Music & Nightlife

Your guide to the best bars and clubs, live music, concerts and DJ gigs in KL

The best gigs in KL this week
Music

The best gigs in KL this week

Whether you’re an avid music fan or just need a live music fix, we have you covered. This week’s picks include Jean Tonique, Youth Portal and Publika's jazz weekend featuring the likes of Bihzhu and Evie Fernandez.

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61 Monarchy
Bars and pubs

61 Monarchy

The space at 61 Monarchy is reminiscent of a holiday resort, what with the wooden accents (like rattan stools and furniture) and flora and fauna motifs highlighted throughout the bar.

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Jungle Bird cocktails in KL
Bars and pubs

Jungle Bird cocktails in KL

Pay tribute to this iconic Malaysian cocktail that was created right here in Kuala Lumpur

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The best happy hour deals in KL
Nightlife

The best happy hour deals in KL

There’s always time for (cheaper) drinks. Whether it's beer, cocktail or wine, here's a list of the city's top happy hour deals offered by some of the most popular bars and clubs around – so you can unwind after work over wallet-friendly drinks.

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The 10 best The Venopian Solitude lyrics
Blog

The 10 best The Venopian Solitude lyrics

ICYMI, Malaysia’s very own experimental electro-pop singer-songwriter The Venopian Solitude has been invited to attend the reputable Red Bull Music Academy in Montreal from September 24 to October 28 this year

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The best gigs in KL this week

Gaslight Café presents Capt'n Trips and The Kid
Music

Gaslight Café presents Capt'n Trips and The Kid

Psychedelic soul and garage band Capt’n Trips and The Kid will be performing songs from their album ‘Sroom’, if you're in for a trippy Friday night. Tip the musicians and don't forget to support the venue by buying drinks.

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Sébastien Léger live in KL
Nightlife

Sébastien Léger live in KL

French house DJ and producer Sébastien Léger brings the grooves to end the week with a bang. He’ll be supported by Matt Smallwood. The party starts at 11pm.

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Pop Up at Live Fact
Music

Pop Up at Live Fact

The night features a programme dedicated to pop music in KL. On the bill is Fazz, waving the flag for musical pop with their brand of cabaret, jazz, and rock'n'roll. Also: pop trio on the rise Lukarts, and Johor Bahru-based Britpop/shoegaze act Popscene. Youth Portal, a five-piece dreampop band from Cyberjaya rounds up the lineup.

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Publika Jazz
Music

Publika Jazz

Jazz once again takes the spotlight at Publika. Enter Publika Jazz 2016, Malaysia's largest free jazz festival. To commemorate Publika's fifth year anniversary and to celebrate jazz music, the festival returns this year for a two-day weekend at four different venues within Publika – and it's a doozy lineup. 

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See more gigs and music events in KL

New bars in KL

61 Monarchy
Bars and pubs

61 Monarchy

The space at 61 Monarchy is reminiscent of a holiday resort, what with the wooden accents (like rattan stools and furniture) and flora and fauna motifs highlighted throughout the bar.

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Coppersmith
Bars and pubs

Coppersmith

Troika Sky Dining’s latest cocktail bar is on point.

Users say
  • 1 out of 5 stars
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Coley
Bars and pubs

Coley

The next time you’re at DR.Inc, skip the coffee and head towards the back for a drink instead

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Virgin & Throne
Bars and pubs

Virgin & Throne

A new speakeasy joins the growing pack of hidden bars in the TTDI area. There’s no signboard, but look for a shiny shield plastered on a door along Jalan Datuk Sulaiman (here’s a hint: it’s near Food Foundry). Head upstairs and you’ll be greeted by a knight in shining armour. Virgin & Throne is separated into two sections, the bar and the back area. The bar area is a combination of both the medieval and the modern, with throne-like stools and chic couches. The back is the VIP area, complete with snug Chesterfield sofas and a long table for big groups. Thick curtains are used to partition the areas if you want privacy. Cocktails are the main focus here. A favourite is the Marshmallow Milkshake, which has cream, vanilla and a vodka-infused marshmallow – tastes just like a vanilla milkshake. For first timers, they recommend the two namesake cocktails, Virgin and Throne. Virgin is a sweeter choice with fresh berries and is vodka-based, while Throne on the other hand is a gin-based cocktail with fresh fruit juice. If you’re feeling peckish, the Virgin Nachos are an excellent savoury option that comes with a side of guacamole, tomato salsa and sour cream. For bigger groups, you can’t go wrong with the Meat Platter that has lamb, beef, spring chicken, sausages, as well as potatoes and peppers on the side. There are also black pepper and barbecue sauces for dipping.

