Our Band Photos of Music for Hope 2008 Are Out!

Our band photographer Mark Lim has just broadcast the photos taken during our band No Eye Candy’s 30 minutes live performance at Hereen last evening.  It was his first concert shot and you have got to agree with me that these are great shots capturing the essence of our gig as well as the audience.  Good job Mark!  No Eye Candy loves you!  You have secured yourself a 5 years contract with the band with payment in the form of free access to our concerts and behind-the-scene shots!  What saying you?!

For those who wish to read our journey of this Music for Hope gig, feel free to follow the link to this tag.  It is one helluva journey and who knows what 2009 will bring?  And if you like the band photos, please drop by Mark’s website and give him a pat on his shoulder.  Thank you.

Click here for the photos taken during our little celebration after the gig.

The Hereen After – A Thank You Note

Yes!  Our band finally did it at The Hereen, a 30 minutes slot playing our own original music.  I have practically put all my other plans on hold for this Nov 29 event.  Being introduced as a local Singaporean band means a lot to me, though Jason the guitarist joked that my accent is not very Singaporean.  Ha!  (Note: The PJ Harvey shirt was a gift from Jason during one of his Australia trips as he knows that PJ Harvey has been a great influence to my music and I have been waiting for an appropriate occasion to wear it!) 

Click here for the photos shot during the performance.

Time now is close to two in the morning and I have no idea how long this post will be.  My intent is to write a simple thank you note, to take you through some of the behind-the-scene thoughts, and to share with you some of the pictures taken during the ‘celebration’ party.  Life as an artist as such.  One moment I was jumping up and down at the stage as a musician; another moment I was moving around the crowd with my rather gigantic camera.  But I am not complaining.  I enjoy art more than anything in the world.

Thank You Note

In no particular order, here we go.

  • I would like to give thanks to the Lord who give us humans the ability to create something so beautiful called music, and to give us the ability to appreciate music that transcends all barriers.
  • Thank you B Well for organizing “Music for Hope”.  I hope you do meet your fund raising target.
  • A big, huge, gigantic, enormous THANK YOU to all of you who took time out and be there.  You have no idea what it means to me (and us) to see familiar faces.  And your engagement is fantastic!  You guys have kept me going especially in the rather uncertain situation (see behind-the-scene).
  • To my friends who send in text messages / blog comments / Facebook comments / emails right before our gig, thank you for your warm wishes.  Not to worry if you were unable to turn up, I am sure No Eye Candy will play again.  Another place, another gig.
  • To the new faces of the crowd, thank you for being there.  I hope to see you again.  And I would like to hear from you too!  Do write to us or catch us for a face-to-face next time we meet.
  • To Tong Kiat, our band crew, Mark Lim, our band photographer, and Jason Seet my vocal coach, thank you for helping out.  You guys are the best!
  • I would like to thank my band – Cynthia, Jason, Selrol, and Wieke – in making my dream comes true, in making our dream comes true.  Nothing is more humbling than finally hatching this 14 years of songwriting hobby into a public performance.  I love you all!
  • Finally, I thank the Lord for the music talent bestowed onto me, the music talents of those surrounding me, and the lovely friends and families I have.  What more could I have asked for … perhaps good health, long life, and more gigs?

Behind-the-Scene Thoughts

1. On New Year Resolutions

Some people believe in New Year resolutions, some don’t.  In 2007, I have set a personal scorecard aimed to do a few things and one of which was to perform live.  In retrospect, it wasn’t such a silly idea after all.  Maybe my targets were a bit too high.  One third of what I set to do, I achieved in the same year.  Some of which, I have achieved in 2008 instead.  The learning point for me is that I may not have control over the timeline of when what I set to do will come true.  But if I set my heart to it, it will happen when opportunity meets preparation.

That brings forth the second point.  In 2008, I set a theme of “Do It”.  And it works wonder.  I think year 2008 must have been the busiest year as far as I can remember.  I hate to look back ten years later and say to myself: how I wish I could have done more.

