Music & Nightlife

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

Bars and pubs

Now open: PS150

Located in Chinatown, what was previously a brothel, house and warehouse (in no particular order), is now PS150, a cocktail bar headed by famed bartender Angel Ng

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The best gigs in KL this week

Things to do

Stupid Cupid at The Bee

Aside from an ice-cream eating contest, storytelling session and tarot card readings, The Bee's anti-Valentine's Day festival also hosts a special edition of Moonshine's Feedback Open Mic with featured act Calico. Expect an evening of anti-love songs.

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Music

Sons of the Soil at Merdekarya

Formerly known as Brian Gomez & The Have-Nots, Sons of the Soil is devoted to penning blue rock songs about GST and other current affairs.

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New bars in KL

Bars and pubs

PS150

At Chinatown's first cocktail bar, you'll have to go through a series of creaky wooden doors (and dimly-lit, slightly eerie corridors) before you finally make it to the main bar area, but that's just part of the fun at PS150. The cocktail menu is divided and designed based on notable periods in history: Vintage (1850-1910), Classic (1920-1930), Tiki (1940-1960), Disco (1970-2000) and Contemporary (2000-present). 

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Bars and pubs

Private Room

More speakeasy bars are popping up in the city and if you’re in the TTDI area, find the yellow door – no it’s not to Oz, but Private Room, the city’s first speakeasy wine bar. Need more help? Look for Bowery Petit and you’ll see it. Although the bar allows walk-in customers, you should make a reservation to get the passcode of the week, key it in at the entrance and enter in style. Otherwise, wait for someone to let you in.  The bar is owned by a total of seven wine enthusiasts and two of them are Private Room’s own sommeliers: Danny, formerly of Marble 8, and Justin, who used to work in the hotel industry. The founders wanted to create an outlet for the public to learn more about wine as they currently see wine-drinking culture in KL as a niche market limited to fancy restaurants and hotels.  The bar currently carries more than 200 labels from all over the world with a focus on less common labels such as Barista, Porcupine Ridge and The Guilty. There are more reds than whites for now but The Private Room aims to increase the white wine selection soon as it’s quite popular. When you get there, try not to ask for the wine list – there isn't one. Instead, Justin believes the wine selection process should involve recommendations from the bar's sommeliers, who would gladly assist you in picking the right wine. You can also buy a bottle to take home at 20 percent off. At the time of publish, Private Room has five signature cocktails and if you happen to order the ‘Mocking Mistress

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Restaurants

Mr. Wolf

Mr. Wolf has brought with it two things PJ needs: A cosy lounge bar, and a stylish restaurant serving Asian fusion cuisine. Its name beckons as you drive along the LDP, plastered on the façade of the building that faces the highway. The ground floor holds the restaurant, clean and spacious, furnished with simple wood furniture. Decoration is kept to a minimum, save for posters with inspirational quotes and quirky images. Tucked in a corner of the restaurant are garden swing chairs – perfect for lounging on. There’s a little window at the back of the restaurant for guests to watch as the kitchen plates up its elegant dishes. Young chef Bryan Tan isn’t afraid to use bold combinations, with pairings like sous vide miso pork loin with apple coleslaw, and the crab ravioli with pickled mango and papaya salad gracing the menu. Though it’s a relatively small menu, it has a solid variety of flavours from their seafood and poultry dishes, cold selections, sides and desserts. The bar upstairs is definitely worth a stop, even if it’s to nibble on snacks like pork skin nachos over a drink. The space is decked out in colours of metallic gold and dark brown, giving off a warm and inviting vibe. Three VIP corners are also available for those who want some privacy. The bar has a wide collection of spirits ranging from whisky, wine, champagne, saké, cider as well as Guinness and Tiger on tap, while the cocktail menu features drinks like the Lady Hound, a combination of tequila, Cointreau tri

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Bars and pubs

CHAZE at Marquee

CHAZE at Marquee is a promising place to party. Head up the stairs and you’re greeted with an eightfoot tall unmarked door. Upon entering this modern speakeasy lounge, the area to your left opens up to The Living Hall while the wall on your right features a small safe with a keypad, but more on that later. The Living Hall is spacious, with bar tables and stools along with cosy Chesterfield couches near the DJ area. There’s also a dancefloor, but when there’s no party, a ping pong table takes centre stage. There’s also a pool table for those who are up for friendly competitions. One private corner of The Living Hall is the Snug Corner, where there are more couches and low tables. Remember that safe on the wall to your right at the entrance? Behind it lies The Playroom. Ideal for private parties, it’s a hidden bar that requires a special access code for entry. It encompasses its own bar, a darts machine, a pool table and a karaoke system. CHAZE specialises in signature cocktails. The Glasgow Jar is a smooth whisky cocktail of Scotch whisky, butterscotch liqueur, vermouth, Southern Comfort liqueur, apple, lime juice, Old Time Aromatic bitters and Sprite, garnished with a slice of beef jerky. Another favourite is the Sean Maximus Copper, a combination of vodka, blended rum, Framboise liqueur, junmai saké, kaffir leaf and raspberry purée. If these aren’t for you, there are also shooters, Asian and American whiskies, rum, craft vodka, red and white wine and craft beer. The barte

