This was an event that held a lot of importance to the bar in question, New Country Road, which, like many other bars in and around the city of Pattaya in Thailand, is struggling to survive during low season. This year by all accounts, has been the worst yet and there seems little sign of improvement.
But I helped my good friends and owners of the bar to promote the event and it paid dividends, as you will discover as you read on.
However, it was far from plain sailing. The threat of rain was always going to be a factor but thankfully Buddha was on our side. It was a lovely day as we built up for the arrival of the band from Bangkok.
Then disaster. As the band did their sound check, the quality of the sound emitting to the area where the guests would hopefully be sitting, was dire to say the least.
All the noise was heading into the bar leaving an inaudible whimper coming from the front facing speakers. It sounded like you were listening to music coming from a bar 100 metres away, and there was little we could do.
As Martin, the boss, looked stressed out, and no wonder; my head was buzzing, searching for solutions. It was then I decided to phone Phil, the manager of a rather excellent bar in Khao Noi, known as Murphy’s Irish Pub.
NCR had hired equipment from them previously for the Jerry Lee Carlson gig, a few months back.
But would they be able to help us out? Thankfully, Phil and owner Steve, were on hand to provide us with two much needed, quality speakers.
But the problems were far from over, because we didn’t have the correct cables to connect the new additions to the sound system.
Disaster was again averted, thanks to a top man called Darren, who just happened to have the appropriate cables with him. And so, after a bit of jiggery-pokery, we were ready for action.
All we needed now was customers.
We advertised the event as an eight o’clock kick-off but there was no one there. It looked like a month of advertising had been in vain.
Just when it looked like things were going to go pear-shaped, a party of six arrived. Then another group of eight appeared as the band sang their first song.
Within 20 minutes we had 60 – 80 people seated and for the first time in the evening but not the last, we ran out of seats. Martin and his partner oil, went on the search for more chairs and tables.
Thirty minutes into the gig and we had around 100 people and again, more seating was required. Chairs and tables duly arrived from other venues, who kindly helped out.
I spoke to a number of people that I had never seen in Rompho before, to determine where they heard about the event. It seems that our many Facebook ads on a variety of events pages, had indeed paid off.
There is no doubt that Facebook advertising works.
So with a packed house, the boys from Bangkok, began turning on the style. They played two hours of Bee Gees hits. Song after song, had the audience applauding.
There was a table near the front, with European girls enjoying the event and they contributed by treated us to some excellent dancing over the course of the evening.
Many of the visitors were from Thailand but we had a diverse crowd from further afield, in a truly multi-cultural turn out. Germany, Australia, China, Canada, America, France, the UK and people from many other nations were present.
Pattaya’s number one dancer, John Farr arrived and as always, it was not long before he was strutting his stuff around the perimeter.
The band belted out the hits in that unmistakable falsetto and vibrato voices, accompanied by excellent harmonies, much to the crowds’ delight.
Jive Talkin’, Staying Alive, Massachusetts, which was requested at least TWICE by those in attendance, Run To Me, You Should Be Dancing, To Love Somebody, Words, I Started A Joke, which was another one requested twice as the hits were delivered in their own impeccable tribute to the Bee Gees.
They continued with songs such as How Deep Is Your Love, More Than A Woman, If I Can’t Have You, Alone, Night Fever, Grease, You Win Again and the classic Tragedy.
For their third set, as always, they finished with their variety section, which is not Bee Gees hits. Here they had the girls, and the odd guy, up dancing to the likes of YMCA and numerous other party songs. They threw in a number of rock ‘n’ roll tracks including Blue Suede Shoes, which again had people on their feet.
I am great believer in promoting live music and not a huge fan of karaoke type acts. There is nothing better than listening to a live act, who play their instruments, assuming they are talented musicians of course. However, there are times when rules are meant to be broken and this is one such occasion.
The guys play keyboard and guitar but for them to produce the sound of the Bee Gees completely live, would mean performing with an orchestra and that is never going to happen in Pattaya. So yes, they utilise backing tracks but they do it so well. The real talent is their vocals for they sound identical to the brothers Gibb, whom they play tribute to.
After over three hours of entertainment, the band sat down with some of the guests and enjoyed a well deserved refreshment.
Would I go and see them again, having already enjoyed their performance twice? Abso-bloody-lutely.
Bangkok weekend anyone?
One comment spotted on New Country Road’s Facebook page in response to my offer of gratitude to the many people who assisted and took the time to come and enjoy the music, had me laughing or to use a word I particularly like “cachinnating”.
It came from Paul Bardsley. He said “A fantastic tribute band who could hit those “scrotum squeezing” high notes!
“A great evening at NCR! Thank you Martin, Oil and the staff!
Til next time………….”