Charity music festival organised by a group of music-loving residents is a resounding success
Bangkok enjoyed a rare live musical treat recently when Shenanigans Irish Pub and Restaurant was transformed into an outdoor concert venue that featured eight bands, four comedians, a Brit DJ and a pumped-up crowd that kept Surawong Road rocking from noon ‘til midnight.
The charity music festival was rapidly organised by a group of music-loving residents; including Les Walsh, Robin Westley Martin, and John Campbell to help raise money for the BCTFN Charities after this year’s much-loved Ploenchit Fair had to be cancelled due to restrictions put in place by the government to contain the Covid 19 virus.
The doors opened at noon, and the event was kicked off with Les welcoming an already swelling crowd to the festival. Robin the DJ then asked everyone to stand for the Thai National Anthem, and began his DJ stint with a song from one of Birmingham’s (Robin’s hometown) finest, Black Sabbath.
After spinning a few more tunes the first band were ready to hit the crowd with the first set of the day, which they did with gusto and rocking precision … setting the tone for the 12 hours about to come.
By this time the venue was pretty full, and the excitement ratcheted up a notch when longtime favourites the Bangkok Beatles took to the stage to perform a set filled with a wide-ranging choice of material from the Fab Four. By this time the festival atmosphere had well-taken hold and the outside deck area with the festival stage at the back was heaving, as well as was the inside of Shenanigans which had guests queuing up at the bar.
The second half of Bangstock got underway with a bang as ex-Titanium favourites The Grumps brought their crowd-pleasing, high-octane version of girl power to the stage, rocking out in grand fashion. Dom is a great vocalist at centre-stage … but wow … that bass player is something else!
Despite The Grumps being a hard act to follow, Keith Nolan and Cottonmouth proved their class and experience yet again, by bringing soulful, rich, thick and tasty blues to life. When longtime collaborator and diva Deni Hines joined the band onstage the music reached a new summit. The horn section that Cottonmouth borrowed from the Midnight Ramblers certainly helped them reach those heights.
The evening was rounded out with high-energy, up-tempo offerings from two of Bangkok’s best tribute bands. HaSip HaSip led with a great presentation of smokin’ hot Red Hot Chilli Peppers alternative, rock, punk and grunge vibes, followed up by the always sure to please Midnight Ramblers, as festival closers, who delivered a closing, thundering set of classic Rolling Stones material, aided by Deni Hines powerful vocals, and perhaps the best horn section in Thailand … Mark la Fleur on sax, and Roddy Lorrimer on trumpet.
Not too many people are aware that Roddy, who now lives in Chiang Mai, was a member of the actual Rolling Stones touring band, and has also performed with The Who, Eric Clapton, the Style Council, etc, etc. He is a friend of the Ramblers’ and often joins them at special gigs. Which Bangstock definitely was.
Between the live bands, entertainment was provided by British DJ Robin Westley Martin, whose set mixed up 70s, 80s, and 90s music with one or two more contemporary toonz (but not too many) to keep the younger set happy. A team of four comedians took some of the pressure off the DJ, performing their sets throughout the day, as the bands were leaving the stage and the new ones were setting up. Between the band, the DJ, and the comedians, the crowd of up to 300 festival-goers were kept entertained through the whole 12 hours. The pig-roast, Smash Burgers, and outside beer stations, featuring PR girl ‘pretties’ from Tiger and Punk IPA, were all well-attended, as was the bar and in-house kitchen of Shenanigans.
Other honourable mentions includes kudos and thanks to pub co-manager John Campbell, his partner Ploy, Nan, and the whole Shenanigans team for making the event a smooth-running success; veteran sound and lights professional Khun Tui from Loma Sound; the dedicated team from Bumrungrad Hospital who stood by to make sure that everyone was safe; Les Walsh and Robin for being the instigators and organisers, the major sponsors RSM, Lawton Asia and Shenanigans, without whose support this could never have become a reality.
And last but not least all the music-lovers of all age groups who came out to support this worthy cause. And had a great day out into the bargain.
After all expenses were taken into account (the bands and comedians all gave their services for free) a commendable total in excess of 35,000 baht was made on the day, which will be presented to a very happy BCTFN, for them to distribute to their charities.
Discussions are now underway about making Bangstock a regular event on the entertainment calendar, so stay tuned for future news, and if you weren’t able to catch this one, don’t miss the next!