25 February 2011

The Rock Pub in Bangkok

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I have recently discovered The Rock Pub in downtown Bangkok, and I love it. They specialize in Rock and Roll, and these folks do not compromise – there is absolutely no half-stepping for this rocker culture. One of the terrific Thai rock bands that plays there is Mundee, and they just got a major new fan after I heard them play the other night.
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Hearing Mundee’s covers of ‘70s and ‘80s heavy rock was like a transfusion for me, an elixir, an exile’s redemption. I got there late, at about 00:10 hours. The place was not crowded, so I had a good choice of seats. From then until closing at 02:00, I was not disappointed with a single note. The vocals, lead guitar and rhythm section were all right on.
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The first full song I heard was Immigrant Song from Led Zeppelin: “We come from the land of ice and snow….” Perfect – I could almost feel the wind in the sail. Next was Iron Maiden’s Run to the Hills, which is still in my head and which frequently makes me look back over my shoulder: “Run to the hills; run for your life.” This was followed by a Jimi Hendrix song, and the lead guitarist did an incredible job. Then Zeppelin’s Black Dog: “Didn’t take too long ‘fore I found out/ What people mean by down and out.” Then Hendrix’s Purple Haze: “Excuse me while I kiss the sky.”
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The band took a break, but one of their singers filled it in with solos: Dust in the Wind, Bohemian Rhapsody, etc.
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The rest of the band came back at 01:15 and they gave us a hell of a show until closing time, starting by pounding out AC/DC’s Highway to Hell. This was followed by a great heavy metal song that I cannot ID at this moment. Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer was followed by Zeppelin’s The Ocean:
“Singing in the sunshine, laughing in the rain…”
“Used to sing in the mountains but the mountains washed away….”
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The band delighted me when they played Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love, a great favorite of mine when I was 17 and ever since.
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Winding up, they surprised me by performing Black Betty (“bam ba lam”), a great old folk-blues prison work-song covered by Lead Belly, Dave “Snaker” Ray, and Ram Jam’s 1977 radio version. This last version was on the radio during my early rock climbing travels and earliest solo climbs. Years later I sang the lyrics to try to cheer up my young rope-team partners when we were climbing the multi-pitch Old Route on the south face of The Roostercomb in a rain and hailstorm; the narrow traversing ledge was slanting outward at the top of the climb and threatening to dump us over the edge with the hailstones like icy ball-bearings under our feet – my teammates must have thought I was nuts. (It just now dawned on me why I sang that particular song to them there: it had been the radio song-of-the-day when I first soloed that very climb in September 1977; my first multi-pitch solo on-sight lead.)
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Mundee ended the night with Led Zeppelin’s song, Rock and Roll:
“It’s been a long time since I Rock and Rolled…
“Seems so long since we walked in the moonlight…
“It’s been a long time, been a long time,
“Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time."
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Yes it has.
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-Zenwind.
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2 comments:

  1. I can't believe Thais have such good taste in rock and roll. I don't think I've ever seen a band that plays that many awesome rock covers, those are truly some of the greatest ever written. I would like to hear this group to see their interpretations of old school rock and roll.

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  2. If you are in town and have not yet heard Mundee, they play at The Rock Pub (linked above) on Wednesday and Saturday nights from 23:45-02:00 hours.

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