ThambiKSeaow

Many bands are known for passionate love songs or gut-wrenching riffs. Thambi K Seaow was not necessarily one of them but they sure did have a way of sending across their message! The parody band made waves in the late 2000s and early 2010s with hilarious and often vulgar tunes to break the monotony of politically correctness!

Inspired by fellow local band Boredphucks who were banned in Singapore and went to Australia to play as The Suns, Thambi K Seaow began in 2008 as grunge rockers who sang in sarongs and slowly gained popularity in Singapore, eventually landing gigs at venues like the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, Fort Canning and St James Powerstation.

The band started as a quartet with Shyam Raj on lead vocals, Tharenii on guitar, Rory on bass and Karan Grewal on drums.Their amazing discography had songs in English, Tamil, Punjabi, Malay and a smattering of colourful dialects to complete the local flavour. One of their first music videos was “Yineh Da Pakere” featuring some incredible acting by the band to illustrate the significance of the title!

The name “Thambi K Seaow” stemmed from “Thambi” which means brother in Tamil and “K Seaow” which means “to disturb” in Hokkien. The band wanted had no desire to provide tasteful music and devoted themselves to performing comedic routines with some crazy rock music. LOFI-SG TV did an interview with them to find out more about them and their work.

Their outstanding work was recognised by CNN when they were listed in CNN Travel’s top 25 of “Who Mattered Most in Singapore in 2009”. The boys were also interviewed by Utt Tv ahead of the release of their album “Your Mother” in February 2010. Support for their work was overwhelming when their album was sold out at on the first day of release at HMV!

The band gigged like crazy through 2010 at all kinds of bars, restaurants and stages to flaunt their relatable and catchy tunes. Their song “Sebab Saya Shotgun” that had a delicious lyric was played on radio station 89.7FM.

The band constantly interacted with fans on facebook with endless jokes and jibes that was sure to make anyone burst out in laughter. Eventually, with 10 songs in their repertoire, the band also released the lyrics on facebook to help their fans memorise the songs and join them onstage during their sets!

The boys were not afraid of putting themselves out there and continued making DIY music videos for their songs “Bak Kwa War (CCB)” and “Sebab Saya Shotgun”.

Of course,we can’t end this article without mentioning their song “Bhangra Rock” that had some crazy guitar and drums.

While the band is working on a new album, you can listen to their previous one at their Bandcamp page. You can also check out the craziness over the years from their Facebook page.

Stellastory

For over a decade, Narpal Singh was the frontman of Stellastory, a rock band that never failed to get the audience up on their feet. Formed in early 2007, Stellastory started off as a 6-piece band and have evolved over the years to its last 4-man lineup of Narpal on vocals, Silas on Guitar/Keys, Jiawei on Bass and Aaron on Drums.

Picture taken from Stellastory’s facebook page.

Cited by them as one of their most memorable gigs, Stellatsory’s performance at Tampines JC’s Song Fest in 2007 surely would make anyone sit up and notice the outstanding vocals and powerful band presence on stage! Check out their 2007 performance of Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin on a Prayer’ at TPJC, another performance in 2007 at Marriot, and their 2008 performance at Anglo-Chinese JC’s talent show!

Stellastory’s musical influences came from bands like Guns & Roses, AC/DC, X Japan, Rush, Bon Jovi and even Michael Jackson! These influences helped them in make wonderful new music that were reminiscent of days gone by when rock ruled the radio waves! No need to just read about it, check out their performance of Devil’s Highway from back in 2009 at the Baybeats 2009 Round 2 Auditions at the Esplanade Waterfront stage!

Their fame caught on as NTU’s Cultural Activities Club did an interview with the band in 2009 where the band opened up about their origin, influences and dreams! The interview was a 6 page (pg 22-27) spread in the magazine that featured some quirky questions too!

Over the years, NS, studies and work were responsibilities that band members had to deal with which led to a break in the music. Eventually, the band started gigging again in 2012 and performed for the 2012 New Year’s Eve party at Scape.

Photo of Narpal taken from the band’s facebook page.

Other gigs included performances at SMU’s Starry Night in 2013 to celebrate the end of the school term, and they were even invited to be part of the fundraising event to support the Sam Willows in their pursuit to tour North America!

Photo taken from their facebook page.

What’s endearing about these boys was that they even took time out ot perform for smaller gigs like Sangeets! Check out one such performance from 2014 where Narpal belted out the evergreen ballad ‘You Look Wonderful Tonight’!

Eventually, mainstream media took notice and brought them to our screens and radio! SPH Razor TV made a video of the boys serenading young ladies along Orchard Road and 987fm played their latest track Adeline on live national radio!

To date, they have released 7 tracks on Soundcloud, including their first recorded song (EP) Angels and Phantoms from back in 2007-08. Their other recorded songs include, ‘Psycho Dime’,  ‘Tonight’, ‘Gravity’, ‘Devil’s Highway’, ‘Broken Road’, and ‘Adeline’.

While the band had called it a day, you can read and hear more from their Facebook, Twitter, Bandwagon, YouTube, and Soundcloud.

Bhangre De Sitare

BDS Logo

Bhangre De Sitare (BDS), which literally means “Stars of Bhangra”, was formed back in the early 1990s by a group of 8 friends who shared the same passion and love in traditional Punjabi dance (Bhangra).

By 1995, the group had grown and formally came under the supervision of Ranjit Singh who took over the management in 1995. Since then, the group has been on a wonderful journey to being one of the most sought-after Bhangra groups in Singapore and is dedicated to performing for cultural and charity events, including high profile events such as the Chingay Procession, National Day Parade, President’s Star Charity, UTSAV and other various national-level events both locally and abroad. BDS is also an active cultural troupe with Kolam Ayer Community Club since 1998.

BDS’ current team of 10 members regularly performs modern Bhangra (east-meets-west) with traditional Malay and Chinese dancers presenting a colourful and vibrant dance performance that showcases the best of Singapore’s diverse multi-cultural society. Among their many accomplishments, BDS has been featured in a publication by the National Arts Council and were even mentioned by Channel News Asia for their invitation to perform at the Istana for the Hari Raya Puasa celebrations in 2017!

If you’d like a taste of what BDS can do to liven up parties, check out their outstanding performance in this video!

Being one of the oldest Bhangra groups in Singapore, BDS has been actively nurturing generations of performers who contribute to keeping the culture and tradition alive whilst showcasing Bhangra to other communities within Singapore and the region.

To find out more about BDS, reach out to Ranjit Singh by emailing Stars.of.Bhangra@gmail.com.

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