Five Things Not To Miss In Ipoh Town

Everyone has a hometown outside Kuala Lumpur that they usually balik kampung during festivals and holidays. I was always a little bit jealous when friends said they were going out of town to see relatives in whichever state their parents families were at. While they were having a rowdy good time with everyone in their hometown, my family and I were one of the families left in an empty town. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds really — we liked having the roads to ourselves, and my brothers and I got to practice taekwondo moves right in the middle of main roads with no one to run us down.

If anyone asked, my closest claim to a “hometown” would be Ipoh. I was born in Hospital Fatimah and spent my first year of life on earth in Ipoh. Of course I don’t remember anything — or did I? I have fuzzy memories of facing upwards, looking at fluorescent lights, a fan spinning overhead and those patterned air vents built into the walls — but if we did join the balik kampung crowd, it was usually to Ipoh to visit my parents’ friends. Continue reading

Winning with Slot Machine

I wouldn’t have imagined that a trip to Bangkok would turn me on to a really good band, but it did — local rockers called Slot Machine performed at the exclusive EDM club, DoNotDisturb and I happened to be there. At first glance, based on their preppy fashion sense, anyone would have been forgiven for thinking we were in for an hour of shoegazing tunes, but not at all. These boys are more U2-meets-Beatles meets-All American Rejects, and they sounded great! The lead singer must have lungs of a whale — his vocals were practically effortless. In melody, the Thai language sounds really lovely too.

It seems like there has been a spurt in good regional alternative sounding bands — not sure about the Bangkok scene; definitely in Kuala Lumpur — but what I really like about Slot Machine, apart from their muscular and energetic performance, Continue reading