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Latest music interviews

Ryan Hemsworth
Music

Ryan Hemsworth

Ahead of his set at Good Vibes Festival, we chat with the Canadian producer about his not-label label Secret Songs, the necessity of labels in the age of the internet, and durian

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The Temper Trap
Music

The Temper Trap

We speak to Joseph Greer of Australia’s radio-friendly rock outfit The Temper Trap prior to their gig at Good Vibes Festival 2016

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Pitahati
Music

Pitahati

We speak to Pitahati, the local standout band fusing nusantara impulses with psychedelic fuzz on their latest LP

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Yuna
Music

Yuna

Yuna, it appears, can do no wrong. To Malaysians, Yuna is many people: the first Malaysian to break into the American market after signing a deal with New York-based label Fader in early 2011 (she’s now attached to Verve Records); a local darling-turned-international force; a fashion muse with her own clothing line whose success and style is changing and challenging Western views of modern Muslim women. It’s easy to understand where Yuna gets her reputation. In the years since her career took off, the Alor Setar native has won over legions of fans with her brand of tender, triumphant indie-pop tunes laced with folk and R&B. She intersects every world she creates, bridging the literal and cultural distance between Kuala Lumpur and adopted home Los Angeles with a practised ease – more than that, she inhabits these worlds with an intimacy that people latch on to, and latch on fast. Ahead of the release of her third studio album ‘Chapters’ on May 20, she put out lead singles ‘Crush’ featuring Usher and ‘Places to Go’ – both potent reminders of Yuna’s continued reign. You must get this question a lot, but do you have any plans for permanently settling down in KL? KL is my home. I’m based here in LA, but I think in the future I might consider settling down in Malaysia when I start a family. I had such a great childhood [in Malaysia], I want my kids to have the same experience. 'Regardless of what music I put out, be it a Malaysian project or an English album, [my fans would] r

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Latest album reviews

Beyoncé – ‘Lemonade’ album review
Music

Beyoncé – ‘Lemonade’ album review

★★★★★ Beyoncé worked with so many people on ‘Lemonade’, her sixth album which she dropped in late April with an accompanying short fi lm, that its credits run to 3,105 words. It’s a testament to her star power that none of her collaborators blabbed before the surprise album release – Bey’s second in a row after her 2013 self-titled LP. But it’s also a testament to her star quality that despite the many, many cooks in this kitchen, ‘Lemonade’ feels like an album only Beyoncé could make. ‘Lemonade’ is officially billed as ‘a conceptual project based on every woman’s journey of self knowledge and healing’, but the narrative is really one of marital infi delity. ‘How did it come down to this? Going through your call list,’ she sings on the deceptively breezy reggae bounce of ‘Hold Up’, before issuing what sounds like an ultimatum on the brilliant, Jack White-assisted rock stomper ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’: ‘If you try this shit again / You gon’ lose your wife.’ The electro blips of ‘Sorry’ feature another killer couplet: ‘He only want me when I’m not there / He better call Becky with the good hair.’ Beyoncé stops short of singing ‘My sister Solange appeared to attack you in a lift after the Met Gala in 2014’, but this is still startling stuff which must be tough for Jay Z (who appears in the short film) to listen to. As the story progresses from rage to reconciliation, ‘Lemonade’ continues to thrill musically. Bey teams with The Weeknd for ‘6 Inch’, a kind of strip club update of

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PJ Harvey – ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’ album review
Music

PJ Harvey – ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’ album review

★★★★☆ Last winter, PJ Harvey sealed herself behind one-way glass in a room beneath Somerset House, along with her band and producer Flood. Visitors to ‘Recording in Progress’, which was billed as an art installation rather than a music event, could see and hear the two-time Mercury-winner making her ninth album. The result is ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’, which deals with bearing witness in another sense too. Over four years, Harvey and photojournalist Seamus Murphy spent time in Kosovo, Afghanistan and poor areas of Washington DC, notebook and camera in hand. What they saw furnished a volume of poetry and images, footage for music videos and a documentary, and finally these 11, frequently thrilling but more often deeply uneasy, songs. As album genesis stories go, it’s the opposite of Happy Mondays spunking the sessions for ‘Yes Please!’ in Barbados. Full points for earnestness. But the ‘writer as camera’ approach puts Harvey on dangerous ground. Her 2011 album ‘Let England Shake’ charged through centuries of war in a characteristically full-blooded act of imagination. Here she observes the current aftermath of geopolitical fuck-ups in diligently literal detail. ‘A white jawbone, syringes, razors, a plastic spoon, human hair, a kitchen knife, and the ghost of a girl who runs and hides,’ she lists on ‘The Ministry of Defence’. Harvey’s voice is extraordinary, soaring like a surface-to-air missile. But it’s telling that her muse sometimes feels a little too tethered to

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All Saints – ‘Red Flag’ album review
Music

