Music & Nightlife

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

Nightlife

Guide to TREC

The Time Out KL team unveils the best spots at TREC, the latest lifestyle hub in the city, for a tipple with a golf-course view, live gigs and cheap laughs

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The best gigs in KL this week

Nightlife

Ohrwurm presents Scarlett Etienne

One of the major players on the international DJ circuit, Scarlett Etienne has been spinning the decks at underground clubs like Watergate in Berlin and London's The Nest, and has also shared the stage with music legends Nile Rodgers and Johnny Marr at Montreux Jazz Festival. She's also played in sunny Singapore and KL at the Formula One parties.

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Music

Love & Money

Live Fact welcomes the Year of the Monkey with a pre-album launch gig by local rapper nemo (whose new album is set for release in March). Catch opening sets by Krayziesoundz, Arabyrd, Naufal & I-Sky, Reddi Rocket, Yahna, Vmprmyth, and Isaac Miranda. 

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Nightlife

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

The construction of conversial highways in KL is sure to affect not just the residents but nature as well. Hence, Minut Init hosts this pop-up party to raise awareness on the effects of 'demolition in the name of development' – and, on a lighter note, how smart dolphins are. Drink and chill to a 'semi-live' set by Home Court, a specially curated '80s Japanese boogie tribute by Indonesian DJ/producer Time Lord Pradana, as well as a back-to-back DJ set by Renry Hollins and Ruud (of Indiego & Co fame). Visuals will be provided by SGDV, with artwork by Ummi Shaharun. 

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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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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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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

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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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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