The Like Me's at Koh Pich tonight, sponsored by Smart Mobile
A busy old day today that saw me catch the sun on my face and leave me with a bright red nose, with football taking up most of the day topped off with a final look at The Like Me's
before they head back to the States tomorrow morning. In terms of their sound, I thought tonight's open-air free gig on Koh Pich island was the best of the three concerts I've seen. Laura Mam's voice was in great shape, so was her guitar work, accompanied strongly by her band mates, giving the big crowd a two-set long and lingering look at this powerful all-girl group. Not too much dancing from the audience though as the majority of them were sat on their motos watching the gig, which was a first-time for me to see such a mobile crowd. Ending their tour on such a high note will send the exhausted party of sixteen back to the States with a big smile on their faces despite the whirlwind nature of the tour. And leave a lot of happy Like Me's fans if the after-show photos and CD signings were anything to go by. There is a question over whether the majority of the Cambodian public are yet ready for and tuned into The Like Me's but this tour will have pushed open the door on a new style of music for many, and I'm sure their music and their message will be cemented by the time of their next tour, which I hope won't be too long in coming. Tonight's gig far surpassed the Dengue Fever concert at Wat Botum a while back in my opinion, and that says a lot for a band who are still pretty wet behind the ears. The b-boys of Tiny Toones provided the supporting act, and the early start of the gig meant everyone could stay to see the band perform, which wasn't the case at the Parkway two night's ago.
The football element of today began with an early morning visit to the Tuol Kork training ground of Phnom Penh Crown
football club. As their press officer I was on hand for a photo-call of the club's Academy youngsters, to coincide with the arrival of former Chelsea manager Ken Shellito, an Academy Ambassador, who flew in from Malaysia to pass onto the willing youngsters some of the coaching tips he's amassed over fifty years in the game, half of which he spent with the London-based club. The television cameras of three of the local stations, TVK, TV5 and CTN, were present to record the under-13 boys being put their paces by Shellito and the full-time Academy coaches Bouy Dary and Kao Kiry. The boys loved it, with Shellito and the television cameras providing a interesting distraction, coming just over a month after the Academy, the first of its kind in Cambodia, began. They know they have a unique opportunity as they prepare six days a week for a life in professional football in the future and it really is refreshing to see the gusto and relish that the boys put into their training routines. This afternoon it was off to the Olympic Stadium to watch the first of the Hun Sen Cup semi-finals, in which Preah Khan coasted to a 4-0 win over Naga Corp. My early morning dose of sun left me cat-napping through a pretty dull game, though The Like Me's woke me up again in the early evening.
Bassist Helena Hong under the spotlight One young fan gets up close and personal with The Like Me's I get up close and personal for a goodbye hug with Thida Buth Mam, unofficial manager for the band PPCFC Academy youngster Theam Chhaya tries a balancing act
Labels: Phnom Penh Crown, The Like Me's