When i first arrived in KL i was meant to busk 2/3 days and go somewhere else. Instead i ended up saying longer and feeling at home here. I first metr Amir and we have been busking in the city for few days, enjoyng the rewards of a cold beer at night after a long day of hard work. We even made enough cash to be able to share and pay for our rooms and food.
We used to stroll along jalan Alor, playing tunes for the people eating at night, but it started to feel strange to me, as i had the feeling that busking with me somehow affected Amir’s earnings: as if the people seeing a “white man” busking, did’nt take us too seriously. Plus, the competition was fierce, and after we have been chased by the Chinese karaoke mafia, and their massive subwoofers blasting Cantonese pop backing tracks, i decided to look for more gigs in bars and stuff: in that way i would’nt interfere with the local street performers, sweat less, and hopefully earnt a bit more money than bread and butter !
So, one night i headed to this place called “The Warehouse”, a cool bar and restaurant in the middle of Chinatown, famous for its Thursday night’s Open Mic. Of course i fell in love with it straight away; the people were an eclectic mix of locals, long-term travellers and expats. No backpackers insight, a genuine vibe and a setting that would somehow made me feel in Europe again, definitely made this spot my headquarter !
That same night i’ve been offered some gigs by Mr. Ernest, the manager of one of the biggest Pubs in the city. He was interested in a collaboration on a monthly basis. Once i saw that stage and the setting i thought of spending the whole month of January in the city, playing as much as i could !
A sound proof room, a stage provided with Orange and Fishman amplifiers, a full drum kit with percussions, completely miked up, and a subwoofer under the stage…WOW !! I could already enjoy how i could have sounded like in my mind !
When i realized the potential of that venue i wanted to involve Man, a great professional musician with 30 years experience behind the drums. We used to busk together, with him playin the cajon, but i’ve heard of his impressive drumming with a complete kit…!
We spent few days busking together in order to practise, but the connection between us was so strong and his experience and hear so solid that we felt we could jump on stage straight away and jam, turning our spontaneous way to musically communicate in the real show.
For 2 nights a week we have been playing a duo, Miserable Man & Man Kanan: no bass on stage, but apparently my acoustic guitar was bassy enough to provide the low bottom, and the percussions were somehow filling the gap between guitar and drums.
Playing with Man of course i expanded my visions and we arranged many songs in a different way: he can perfectly play so many different genres that we have been able to switch between Ska Reggae and Rocksteady, including Swing Jazzy, Bossa and Calypso versions of many songs.
Now every sunday, i host a Live music night at The Warehouse, that it”s called Sunday, Reggae Sunday. New people are showing up every time and new customers come to enjoy the music apparently after they saw Miserable man clips on Youtube. It’s good to know that you are still able to make people move from their houses, drive their cars in the crazy KL traffic and get to the city for the love of live music…