Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pitch perfect

Sophea (left) and Sopheak Chamroeun share vocals
I arrived a little late and Krom had already begun their opening set at the Doors this evening. A party was in full swing at the rear of the bar, creating a considerable amount of background noise, which was pretty frustrating. Nonetheless, Krom are real troopers and carried on, even when some of the party attendees jumped on the stage for photos. I've no idea what nationality the party-goers were but they certainly lacked any common-sense or decorum. Undeterred, Chris Minko and Jimmi B never skipped a beat and the Chamroeun sisters, Sophea and Sopheak, maintained their immaculate poise. As ever, the sisters' harmonies were pitch perfect and their haunting quality really is something to explore further. The two girls are two of the best classical and folk dancers in the country, yet their stage persona is almost the opposite, confining their movements to sitting or standing up. Admittedly songs like Sadness (from the film In Search of Camp 32) and She's 7 years old don't exactly lend themselves to dance and neither does the postage stamp-sized stage at the venue. The band will be back at the Doors on Saturday 8 June, by which time their new album, Neon Dark, will be out and they promise to debut 3 or 4 new songs at their next performance. There was a melancholy feel to tonight's gig-list so a few more upbeat songs would be welcome next time around. In the audience was Gaye Miller, the producer of Camp 32, for which Krom have provided as many as a dozen songs for the film's soundtrack, as well as three members of the Phnom Penh Crown playing staff enjoying a weekend break without a fixture.
Sophea Chamroeun co-writes the songs with guitarist Chris Minko

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