All Saints – ‘Red Flag’ album review

★★★★☆ Once upon a time All Saints were The Spice Girls for cool people. Named after All Saints Road in Notting Hill, this combat trouser-wearing combo drew from UK garage, electronica and R&B. They smirked, sulked and swished instead of faking showbiz grins. They took a song called ‘Bootie Call’ to Number One years before Drake coined the term ‘hotline bling’. So although their 2006 comeback album ‘Studio 1’ fl opped horribly, Melanie, Shaznay, Natalie and Nicole still deserve the benefit of the doubt. Current single ‘One Strike’ is a sleekly catchy reintroduction and fortunately it’s no one-off. The dramatic ‘This Is a War’ shows off their seamless vocal harmonies, ‘Summer Rain’ is a snakelike slice of balmy R&B and ‘One Woman Man’ wraps a plea for monogamy in glorious sweeping strings. The album’s closing stretch even features some more expansive tracks that lay lovely airy melodies over surprising tribal beats. Given that All Saints originally split in 2001 after arguing about who would wear a certain jacket for a photoshoot, it’s sweet to hear the title track’s nod to female friendship: ‘Why didn’t I stop and listen? Why didn’t I hear my girls?’ But ‘Red Flag’ succeeds above all because it feels grown-up without being boring. The catty dancehall smackdown of ‘Ratchet Behaviour’ is a welcome reminder that these four women should not be messed with. (Spice Girls’ Mel B recently claimed she had a bathroom scrap with Shaznay back in the ’90s: we’d have paid good money to s

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Zayn – ‘Mind of Mine’ album review
Music

Zayn – ‘Mind of Mine’ album review

★★★☆☆ After quitting the world’s biggest boy band in March 2015, Zayn Malik shared his true thoughts on the group’s music a few months later. ‘Would you listen to One Direction, sat at a party with your girl? I wouldn’t,’ he told The Fader. Though a little ungracious, the diss doesn’t seem to have discouraged his fans: last month, Zayn’s debut solo single ‘Pillowtalk’ reached Number One in both the UK and US. This album continues his move from 1D’s precision-tooled pop-rock into hipper, more intimate musical territory. The crisp choruses of ‘Pillowtalk’ and follow-up single ‘Like I Would’ are slightly misleading, because elsewhere ‘Mind of Mine’ clearly wants to be a moody alternative R&B album. The gentle electronic quiver of ‘She Don't Love Me’ and ‘Bright’ recall The Weeknd, while atmospheric downtempo jams like ‘It’s You’ and ‘Borderz’ have strong echoes of Frank Ocean. Sure, it’s a bit derivative, but Zayn’s distinctive voice – a smokey smoulder with a strong falsetto – will keep you intrigued. In a few years time, Zayn will probably look back and cringe at the way he’s stylised each track title with alternating capital letters: ‘dRuNk’, ‘rEaR vIeW’ and ‘lUcOzAdE’ – which seems to be a song about people who’ve wronged Zayn, and thankfully not an ode to the isotonic sports drink. But then again, his lingering gaucheness can be endearing. When he yelps ‘We'll piss off the neighbours’ on ‘Pillowtalk’, it’s a very British and strangely passive way of announcing that he’s

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See all Time Out album reviews

KL's best music and nightlife

The best karaoke joints in KL
Nightlife

The best karaoke joints in KL

KL is a karaoke paradise (geddit?), but how good is their sound system, the food, and most importantly, the variety of Queen songs we can sing endlessly to? We rank the city’s best in our list. If you need ideas on the best karaoke-friendly songs to sing, see our list of the 50 best karaoke songs. 

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The best bars for gin in KL
Bars and pubs

The best bars for gin in KL

In case you didn't know, there's a rising gin obsession in town. Join the gin revival and head to the city's best bars for a gin and tonic, including fancy upgrades.

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The best clubs for dancing in KL
Nightlife

The best clubs for dancing in KL

Looking for a fun night out dancing? Check out the best clubs, rooftop party decks and underground DJ dens to bust out those slick moves without shame. If you prefer to sing and dance in a private room (with only your friends as an audience), see our list of the best karaoke joints in town, and be sure to sing along to our 50 best karaoke songs. 

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The best bars in KL
Bars and pubs

The best bars in KL

Get into the spirit of KL’s vibrant nightlife scene as we round up the best bars for every occasion, including where to drink in the city’s prettiest sights.

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The best live music venues in KL
Music

The best live music venues in KL

Indie rock, acoustic folk, jazz – think you can’t find them in KL? These top ten live music venues play all that and more.

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The best bars and clubs in KL
Nightlife

The best bars and clubs in KL

Rooftop bars, speakeasies and the best places to party. Here are the best bars and clubs in KL to blow off some steam.

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