Saturday, December 17, 2005

Cambodia rocks on, with Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever, a California band, joins a Cambodian singer to present a fusion concert on the banks of the Bassac River in the Phnom Penh squatter area known as Tonle Bassac (the Bassac, for the uninitiated, is one of the branches of the famed Mekong River, which flows through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.) This BBC NEWS report evokes the scene:

"The sound system looked like it had been cobbled together from a motley collection of domestic stereos.

The unmistakable stench of raw sewage competed for attention with the aroma from bags of rotting rubbish.

Potholes in front of the stage made dancing a broken ankle waiting to happen.

And yet the crowds came, and gawped, at the sight of Chhom Nimol [the lead singer] backed by five foreigners playing Cambodian rock and roll.

Traditional musicians joined them on stage to add wild, Irish fiddle-like improvisations on an instrument called the trou.

The longer they performed, the more the audience grew in number."

I want to hear the tunes. And I want to journey to Phnom Penh.

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