2. On Beyond Practice

We have practiced hard for this gig.  At times I wonder if my band would ever get bored playing the same set of songs over and over again week after week.  Personally, I miss playing other songs of ours, with the drums.

We didn’t have high expectation on the sound system.  First, it is a charity event.  And second, we don’t have our own amplifiers like other bands do.  So we have to rely on what was available.

Turns out that although we have given our precise requirement months ago, Jason and I have to share the same guitar amplifier and that makes our guitars sounded pretty harsh and noisy.  And there were supposed to be two monitor speakers on stage that project our music back to the performers on stage – those didn’t work.  So I have to rely on that rather echo-ish faraway sound of my voice in attempting to hold the key.  Nothing beats a supportive crowd in a situation like this.

Overall I think we did OK.  Not stellar, but OK.  And certainly we will be back on stage one day, with better sound quality and delivery.  Stay tuned!

After Gig Celebration

Ahead of the pictures taken during our performance by Mark our band photographer that I will link to later, here are some of the pictures I took after our gig.

PS. That pretty necklace Cynthia wore for the gig was from Brüttal – don’t miss an upcoming entry on our Brüttal shopping experience when we last visited PJ Malaysia!

Music for Hope FAQ – No Eye Candy’s Upcoming Performance at The Hereen This Saturday 7pm

Note: The opinions expressed in these Frequently Asked Questions are purely mine, not necessarily represent the band’s point of view.  A thank you to my friends who have helped me in forming this entry.  And to Darkspore, only you can think of some of the questions like these …

Can I come?

Sure you can!  This is a public charity event and everyone is free to drop by and have a good time.  You are all invited to watch our band to perform on the time slot of 7pm at The Hereen this Saturday (Nov 29).  Bring your kids, your in-laws and out-laws, and grandparents too.  Our music is very PG.  It will be inside the mall right in front of HMV.  Sunny or rain, the show will go on.

Yes, we’ll be honored to have your presence.  It is OK to throw lingerie to the stage (aim at Jason please).  But please spare us with the rotten tomatoes.

Are you excited?

Are you kidding me?  Of course I am thrilled.  Though I can’t promise if our slot will start on time (the program is very tight), or if the sound quality will be stellar (we are still working out the details with the Sound Man), but we will give it our best slot when we are up there at the circular stage.

Our band has practiced really hard for this event.  We even drove up to Malaysia just for one practice session.  I am very excited.  I am also very excited by the excitement of some of you have because of this upcoming gig.

Why the band is named “No Eye Candy”?

To cut a long story short, the music you hear represents what we are, with no sugar coating.  And yes, the name was picked before Cynthia and Wieke joined the band.  If you don’t believe me, check out their lovely photos.

Click here to read more about the band.

What songs will your band play?

Original songs written by me over the years, these songs have been much evolved by my band members turned into something really cool.  We will play 5 songs in total.  The first song of the set “Something In Your Eyes” is a groovy love song, easy on the ears and a good warm up for the audience.  “My Little Swallow” (note: the bird) picks up the pace and is inspired by long distance love relationships.  Then comes the meaningful slow song “Some People Say” dedicated to those who have had to grow up without a loved one, and to those who still have the opportunity to make things right.

“Feather” is an ethereal slow song on detaching ourselves from the noise of what is surrounding us everyday.  And the last song “I Erase Your Face” is an electrifying fast song on blocking off the negativity in life, feel the breeze and feel released.  I hope they won’t cut us out because the total running time is 26 minutes.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Click here for the lyrics of selected songs of ours.

Does your band do drugs?

I don’t know about the rest but I don’t have a need to yet.  Still young.  Besides, I heard that the illegal ones sold at the back alleys are pretty dangerous.  And they don’t boost your performance as promised.

Wait, what sort of drugs are you talking about?

Have your neighbors ever complained or tried to sue you? Do you have to go for regular checkups for your hearing?

