiticketmajor.com
Brought to you by: Lullaby Entertainment
Aug 10: Kap Bambino
Now four years old, Popscene have been on a real roll of late. On top of the countless up and coming local acts they’ve put on at venues all over town, this year has seen them bring over some extremely impressive international bands. Thee Oh Sees, King Khan & BBQ Show, Cold Cave and Dead Elvis—are hardly household names but they all boast some serious scene cred and some great live performance pedigree. Whether you want scuzzed-out, psychedelic rock or brooding post-punk, Popscene’s generally got you covered, with an emphasis on crowd involvement (and crowd-surfing! see interview, this page) and crazy-if-you-miss-it prices (B400-500). And the next gig could be the wildest yet. Kap Bambino are a French electro-punk duo who’ve been likened to an even more aggressive Crystal Castles. And with her edgy outfits, raw vocals and smeared make-up, frontlady Caroline Martial is every type of effortless cool.
Brought to you by: Popscene, tinyurl.com/plta68d
Sep 26: Justin Bieber
Even though the Bieb has already confirmed his performance for the Singapore F1 on Sep 23, we are still waiting for a final affirmative on his visit to Bangkok. Still it does seem like the rumors are true, American pop heartthrob Justin Bieber is headed to Bangkok. According to his official site, the Justin Bieber: Believe Tour will roll into town on Sep 26 at Impact Arena Muangthong Thani. The people behind the show are none other than Thailand’s first official Bieber fan site Thaibeliebers.com. Ticket prices and details will be announced soon. Keep an eye on BK+ for updates.
Where: Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani, 99 Popular Rd., 02-833-4455.
Tix: B2,500-6,500 from Thaiticketmajor.com
Brought to you by: The Thai Beliebers
Aug 24: Sonic Bang
After Ronan Keating, next up for BEC TERO is the Sonic Bang Music Festival. We’ve got to say that when we first caught wind of the event, we had high, high expectations—especially given it’s close proximity to Japan’s massive Summer Sonic music festival. While it isn’t quite the wet-dream musical line-up we’d envisaged, the list of 30 international and local acts spread across six stages is nothing to scoff at. The confirmed artists includes major international acts Jason Mraz, Pet Shop Boys, Pitbull, Placebo, Ash and Owl City, Asian heavyweights Scandal (Japan), Epik High (Korea), Miyavi (Japan), Love Me Butch (Malaysia), Jam Project (Japan) and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (Japan), as well as local bands Slot Machine, Flure, Tor Saksit, Stamp, Lipta, Room 39, Scrubb, Gale, Sugar Eyes, Buddha Bless, Southside, Kratae & Baitoey R-Siam, DJs Jay Montonn Jira, Ono, Bee Futon, Suharit Siamwalla and Seed Norasete. Let’s hope this is a sign of Bangkok becoming a music festival destination to rival Singapore and Japan.
Where: Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani, 99 Popular Rd., 02-833-4455
Tix: B4,000 and B5,000 for VIP tickets (inclusive of two drinks, festival T-shirt, lounge, and fast-track entrance at every stage) from Thaiticketmajor.com
Brought to you by: BEC TERO
Nov 6: Wild Nothing
The dream-pop lovers Have you Heard? gave us wild hopes last month when they hosted a night devoted to Wild Nothing’s latest EP, Empty Estate, at Rehab Bar. Could it be that they would bring the American band to our shores? Indeed, front man Jack Tatum has just been booked to perform in Bangkok this November. And of course, the band will be there, too: Nathan Goodman (guitar), Jeff Haley (bass), Kevin Knight (keyboards) and Jeremiah Johnson (drums). Expect songs from the new EP together with favorites like “Shadow” and “Paradise” from album Nocturne (2012) and “Live and Dream” from debut album Gemini (2010).
Venue: Tickets details will be announced via www.facebook.com/HaveYouHeard.Live
Brought to you by: Have You Heard?
Nov 28: Two Door Cinema Club
After having to cancel their Primal Scream concert on May 10 (through no fault of their own, it must be said), the Godung team hit back with the news that many dek naew were waiting for: Two Door Cinema Club are coming to Bangkok. The Northern Irish trio of Alex Trimble, Kevin Baird and Sam Halliday quickly caught the attention of indie kids the world over with their debut album, Tourist History (2010), which contained bouncy and melodic tunes like “What You Know” and “Something Good Can Work.” After opening for bands like Delphic, Phoenix and Foals, their second studio album, Beacon (2012), cemented their place as darlings of the hipster crowd. Support in Bangkok will come from Malaysian rockers Kyoto Protocol and local indie act Tabasco, who we’ve previously dubbed as the “Thai version of Two Door Cinema Club.”
Where: BITEC Bangna, 88 Bangna-Trad Rd. km. 1, 02-749-3939, 02-361-1916.
Tix: B2,000-B2,500 from Thaiticketmajor.com
Brought to you by: Godung.com