On the 21st of October, the BeScene team took a trip down to Keong Saik Road to attend a much-raved-about Urban Ventures street party, returning for its 7th rendition yet at this iconic location.
True believers of the local talent arts scene, we jumped at the chance to not only be part of this event, but sponsoring the ‘Live and Local Music’ section. Young artistes were jamming in the street whilst the rest of us party unicorns groove to the music and chill on beanbags. Of course, we couldn’t resist throwing in goodies in the mix.
But, more on that later…
The walk to Keong Saik Road can be said to be a prelude to the event. Haphazard impromptu stick-on signs brought us to Eu Tong Sen Road. Tons of construction going on, we meandered our way between the barricades, under zinc shelters, following a cookie crumb trail left by people on their phones. Turning in from Kreta Ayer Road and following the row of old shophouses, we arrived at our destination. Messy, but instinctive.
And alas! Behold – Keong Saik Road.
Of Artisans, Drag Queens and Gastronomical treats…
Flea markets, as a trend, have become relatively popular of late as eco-consciousness makes a name for itself within the public sphere. We browsed through a couple of the stalls at the purported “underground street market”, each of them selling clothes for around SGD$10.
Spots with synthetic grass were set up to simulate a picnic setting. Communal couches and beanbags, subtly arranged at the roadside, for the taking. The stalls operating just across the street were selling a variety of finger food and booze. You could choose from sangrias to bite sized burgers (or massive burgers) coupled with chilli cheese fries.
People sat by, people watching as we watched them. They sipped from plastic cups of Sangria, laughing and lounging, arms around someone special or just eye to eye with a good friend. Each side of the road was lined with handmade crafts, F&B treats and pampering stations, because there is never a bad time to get a manicure.
A few metres down, you’d find the DJ stand for DJ Mack Hampson Esquire andDJ Sivanesh Pillai who curated a series of chill electro bop, setting the tone for a relaxing evening with an undercurrent of fun.
However, when the sky turned dark, there was an electric charge in the air when the drag show by Luxe Singapore came on featuring Yeast Monster, Lily Elle, Arya Dun, Dahlia Rose, and Tiara. Dramatic music, showy spins and splits make for a fabulous show baby!
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Live and Local Stage at Urban Ventures
Live and Local stage possessed a raw magnetism. It was heartening to see obvious fans amidst the crowd. Here’s the line-up:
The opening act, Codie Loh, a fresh faced newcomer to the scene, arrived awkward but excited to perform. While she seemed nervous, tightly gripping her guitar, her voice revealed a raspy maturity that sounded unique, along with the authenticity that she seemed to emanate – not a diva, but a performer nonetheless; just a girl who loves to sing and wants to share her voice with people.
WHITE TRIP rocked out to their eclectic mix of rock and melancholy. They emulate the “gloomy and shadowy guitar sounds of the 80’s, equipped with the musical landscape of the progressive” while incorporating the combination of “beautiful, hushed vocals and low-end frequencies paired with mellow guitars and emotive beats”, producing the distinctive melancholic sound that they have, that is at once both “stark and luscious”.
Cosmic Child describes itself as somewhat “dream pop”, characterised by their airy vocals and melody that sounds soft and muted. Think Murakami dream scene of a world similar to ours but with 3 moons. This band inspires a certain kind of nostalgia – the Japanese might call it natsukashii – a forever reaching backwards and quiet acceptance of the motions of life.
midst, an aptly minimalistic name, seems to capture the idea of transience and stillness within moments that is present in their music. A kind of quiet deliberation is seen in their music that reminds a listener of the XX but sets itself apart with its melancholic tones, faintly elliptical sounds that mimic the hum of a traveling mind.
Once Sobs gets on set, the audience is confronted with the delightful irony that accompanies their music; Bombay Bicycle Club meets MGMT, Sobs style can be described as yellow bicycle downtown for Saturday brunch, bubble gum indie with Melanie Martinez-esque vocals, Sobs is one of the few Singaporean artists that are available on Spotify, attesting to their enduring charm.
The closing act of the night, Subsonic Eye, led our tipsy minds into the growing night, with their soothing vocals that pulled at our consciousness, a stretchy molten iron, like photographic long-exposures of the city, closed Keong Saik Road in a last burst of song that hung in the air.
One of the things we found particularly endearing was that throughout the day, there was a man that kept dancing in the open space between the people and the performers. As Semut Semut prepared to perform, we decided to engage in some small talk with him and asked about his thoughts.
Taking a white towel out of his breast pocket, he wiped the sweat that was starting to form on his brows. He then mumbled a jumbled combination of the following,
“These events are good”
“Singapore should have more.”
“People should dance more.”
In many ways, this man summed up this event in 3 sentences.
Never say ‘No’ to ice-cream
(unless you’re lactose intolerant, then we’re so sorry :/ )
While sound waves hit the atmosphere, the BeScene team were bobbing their heads to the tunes. That and connecting with other people bobbing their heads.
Lope Lab will be returning with the next rendition of this event on the 16th of December. It will be all about music across different genres, show casing different talents on 2 different stages.
Till then, keep on dancing!
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