The last band I saw was by pure coincidence, on a night out to celebrate a friend’s birthday at Maggie Choo’s.
When we got there, around 9:30pm we found out that Chanudom, a Thai band I’d never heard of (not that I know many), was playing, so we got a table, a bottle of bubbly and settled in.
Maggie Choo is an intimate venue for a gig, with a small, low stage and dark, moody lighting, and it served Chanudom very well.
Their set opened with electronic effects, discords and haunting, ethereal riffs over a building beat, which burst, like the front man’s entrance on stage, into one of their original Thai numbers.
Chanudom, who I assume is the front man’s name, owned the stage, in a pair of heeled boots, sprayed on ripped black jeans, and floor length fringed top, hair back to keep his beautifully and severely made up face unhidden as he emoted his way through the lyrics. The man, (or woman he’s become, for the gender portrayed is unclear and unimportant,) has boundless energy and could give Madonna a run for her money with the slut-drops! Chanudom puts his entire self in to his performance and the audience, immediately engaged, is left in no doubt of this band’s talent and originality on the current Thai music scene.
A few numbers in and we’d been treated to Chanudom originals, Thai covers and Western covers including Tina Turner’s “Rollin’ on the River”. I commented to my friends that their sound and vibe, (including Chanudom’s stage presence, and feedback being heavily incorporated in to the musicality of numbers,) reminded me strongly of Hedwig and The Angry Inch. Low and behold, a couple of numbers later I found myself hollering along to “Wig in a Box” and “The Origin of Love”!
Chanudom intersperses the musical numbers with a fair bit of talking to the audience, much as Hedwig and The Angry Inch do in the musical and I found the whole experience a level above other Thai bands that I’ve experienced. I’m hooked. Give them go.