Top acts to catch at Rockaway Festival
The biggest rock festival returns with a bang and then some.
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 a slew of album launches, A Sunday Affair's Halloween party and Rockaway Festival.
The best Asian-inspired cocktails in KL
The hottest trend in cocktails right now? The use of local and Asian ingredients in the mix. And these cocktails here do it best.
The best cocktail bars in KL
Get your drinks shaken and stirred at these top cocktail bars in KL
Now open: The Wknd Store
Here’s a store you can swear by, audiophiles, casual collectors and vinyl junkies.
The best gigs in KL this week
Gaslight Cafe presents Leaism
Lea Ismail together with her band of musicians will be performing songs ranging from nu soul to regaae and dub at the city’s folk music café. Be there early as seats are limited.
'Release Me, My Ghost' album launch
Live Fact plays host to local rock outfit Foxlore’s debut album, ‘Release Me, My Ghost’ launch show. Joining the band will be The Maharajah Commission and Glass.
One of the country’s longest-running rock festival is back – and with a bang too. The festival is happening on two separate days on Oct 29 and Nov 19 with over 20 acts taking the stage, including Scorpions, Wings, Butterfingers, Wolfmother, Third Eye Blind, Taking Back Sunday, Alleycats, Zainal Abidin, and The Changcuters.
Club nights and parties in KL this week
Straight Outta Apex at Zouk
On Saturday nights, KL's hip hop trio Nesh, Skillz and MC Vandal bring you a set of new and old-school hip hop and R&B at Zouk's Apex Lounge.
Mambo at Zouk
Sometimes all you need is the right mix of hip hop, R&B and popular '90s and early 2000s hits to get the party going. Lucky for you, the duo of Radzi and...
Ghetto Heaven at Zouk
On Thursday nights, the volume only goes up with Cza and TBone in the house. It’s time to bounce to the best of hip hop, R&B and contemporary grooves.
4PLAY at Zouk
Resident DJs Goldfish and Ken take over the decks every Thursday at Zouk for some good EDM fun on the dance floor.
LOUD at Zouk
DJ extraordinaires Goldfish and Blink take over Zouk with HypeEmBeats every Saturday night to bring you the latest big room tunes from the likes of Swedish...
New bars in KL
Fatty Boom Boom
It’s a two-in-one at Fatty Boom Boom: Firstly, they’re a cocktail bar serving quirkily named drinks (like The Brave & The Bold and Creamy Cat) fused with local ingredients; secondly, it’s a show lounge featuring stand-up comedy, music and dancing. To get there, head towards the back of S.Wine in Tropicana City Mall and go up the flight of stairs. On weekdays, Fatty Boom Boom is a quiet bar for you to enjoy after-work drinks. Upon entering, a mural of the lady of Fatty Boom Boom greets you. There are hanging chandeliers and exposed light bulbs above the bar, and right smack in the middle of the space is a ping pong table, serving dual roles as a communal table for bigger groups or as an actual ping pong table where guests can play a game or two. The stage is just next to the bar. If you’re looking for privacy, there’s a little corridor at the back with seats (also the smoking area) that’s tucked away from the crowd. With cocktails, live music and stand-up comedy shows all under one roof, Fatty Boom Boom has established itself as an entertainment spot come Fridays and Saturdays. The lineup alternates every week; check their Facebook page to see who’s performing. We hear Madam Joanne Kam Po Po is a regular. Asian ingredients take centre stage here regarding the drinks and bar snacks situation, including chrysanthemum tea, sea coconut and kaya, to name a few. The menu is split into four sections: Go Home or Go Hoe is their bubble tea cocktail series (yes, it’s served like bubb
Gone are the nights when you and your friends have to pick between a wine bar and your favourite neighbourhood pub. At Gold Bar, you’ll get the best of both worlds, and more. The space is divided into a roomy dining area and the bar, where you’ll find fresh beers on tap. Craft beers primarily rule the drinks menu, but the wine list is something you shouldn’t turn away from either. The bar currently has seven beers on tap including pale ale, Goldie (lager) and wheat beer, with plans to expand their selection. If you’re not too sure what to order, the blackboard above the taps provides basic information like alcohol content and flavour profile; if you want a small tasting, the beer flight goes at RM50 for three different varieties. Bottled beers and ciders are also available. If you’re not up for a pint, Gold Bar has an attractive wine collection. The prices here are pretty affordable; the house red, white or rosé goes for only RM18 per glass. Other selections include champagne, sparkling wine and dessert wine. Don’t fret as non-alcoholic options are also available, including coffee, tea, handcrafted sodas and more. Gold Bar is looking to introduce a beer dining experience, where craft beer is paired with food specially made in-house. There will be tapas (skewers, and fries with truffle and parmesan), mains (like duck and fish dishes), appetisers (featuring ibérico pork sliders and confit onion tarts) as well as desserts. However, best leave the pairing to the experts. Do n
There's a new craft beer player in town: PAUS enter the busy neighbourhood of Taman Tun and bring with them a range of craft beers that beginners and enthusiasts alike will appreciate. If you’re wondering about the name, yes, the bar’s name is ‘whale’ in Malay, and it was intentional. In craft beer speak, a ‘craft beer whale’ is considered a prized bottle, which is in line with the bar’s goals. Here, the owners have carefully sought out some of the best and more unique craft beers. The shelves along the wall are the first things you notice when you walk in, with its array of bottles and varieties arranged by type (pilsner and lager, ale, wheat beer, porter stout, India pale ale, ginger beer, cider perry and more), along with short descriptions of the beer and its price (currently they range between RM26 and RM38). At the time of print, PAUS imports most of their craft beer from Australia or New Zealand, but they’re planning to bring in more from Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. Decor-wise, PAUS keep up with the trend, opting for open brick walls alongside wood and steel aesthetics. It’s a big space, uncluttered, with long tables and benches ideal for big groups. The team at PAUS plans to introduce new craft beers every three to six months. And to help you keep track of what you’ve already tried, the team has devised a system where you can fi ll out a card with your name and the beer you’ve had, sort of like a membership card. So the next time you come, just pick out your card a
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.
Latest music interviews
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
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
We speak to Pitahati, the local standout band fusing nusantara impulses with psychedelic fuzz on their latest LP
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
Latest album reviews
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
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
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
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
KL's best music and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.