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I really love this beautifully melodic and melancholic song. I was genuinely shocked and saddened by the news this week of his death. It’s not too late to play this piece, as Bowie’s music is forever. I admit I didn’t have too much time for practice, I only played it 5 times before I hit ‘record’. I hope you like it.

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I first saw Jah Wobble in 1994 or 1995 at Zouk in Singapore. I can’t confirm the exact year let alone the month or day, because there was no social media and my research assistant Google Chrome says you can’t google stuff like this.

The past:

The house sound of Zouk is the 90s dance sound that I love so much, very deep bass, slightly Arabic or Mediterranean melody lines. Zouk Singapore has hosted big names over the years. Massive Attack. Bjork. Jah Wobble. I won’t go into the PiL and Keith Levene stuff because all that name-dropping is heavily written about already.

But I will say that I have read Memoirs of a Geezer which I found gripping, entertaining and moving.

The present:

Half Moon Putney is a cute vintagey venue with a retro feel. I mean just look at the sign (see pics). It’s like you’re in Memphis or something. It is a petite place, it cannot  be compared to the cavernous space of Zouk but the sound man did a fantastic job. It was a very clear intimate sound with perfect resonant bass and it filled the room.

It was a tremendous performance from all the band members. It really brought me back to roughly twenty years ago (as said previously, exact year unknown). The tour is to promote the 6-CD anthology Redux from 1978 to 2015 by Cherry Red Records.

The Chinese connection:

From reading Memoirs I found out that Jah’s wife is Chinese and there was a Chinese lady in the audience right at the front of the stage but I don’t know if she is his wife. That would be presumptuous of me. However I do know the the talented guitarist Martin Chung is Chinese, from his name apart from anything else. That’s two Chinese connections, therefore I have to support this band.

Hug a Drummer Day 2015:

Marc Leyton-Bennett the drummer came and met the audience after the gig. I said to Marc that it was a fantastic gig and his drumming was phenomenal. But I did not hug him unlike two other ladies. Apparently 10 October 2015 was international Hug a Drummer day. Must be a drummer or a drummer’s PA who invented this catchphrase, occasion, event. When I had my band I did not hug the first or second drummer. Maybe that’s why they left. I am finding it a daily challenge/issue but I’m getting it sorted. In the near future I will have overcome my phobia and will be able to hug a drummer. But will a drummer hug me?

Stuff to buy

We went home with the vinyl, it is so beautifully made and packaged, almost like made by hand. There is also a signed classy black and white photo of the legend himself. The vinyl is numbered so everybody knows it’s limited edition, unlike the blue T shirt I bought (size S) which is probably mass-produced.

The future

A week after the gig, the bass lines are still playing in my head. I am singing to Visions of You and I don’t usually dance or sing at any gigs let alone after the gig. When I go to gigs these days the crowd is usually very young and with beards. I felt comforted that a) there were women (albeit only 5) and b) there were grey-haired people dancing (albeit all blokes minus the 5 women). At the end, my school friend and fellow ex-Zoukian,  Melvyn, said there should  be more gigs like this.

 
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I do love a jam. When my friend and fellow musician Rob arrived from Sydney only for a few days, we tried to fit in a jam. He does travel here every year or every two years as he used to live in London and we played at the City Lit Big Band together about 18 or 19 years ago. I really lose track after the ten year mark.

I hadn’t seen him for two years and that’s the whole point. In a jam, anything can happen and that’s why it is so exciting. It is like a mystery tour. We went through the changes about twice, and he put it in painstakingly into his iPhone 6 (a process which actually takes longer than the actual playing of the song) and then we were good to go.

 
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Bilingual subtitled music video, the first that I’ve made, so this is kind of unchartered territory:
featuring Grant the Electrician;
with traditional Chinese folk mountain music from Kangding village in China,
arranged and performed by Satsuma.
You’re welcome.

 
 
 
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Published on July 4, 2015, by Ivy Ngeow in Little Mix.

This is a funky little tune so please get the timing and the rhythm right when you practise the three riffs I have shown you. If they are correctly timed, the rest of the melody will fall into place.

 
 
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Getting Ready for Ova Acting

Leaving house: Getting Ready for Ova Acting

Getting my confidence back

After a long period of not gigging, I found myself agreeing to gigging something like three or four months ago. It’s a gig, right? What is the point of being a musician? You gotta say yes to a gig. Plus one that was for a good cause, my dear friend Penny Faith’s charity Ova Act, for Ovarian Cancer which she had suffered last year and had recovered from after a gruelling period of treatment and recovery.

I was to have my own period of treatment and recovery. It was nerve-wracking but hormones kept me going (adrenalin, cortisol, endorphins etc). Who needs a gym, eh? Not to mention medication: paracetamol, alcohol.

Satsuma

Satsuma is my stage name  and persona, this time as a solo artist. When I first stepped onto stage after a long absence, I felt an intense chill down my spine followed by numbness in lower body half. Just like having an epidural. Instead of childbirth though, I delivered my songs.

I was upstaged only by my competitors, singing birds, you may notice this on the recording. But what the heck, it’s live and it’s outdoors, plus no sound engineers to help me mix.

I decided to only play my original songs as the whole purpose was to sell the Satsuma CDs so as to donate the money. All proceeds from CD sales that night were donated to the Ova Act charity.

So many thanks

Many thanks to Penny for giving me the one opportunity, and all others who were involved, too many to mention. You guys rock! Thanks to Rosi Garcia del Rio who provided me map reading, companionship, equipment loading and unloading, to the venue and back and some intermittent filming on her iPhone. She also helped me sell CDs. If you guys need a sales person, get in touch! She should be in retail! She can sell anything.

Satsuma performing solo and live:

‘Imperfection’

‘My Living Room’

”Music Man’

 

 

Ready to Ova Act

Ready to Ova Act

 
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This is for a beginner who has already learnt to play with both hands. 6 months of lessons would be good. If you have had lessons for more than 2 years, TIP #1: feel free to double up the left hand bass riff as shown in the demo. TIP #2 If you have little experience then start with playing one note in the bass.