The eighth annual Music Matters Live festival – organised in conjunction with the yearly Digital & Music Matters conference, which offers workshops and networking opportunities for industry players – brings together almost 50 emerging and established bands from over 15 countries around the world for three full nights of performances this year. The action will be held at eight venues across Clarke Quay, including Beer Market, Crazy Elephant, Fern & Kiwi, Paulaner and Pump Room, plus a main festival stage at the central fountain. Performances are all free to the public, but if you can’t make it down to watch your favourite group in action, the festival will also be streamed live on YouTube.
To celebrate its third year in Singapore, there will be a special local band showcase at the closing party on 24 May (Friday), with music scene veterans such as rockers Caracal, Plainsunset, The Observatory and Electrico, along with emerging musicians including funky rapper Kevin Lester (who released his debut EP Everything You Love You Hate last month), banker-turned-singer Natalie Hiong and her brand of folk-pop, soulful folk band The Sam Willows, 13-year-old Chris Jones of These Brittle Bones and pop-rock group The Summer State. There will be additional industry showcase nights, including a K-Pop Night Out, Canadian Blast and an Aussie BBQ.
International acts of note are Sydney’s Monks of Mellonwah, the winners of Best International Act at 2012’s LA Music Awards and Best Indie Rock Band at the AIM Awards last year, plus jazz/ opera singer Katie Noonan, who was recently voted one of Australia’s top 20 singers of all time and award-winning indigenous folk singer Gurrumul. Representing the UK are indie rockers New Cassettes; there’s also The London Souls (from the US) and Asian groups such as Dr Eggs from Hong Kong and Taiwan’s The Chairman, as well as a number of bands from Malaysia, including punk rockers An Honest Mistake, Guba and Salammusik.