morning dalliances

I’m glad that Friday is here! But it’s a tiring morning, especially when the last few days saw long days packed with stuff. Lessons on Monday and Tuesday, concert on Wednesday and beer-drinking + music last night! Today is going to be another day but at least there is no work tomorrow.

The only two pictures I managed with the dying phone on Wednesday night. This was the before picture, slightly past 8pm, when it was still rather empty. The stage set-up was really weird actually, because they have 2 huge speakers at both sides of the stage that if you were sitting in the blocks of seats right next to the stage, you can see nothing because they obscure your view of the stage totally.

People started trickling in later, and before the lights went off, the standing area was pretty much filled up. There were some people who were sitting near where I was who came in late, at about 930pm. Why they would be so late and why they still bothered, I don’t know. C’mon, if you are attending a concert that is supposed to start at 8pm, even factoring in all the delays and whatever, 930pm is seriously a bit too ridiculous?

Last Christmas during the C&E members’ sale, I bought a huge tub of pomegranate-flavoured body lotion that I adored. It smelled really good without being overpoweringly sweet, and the texture was rich enough to moisturise in cold and dry weather yet doesn’t leave a sticky residue after application. It lasted me for a few trips, when I went to Tokyo in February then Hong Kong in April and most recently in Mexico. I never really use moisturisers in Singapore because there really isn’t a need to when I don’t sleep in airconditioned rooms, and I’m just too lazy to do it. But I can’t afford to be lazy when I’m abroad because I don’t like to see my skin flaking. 

So I got a nice surprise on Wednesday too  when I was presented with this!

I haven’t tried it yet but at first whiff it smells like something I would like, lightweight and fresh. Many thanks to my dear pal!

And… I recently discovered that a small hint of civilisation landed near the workplace. It isn’t the best but if we make do, it’s still not too bad.

Yay to takeaway local coffee/tea! I don’t think we will ever see the day when chains like Starbucks, Spinelli or Segafredo pop up around here but we can always wish can’t we? Yesteday during lunch we were talking about those mobile food operators that we saw around for a really short while many years back but somehow were discontinued. I think they are a great idea, like what we always see in other countries in the region especially Japan; provides more options during meal times for deprived folks like us!

the wild ones

The Indoor Stadium really needs a facelift. But that’s besides the point. Last night I spent a wonderful time there even if the acoustics weren’t that fantastic and I was worried about the sudden screeching noises that might emanate from lousy sound systems which usually just makes everyone annoyed and embarrassed. The seats didn’t seem to be in too good condition either as a couple of rows in front, before the show started, the seats actually collapsed but the ushers were able to fix it back somehow.

Past 830pm, Suede finally came onstage, surprisingly to rather loud cheers and shouts from the less-than-impressive numbers in the crowd. We arrived just before 8pm, and the stadium turnout looked really sad, even when only about half of it was opened for the concert. But the standing room of the stadium started to fill up with people, and as we expected most concert-goers weren’t your energetic teenagers since I first got to know Suede when I was in school, when they already had a number of great albums released and we all know school was a good many years ago.

Before the concert started they were playing an assortment of songs that we were trying hard to think if they were even Suede because honestly I have never really heard of them before, although the vocals do sound like Brett Anderson. When the lights finally went off and the 5 of them, all clad in black shirts and trousers, walked (or maybe for Brett, sauntered) onto the stage, everyone was actually pretty much hyped up.

I don’t profess to be a huge fan of Suede, but I’ve liked their songs, up until at most Head Music because the next one which was their last album A New Morning, just didn’t quite do it. Even Head Music stretched it a little; I liked a couple of songs on it, and that’s it. The magic that got me hooked onto them in Coming Up that I found as well on their past albums, seemed to have disappeared.

I have only attended one other Suede concert back then when it was held at the MAX Pavilion eons ago, when they released Head Music. Then, I thought they were the epitome of laziness because the 5 of them just stood stock still on stage and sang for about an hour or slightly past, with Neil Codling sipping from a flute glass that I assumed should be champagne or some other alcoholic drink, and Brett puffing a cigarette when he wasn’t crooning or doing his trademark microphone-swing, albeit in a rather languid manner.

Last night, it was still the 5 of them. But the energy level after all these years was a complete turnaround. From the first song (was it Trash) and throughout all the more upbeat tracks he was prancing non-stop on stage. Richard and Mat were also moving around a lot more, strumming their guitars and avoiding the microphone which Brett was swinging around dangerously with a greater deal of force this time. Neil was still as laidback, but alternating between guitars and keyboard, and Simon being seated at the drum set, couldn’t really move that much.

They played a lot of songs that I was at least familiar with, almost all the songs from Coming Up, which was their most successful commercial album. A lot of people sang along and cheered loudly each time they heard the first few chords of a song being played. Brett was quite the performer last night too, running from left to right, and giving the people in the standing area lots of photo and video opportunities, as evidenced by the many lit-screens that I saw floating in the audience.

The last song for the night was Beautiful Ones, after which they came out for 2 more songs on encore with Saturday Night being the very last song that brought the night to an end.

