Arts & Entertainment

Waste time chasing cars

I’ve only been in love with Snow Patrol since 2004. This was when “Run”, “How to be Dead” and “Chocolate” were played constantly on the airwaves of the radio station previously known as Virgin Radio. And I was in love, so much in love with Gary Lightbody’s voice.

I love them so much so that husband sang “Chasing Cars” to me on our wedding day.

And I love them so much so that I started spamming their website, leaving desperate comments for them to hold a concert in Singapore under different pseudonyms. Uh hmm. That was, obviously, before I found out about this thing called IP address.

So imagine my joy when I realised that they were FINALLY coming to Singapore. AYYYYYYYEEEE!

Mr Thick bought our tickets on the day they went on sale – fastest fingers first! – and I am so looking forward to hearing them perform “Chasing Cars” and “Chocolate” and “New York” and “Set Fire to the Third Bar” live. A tear or two might be shed. The voice will go hoarse from some screaming and loud singalong-ing. Fists will be a-pumpin’ the entire night. The legs will be bouncing up and down. Underpants might be thrown on stage.

Okay, maybe not the last part.

It will be a night to remember.

(PS Check out this version of the song. It’s majorly awesome on so many levels, especially from 3:55 on. I almost burst into tears when I first heard it and I wanted to marry Gary Lightbody then and there. With my husband sitting next to me on the sofa.)

Arts & Entertainment

Eric Whitacre’s “Sleep”

Haven’t been updating much because there’s been so much happening in my life over the past week! There’s the Big News – the Twitterverse will know what I mean – and then we had the workers come in on Friday to put together our new-ish kitchen and living room. Loads of scrubbing and cleaning ensued.

And, not to forget, I also caught Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows not once but TWICE. And I loved every minute, so much so that I am dying to watch it a third time. But more on that later.

I’m pooped! (And not in the loo kinda way, if you know what I mean.)

But. I just want to share with you this beautiful, beautiful piece of music that I once had the immense pleasure of performing.

When we first got to know Eric Whitacre back in 2002, we knew he was some kind of superstar in the music world but we didn’t realise just exactly how famous he was. The songs that he composed were all amazing and so very different from the ones we were used to singing. They were poetic, beautifully discordant, angelic, vibrant, calm, lilting…everything a chorister could hope for in a song. And luckily for Chorale, he was in Singapore just to conduct us.

He came down for the practices and was charming, friendly and extremely funny. There were no airs, no diva behaviour, no tantrums and threats that we had grown used to with our conductor. His equally talented wife Hila was similarly warm and goofy.

That concert back in 2002 will always remain one of the highlights of my choral journey and this song will always be one of the best pieces that I have ever sung.

Harnessing the power of social media, he gathered almost 2,000 singers in 58 countries, had them sing and upload their parts (soprano, alto, tenor or bass) individually onto YouTube. The result: this wonderful virtual choir singing “Sleep”.

And here’s pictorial proof that we really, REALLY sang under his baton.

Eric Whitacre

Surely all memories should be made of stuff like that.


Arts & Entertainment

An “awww” U2 moment

Blind U2 fan teaches himself to play the guitar while listening to U2 music. He goes to a U2 concert in Nashville, carrying a sign that says “blind guitar player”. U2 plays encore and prepares to go off stage. But. Bono stops, and gets fan up on stage. Gives the fan his very own acoustic guitar (one of 13 in the world, no less) and performs “All I want is You” with fan. Band joins in. Song ends, Bono gives guitar to fan. Crowd goes wild.

This is why the world needs people like Bono. Amazing stuff, I had tears in my eyes.

Arts & Entertainment

I dreamed a dream

Maybe it’s all the hormones bubbling inside me but I was all teary eyed when listening to Lea Salonga’s rendition of I Dreamed A Dream at the 25th Anniversary concert at London’s O2 arena.

I love her, I’ve loved her since I watched Les Miserables and borrowed the CD and she was Eponine. I cried buckets when Eponine died in Marius’ arms. She was the perfect Eponine.

Her Fantine is very different from Ruthie Henshall’s. But they are both amazing singers – the notes that float out are so effortless and so crystal clear.

What would I have given to catch the 25th anniversary concert!

Arts & Entertainment, Friends

Sloshing in the mud

So despite the fact that it was pissing with rain yesterday, we had a brilliant time at the concert.

Hucks picked me up at 6pm promptly and we were bemoaning the downpour in the car. Bah. Thankfully, the rain subsided after dinner, although we were pelted with rain during the 45-minute queue to get into the grounds.

45 minutes!
Of waiting in the drizzle!

Am v patient.

Or not. Apparently I was grumbling at everything and anything during the wait. Well, you would too, if you had to put up with over-enthusiastic singing from kiddies behind you in the queue and intermittent buckets of water droplets from the skies above.

But it was all worth it. The moment we made our way into the grounds, we headed straight to the bar and grabbed a beer each. And you know what, that was actually one of the best things about being at an outdoor gig. Swigging beer, screaming the lyrics along with the band, jumping into the air, sloshing about in the mud and just being generally unglamorous.