Good question.  One neighbor of ours did move out for some unknown reasons.  And no, my ears are still good.  Still young.

That’s why I always insist not to use in-ear monitoring device and rather go off key instead.

Kidding!

Have you ever smashed your guitar into pieces?

I think if our band manager Selrol manages to get us more gigs next year, we may have a budget for that.  Meanwhile, I don’t have that many guitars to smash.  But I can ask Jason.  He has like 6 or 7 high end guitars.

I may try to throw myself off the stage and into the crowd though.  Make sure you guys catch me, can?

Are you going to bare your chest on stage?

Going for waxing.  Be right back.  Ha ha ha.

Oh well, just be there, OK?  7pm The Hereen, this Saturday.  See ya!  This is going to be fun.  I can so feel it.

7pm This Saturday at The Heeren – Our Band is Ready for Plan A, Are You?

First of all, thank you for all the inquiries and warm wishes for our band No Eye Candy’s upcoming charity live performance at The Heeren, Singapore.  We shall be on stage at 7pm this Saturday (Nov 29)Music for Hope is a full day event from 11am to 9pm organized by the non-profit organization B Well Ltd – Compassion for the Needy Sick.  No Eye Candy is honored to be part of this fund raising initiative. 

Here are some of the pictures we have taken during our band practice last weekend.  The lovely lady in pink top is Cynthia, the bassist.  The lovely lady in black top is Wieke, the unplugged guitarist.  The handsome dude is Jason, the lead guitarist.  And the dude in bumblebee top is me.  More about our bios in our mini-band website.

And we have great news to share.  Jason, our almighty lead guitarist, has just received his reservist training program and he should be able to make it on stage with us.  Hooray!  Although we have worked out the music arrangement for plan B+ (us sans Jason), his presence will certainly, most definitely add much sparkle to our performance.  I personally will measure his success by counting the number of lingerie being thrown at his feet on the day itself.

Wieke, our drummer-turned-unplugged-guitarist, should have already booked the air ticket to fly back from Malaysia this Friday.  We really wouldn’t want to go plan B- (us sans Wieke).  Because without Wieke, there will be no structure to our songs and three of us would just go crazy improvising our performance all the way taking up the rest of the slots till closing time.  Note: you wouldn’t want to know what plan C is.

The lyrics of our songs have been submitted to the authority as requested and so far, no news means no censorship means good news.  Our particulars have too been submitted to the authority.  We have been practicing hard for plan A, plan B+, plan B-, and plan C since September.  We are ready for our gig.  See you there.

Related link: Read more on our Music for Hope journey.

Our Band Has a New Vocal Coach, Woot! – Live on Nov 29 (Sat) 7pm @ Heeren

Finally, the program for the charity event “Music for Hope” is out.  I was just about to wonder if our band’s slot is still on, or off.  It will be a whole day event at Heeren (Singapore) and our band will perform right in between the last leg of the show (Nov 29, 7pm), right in between a young children band performance, a dance performance, songs by a Korean singer, and songs by another unplugged band.  Let’s see how this will play out.

I love looping in my friends for fun events like this (and I am more than happy to be involved in any of theirs in the future).  So I gave my old friend Jason Seet a call and without hesitation, he is happy to be our band’s unofficial vocal coach, give us some fresh ideas to work on, and much like our private performance previously in Petaling Jaya (Malaysia), it i always good to perform in front of real audience.  It is much easier to get into the songs this way.  So he turned up at our practice session, together with his wife Silvia whom Cynthia and I have met before they got married.

Jason Seet is a model consultant (we worked as a team before together with Cynthia).  Full of enthusiasm and encouragement with crisp clear suggestions for areas of improvement.  I always think that to criticize is much easier than to propose how to be better.  After we were done for the day, Jason reviewed our recordings and pinpointed word by word where the emphasis should lie, how some of the lyrics can be rewritten for better impact.  Hands down, the best vocal advice I have had.

OK, time to put the advice into practice.  See you at the Heeren!