Rocking the music scene

11 Sep 2019 / 10:44 H.

LEGENDARY rock group Wings is set to kick off the Sunday Night Live (SNL) at the Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur this Oct 6.

The concert will be the first of many hosted by the restaurant known for its authentic American food and excellent music.

According to Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur general manager Ranjit Singh at the launch, SNL was created to give support to local artistes as the platform will feature popular and established artistes along with some new faces allowing fans to catch their favourite artistes live.

And it is kicking things off in a big way by featuring one of the most recognisable rock bands in the country.

Established in 1985, Wings has done it all, from playing a full concert alongside a national orchestra, to performing with musicians from around the region.

Over the past three decades, the band has released a slew of its own hits as well as through collaborations with artiste-songwriters like M. Nasir, the late J.S. Kevin and Bob Lokman, which are now considered Malaysian rock classics.

They include Misteri Mimpi Syakilla, Taman Rashidah Utama, Sejati, Bernafas Dalam Lumpur, and Cinta Seusia Kita.

Wings frontman Datuk Ahmad Azhar Othman, better known as Awie, said: “I think Sunday Night Live is a good idea to rekindle the rock scene in Malaysia ... as we can see, has been dull.

“We will pick songs that people will know, love, and can sing along to. We even asked our fan club on song suggestions.

Expect the concert to be approximately an hour-and-a-half. That’s about 15 songs.”

While SNL will primarily be a concert, Awie who is recognised as Malaysia’s king of rock adds that the band has even bigger plans for its future shows, shows that will feature other entertainment elements.

“Wings is planning to do a show that is out of the ordinary, that is out of the box of normalcy for a concert,” he explained. “It will begin after my solo concert next February in Kuala Lumpur.

“We want to entertain for a cause. It’s not a charity concert; it’s not done for selfish reasons, but to champion a cause.”

As for new talents, Awie said that he has yet to see any standout bands, no “true warriors of the music”.

In his opinion, the local music industry is muddled with music and music genres that have no staying power.

“Malaysia is a relatively small country with a relatively small population, and the outside too easily influences us.

“Why do we praise foreign artistes and their music style even though they are ‘disposable’, while neglecting our local talents and music?” he lamented.

“This is something that worries me. Who will continue to champion the local music scene, [or] champion rock? If bands like Wings and Search are no more, who will pick up the mantle? It is a scary thought.

“This is also why I applaud Hard Rock Cafe for launching SNL to invigorate the music scene. Perhaps in the future, [our] champions of the industry will rise from here.”

The full lineup of the bi-monthly SNL concert has yet to be revealed. Ranjit said that although rock would take up most of the lineup, music from other genres will be featured as well.

SNL will be a standing-room-only concert, with tickets at RM100 each which comes with one soft drink.

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