Live music events
Explosions in the Sky with Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Since their last appearance at Camp Symmetry 2013, the Texas post-rock quartet are making a comeback to Singapore for their first headline show. Expect...
Kölsch and Alex Kennon
Danish producer Rune Reilly Kölsch, whose 1977 LP altered the course of techno into more melody-driven sets, makes his return to Cologne-based label Kompakt – this time pushing his latest album, 1983. Joining the techno wizard on the night is Ibiza resident Alex Kennon.
The Amsterdam-based superstar’s progressive house sets have long been a staple in the far reaches of the music festival circuit – and beyond his collaboration with Avicii on the Noonie Bao-fronted track ‘I Could Be the One’, Nicky Romero’s electrifying hits have earned him an international reputation as one of the most industrious DJs around.
Best live music venues
You know a place is serious about its music when its tiny stage is dominated by a grand piano. Yeah, a legit Yamaha C2 is the backbone upon which this red-slathered bar in Boat Quay is founded – and it has even roped in Bon Goût Music, founded by the fearless jazz pianist Aya Sekine, to run the music programme. There isn’t a house band here, so you’ll have to keep tabs on Club L’Opera’s Facebook page to find out when its twice-monthly gigs (from 7.30 to 10.30pm) are held. Given Sekine’s eclectic style – she used to play at Blu Jaz Cafe alongside DJs, beatboxers and other jazz musicians – the music at Club L’Opera ranges from bebop and swing to free improv and vocal jazz. The gigs are all ticketed ($15-$30), and you’ll also need to order at least one drink.
The Singapore Jazz Club
The name says it all, really. This high-ceilinged joint, draped in red curtains, is all about old-school jazz, R&B and Motown. Resident pianist Mario Serio hits the keys every Thursday, hosting the venue’s VOX series of shows: a pairing of pianist and vocalist. Also pop by every Sunday, when these cats take the stage for a no-holds-barred jam session. There’s no cover charge for the latter, but tickets for the other gigs range from $15 to $20.
Switch by Timbre
Mandopop/rock doesn’t get its due credit among the Pitchfork faithful here, but there’s no denying the genre is the most commercially successful Singaporean music. Enter this bar and restaurant by the Timbre group that sets its sights on fledgling musos who can rock their Beyond and Wu Bai. Three resident bands and musicians – The Switch Gang, Tay Kexin and Too Much Drama – rotate every day of the week, sans Sunday, with tunes ranging from Jay Chou tearjerkers to harder numbers. Tuesdays are gentler acoustic nights, so if you’re in the mood for love, head over to Switch then.
Barber Shop by Timbre
The baby of the Timbre family swung open in 2014 with one mission in mind: to put live music front and centre. True to the group’s calling card, it’s mostly blues, classic rock, funk and other barn-storming genres that ring out at this den in The Arts House. Wednesdays see house band Raw Earth stamp the stage with their blood-and-guts blues, Thursday’s an open mic session (from 8 to 11.30pm), Friday is reserved for the Barber Shop Quartet’s swing and roots rock, and Saturday is a double-bill: a special artist showcase from 7pm, followed by a classic rock jam by Good Question.
As though being a café and art gallery rolled into one isn’t enough, Artistry also plays host to a weekly roster of genre-blending gigs by both local and international acts, including its house jazz band, Bluemonks, who take the (really, really) small stage area every last Tuesday of the month. Free jazz, acoustic, electronic music, hip hop… this long and narrow space doesn’t discriminate – we’ve even dutty wine-d to a Jamaican sound system here. The best part: most of the gigs here are free.
Club nights and DJ gigs
Silent Disco @ i Light Marina Bay
It's not just installations that'll light up your night when i Light Marina Bay returns – because the wireless LED headphone party concept that is...
Plastik Dreams presents Fur Coat (Crosstown Rebels)
Plastik Dreams – The Council’s ethereal series of pop-up parties for creatures of the night – makes its return with Venezuelan techno duo...