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Latest album reviews

Music

Adele – ‘25’ album review

★★☆☆☆ In February 2012, at the height of her post-’21’ pomp, Adele Adkins told a reporter: ‘I can’t write another break-up record. That would be a real cliché. It would just be a boring running theme. I think people will be like: “I think I’ve had enough now, cheer up”.’ She kinda nailed it.The fastest way to explain ‘25’ – one of the most tremendously fêted albums ever – is to say that there’s nothing on it as scorching and pulse-racing as ‘Rolling in the Deep’, and there’s nothing so overwhelmingly moving as ‘Someone Like You’. That in itself doesn’t make it a bad album – but it’s what 99 percent of people will think after that all-important first listen. It’s no ‘21’. After the insane success of that breakthrough second album, Adele could have had it all. She could have travelled the world, broadened her horizons, learned new tricks. Reinvention was within her grasp. The fact that Adele has eschewed reinvention this time around, and instead tried to make a whole album of ‘Someone Like You’s, is a shame. But the fact that ‘25’ is as innovative as a flip phone isn’t a reason to criticise it. So here’s one: It’s a bit dull. Now, that’s not to say it’s not worth a listen. Wailers and wallowers in particular should rest assured – ‘25’ is still a festival of sadness, a ruptured tear duct gushing out woe like an unmanned fire hose. If you only hear one piano ballad this year, make it ‘All I Ask’ – written with Bruno Mars yet pleasantly reminiscent of the great Whitney Housto

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Music

Kwabs – ‘Love + War’ album review

★★★★☆ First things first, it’s pronounced ‘k-wor-bs’, so relax: you can stop scratching around inside your underpants. But if you’re a fan of soulful grooves, crackling synths or generally good music, you probably knew that already. This 25-year old Londoner has been making waves for a couple of years now, and it’s not difficult to hear why. Kwabs can sing. I mean, really, really, sounds-a-bitlike-Luther-Vandross sing – and he makes sure you know it with a bunch of excellent pop bangers and the odd pulsating ballad on this debut LP. Head straight to delicate piano weepie ‘Perfect Ruin’ as an example of the latter. There are one or two worrying moments, where things threaten to go a bit Mick Hucknall, but, frankly, Kwabs could be backed by the Teletubbies and this album would still be an impressive debut.

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Music

Ought – ‘Sun Coming Down’ album review

★★★★☆ Montreal’s Ought are the closet their city’s iconic Constellation Records has come to signing a ‘normal’ guitar band – but they share their label’s extravagant bloody-mindedness. Wildly-praised 2013 debut ‘Today More than Any Other Day’ and last year’s excellent ‘Once More with Feeling’ EP weren’t exactly easy listening, but Ought’s heavy, snarling take on post-punk contained moments of explosive exhilaration, and even the odd ballad. ‘Sun Coming Down’ offers no such olive branch: opener ‘Men for Miles’ sounds like Mark E Smith being bludgeoned to death with several very heavy guitars and there’s not much respite over the record’s eight sludgy songs. But give it time and patience and beauty emerges from the chaos. Shimmeringly heavy centrepiece ‘Beautiful Blue Sky’ is a remarkable piece of music, like some sublime union of Talking Heads and Shellac, while Tim Beeler’s ferociously growled lyrics are endlessly fascinating. ‘This is the high watermark of civilization’ he snarls on ‘Never Better’, and I’m not going to be the one who argues with him.

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Music

Lana Del Rey – ‘Honeymoon’ album review

★★★★☆ ‘I’ve got nothing much to live for ever since I found my fame,’ Lana Del Rey sings on ‘God Knows I Tried’, a typically wistful song from her impressive new album. If anything, the enigmatic singer born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant has only become more elusive since 2011’s ‘Video Games’ made her a sensation, though her work rate remains enviable. ‘Honeymoon’ is her fourth collection of new material – three albums and an EP – in as many years. Though it’s glossier than last year’s grungy ‘Ultraviolence’, this album is no more commercially-minded. With Del Rey co-producing throughout, ‘Honeymoon’ unfolds languidly over 65 minutes in a familiar swirl of cinematic strings, twangy guitars and exquisitely miserable melodies. A handful of tracks feature trap-inspired beats and there's a dash of jazz on ‘Art Deco’ and ‘Terrence Loves You’ Del Rey always refines her formula cautiously. When she ruins her cover of Nina Simone’s ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ with some cheesy horror film organ riffs, it’s a rare lapse in taste that makes you appreciate her usual flair for crafting elegantly melancholy dream-pop. The singer’s submissive doomed romantic persona remains troublesome, especially when she swoons over a man with a ‘history of violence’ on the title track, but ‘Honeymoon’ also contains welcome hints of something spunkier. ‘You could be a bad motherfucker, but that don’t make you a man,’ she tells a disappointing lover on ‘High By the Beach’, while ‘Salvatore’ finds her de

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See all Time Out album reviews

KL's best music and nightlife

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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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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Nightlife

The best clubs for dancing in KL

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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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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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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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