I was a little sceptical at first, wondering if this was going to be a disappointing night, after not hearing from them for so many years. But I was glad to be proven wrong this time. I enjoyed myself greatly in that short 1.5 hours, which I wished was longer though I wasn’t sure if the band could keep up without a break. It brought back a lot of fond memories of school days and I am happy to say that I didn’t regret a single bit at all in going; but maybe I should have bought the standing tickets to get a better view of them. 🙂

saturday night

One of my favourite Suede songs would have to be Saturday Night, from their Coming Up album. They were a band whom I only got acquainted with when I was in JC, thanks to one of my buddies back then who liked them and sort of introduced me to them, or maybe I have remembered wrongly. Anyway, Coming Up was their most popular and mainstream album I think. To me at least. Their earlier albums had great songs too, especially The Wild Ones (that was on… Dog Man Star, I think), but the ones after that were a bit lacklustre, although Sci Fi Lullabies was quite a winner for me with its dark tunes.

Well this isn’t a post about the band because after that I really don’t know what happened to them or if they are still in existence. They will still be one of my favourite bands though, and are one of the rare English bands that I’ve actually caught in concert live in Singapore.

Last Saturday was actually quite tiring. Started the day pretty early because I had wanted to check out  a cafe recommended by a friend, I shall talk about the cafe in a different post, so I headed out before 10am! I woke up fairly late for a Saturday and took the MRT on the North-South line, changed to the Circle line, and then onto the North-East line! Gosh, there weren’t many stops but the walking time between the lines was pretty long.

It was movie after a very fulfilling and sinful lunch, after which we went downtown to catch an early movie, and headed off to Resorts World Sentosa. I’ve been there twice, once for some company event and another time to visit USS, also courtesy of the company, so I thought I’d go there to check out the shops this weekend. There weren’t many shops, lesser than MBS, so most of the time when I was there I was sitting at Coffee Bean trying to cool off in the humid afternoon.

After we got back to the mainland we wanted to be away from the crowd, at least I did, so we took a bus to Holland Village and got there whilst there was still lots of light. It was kind of weird to be there that early because most times when I am in the vicinity it’s usually Wednesday nights after work, but it felt really relaxing with everyone in chill-out mode. When we got to Wala-wala it was still quite empty with the upstairs occupied by 2 patrons and a handful of service staff. We got a pretty good seat and started our Saturday night of boozing and eating. It wasn’t until about 2.5 or more hours later that the band, Shirlyn & The Unexpected, started their set and by the end of the first set I was so ready to call it a night and head on home to sleep, feeling the toll from the day’s commuting I presume.

Chilling out to band music in a dimly-lit bar really fits the kind of mood that the song Saturday Night gives me, even if the lyrics mean a totally different thing (I forgot what they were singing about). I just wished I was able to stay longer because I think the band is good and Shirlyn’s voice is amazing. Oh, and Walas is one of the places that serves shoe-string fries that I really like, the other being Paulaner. Most other bars serve thicker-cut fries that I don’t really fancy as much. And with Kronenbourg going at 1-for-1 during happy hours even on Saturdays, what more can we ask for?

lethargy and fatigue

I think the lack of rest is finally taking its toll on me. It’s not like I haven’t felt lethargic all along, but when I thought I should have enough sleep but am still finding it a giant endeavour to keep my eyes open, I suppose that tells something. Or perhaps it is just the thick afternoon humidity hanging in the atmosphere that is making it worse, especially when the air feels so warm and heavy that I can barely attempt a deep breath. Gosh, I hate this part of the weather that is becoming more and more characteristic of our climate, that I wonder if I will be able to survive another of it the next time it happens, for a longer period of time…

I bought Coldplay’s Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends sometime back, and have only properly sat down to listen to it today. Well, I am doing it currently, and although I don’t think this was their best album yet (frankly, I did not listen to their past albums in their entirety either, oops), I pretty much liked and enjoyed it. I am not a music connoisseur of sorts or even anywhere close, but I know when I listen to something that I like, that which brings a wistful smile to my lips, and make the lousy day feel that slightly much better. The first track that of course enticed me to buy the album was the title track Viva La Vida, which was a very anthem-y kind of song, something that I would imagine if it played in the opening or a closing of concert, would get the stadium to erupt into a high. That was the only song I listened to for a while, that is until today. There are other tracks that I like, such as Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love – it sounded vaguely familiar to something that I had heard of before in the past, maybe U2? There’s this surreal/psychedelic quality to it that is distinctly UK, which I don’t know if there is such a thing that defines UK bands, but I do not remember ever coming across American bands with such sounds, and it makes the song perfect for a road trip in my opinion. With a pair of sunnies perched on the nose bridge and wind blowing in your face, this song will accompany a great drive cross-country.

Talking about songs, I tried to think of a band whose album I had enjoyed thoroughly, in the sense that every single song was what I enjoyed. Searching through my hazy memory for all the albums that I had ever listened to in my lifetime till now, both English and Mandarin or otherwise, the only one that came close would be Suede’s Coming Up. I was first introduced to them when I was in JC, if I remembered correctly, by a close friend then. I liked their songs, especially made so with lead Brett Andersen’s haunting vocals. I missed their Coming Up tour back then, which was something that I had regretted since then, but I went for my one and only Suede concert about a year or 2 after that, which was a tour for Head Music; the concert was really laid back and all about music and I enjoyed it but I guessed Coming Up would have been better, even though they played their old songs as well.

On a different note, something totally away from music, I wish I could be more independent sometimes. Sigh. Why is it that no one can exist as an island in this world, in this society? Why do we have to rely on another person and subject ourselves to a certain extent, some sort of torture in the midst of this reliance and dependency?

I wish time could pass faster, but it isn’t like there is something to look forward to other than negativity and dread.