There’s just no comparison when it comes to live concerts. The Script was marvelous live: they said the right things, had just the right amount of banter and were absolutely funny to boot. And Danny O’Donoghue was a livewire on stage, he was electrifying and bloody awesome.

We were a bit gutted that The Man Who Can’t be Moved wasn’t the last song as expected but the band did a fab job with Breakeven so it was still good.

Ahh. Fab night after a long day at work.

Next up: Sara Bareilles at the Esplanade!

I look like an auntie next to him, gah.

All photos stolen off of his Facebook.

Arts & Entertainment

No, it don’t breakeven

The past few days have been really, really rough but I am riding it out. Please don’t tell me to think positive, to appreciate what I have in life – I know all that. Sometimes, when you are free falling, you just got to hit rock bottom before you are able to claw your way back up into the fresh air.

I’m fine. I will be fine.

In the meantime, there are little milestones that I am looking forward to. For starters, there’s the The Script concert tonight at Fort Canning Park with Hucks, whom I haven’t seen in almost a year!

You can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be playing these songs on repeat mode today until Hucksy picks me up. I’m so excited, I can’t wait!

Cos if one day you wake up and find that you’re missing me
And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I could be
Thinkin maybe you’ll come back here to the place that we’d meet
And you’ll see me waiting for you on the corner of the street
So I’m not moving, I’m not moving

What am I supposed to do
When the best part of me was always you and
What am I supposed to say
When I’m all choked up and you’re okay

You won’t find faith or hope down a telescope
You won’t find heart and soul in the stars
You can break everything down to the chemicals
But you can’t explain a love like ours

Arts & Entertainment

Muse + The Edge = OMFG

I had goosebumps while watching this. On repeat. Like, five times in a row. Cos I really, really, REALLY love Muse and I really, really, REALLY love U2 and this is one song that I really, really, REALLY love.

And then they followed that up with Plug In Baby. Heaven.

But nothing can beat this: U2 live in Boston, 2001. I want to kill that girl, hell, I want to BE THAT GIRL. Damnit. Just watch and swoon.

Arts & Entertainment

Hide and Seek

This may sound trite but Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek is surely one of the songs that I love more and more over time. It’s beautifully written, so simple and yet it reaches so deep into your heart. Anyone who has ever endured the pain of a broken heart will surely feel the song.

She may not be the perfect singer, especially live, but she is definitely one of the best performers that I have had the pleasure of catching. She’s so genuine and funny and amazingly talented. I could not catch my breath, she took all of us on a train ride that started with a flurry and ended with a warm fuzzy feeling. We clapped, cheered, shouted, cried, laughed and smiled. There was pain and humour and hope and joy.

It was a wondrous journey of emotions and musical soundscape.

And then there’s Wait It Out. How true the lyrics are.

Everybody says time heals everything
But what of the wretched hollow
The endless in-between
Are we just going to wait it out?

Arts & Entertainment

It’s a rockin’ 2010

Muse. February 3, 2010. Singapore Indoor Stadium.

And possibly…

The Killers. February 13-21. Sydney/Perth/Melbourne.

Failing which, we could just head to Big Day Out and catch Muse, Lily Allen, Groove Armada and The Temper Trap all at one gig.

Oh my gawd! Watching Brandon Flowers and Matt Bellamy live would make me a very happy girl indeed. Hopefully, Muse performing in Indoor Stadium would be as epic as their concert at Wembley. That was sheer perfection.

Now, if only I can find a way to catch Gary Lightbody live too.

Arts & Entertainment

Sing with Glee

It’s been almost three years since I’ve stopped singing and to be perfectly honest, I don’t miss it too much, barring those moments when I hear great choral or acappella pieces and think, damn, I wish I could sing that.

Recently, these moments have been triggered by Glee, the funny TV series that has been ruling my iPhone, together with Gossip Girl and Grey’s Anatomy. And I just realized that these shows begin with the letter ‘G’. But that is not the point.

The point is, Glee is so wonderfully warm and funny. Set in a fictitious high school in a small American town, it follows the trials and tribulations of a singing group and its enthusiastic teacher-in-charge. The song and dance routines are very Broadway and immensely infectious. It reminds me of the time when we were singing fun ’60s songs back in SCGS choir days. We loved what we were singing and we had lots of fun doing campy choreography and cheesy moves. That was before the days of singing strange avant garde songs that did nothing to warm my heart. Who doesn’t love a pop song or musical?

And the characters’ need to fit in and to do something special in their lives hit the right spot. I mean, before I joined VJC Choir and Victoria Chorale, I was merely mediocre. I was good, perhaps above average, in most things that I did (except for Maths and Physics – I sucked at those!) but I was never the best. I was a good writer but not great. I did well at English Literature but would never have gone further than A’Levels with it. It wasn’t until I joined the choir and started winning competitions and awards that I felt I was truly good at something. Singing was probably one of the only things in my life that I put my heart and soul into.

I leave you now with a song that has been ringing in my head. Heck, I even bought the track off iTunes store. Coincidentally, we were at Courts Tampines shopping around a couple of weeks back when I heard this song, sung by Journey, and was humming it the entire day. Tonight, when I get home, I am going to dig out all the Swingle Singers and Rockapella tunes from my external hard disk.

(Much thanks go to Lucian for sharing this with me!)