Com'on everybody let's do the Conga

7/12 (七/十二)
all images in this post by J

(+) It is free.
(-) You have to bring your own chair if you want a seat - otherwise, please just stand on the ankle-tingling grass.
(-) You may not always get a clear view of the stage, especially if the guy beside you would have no qualms about stepping up and standing right in front of you instead.
(-) It's the end of the day and not everyone has had a chance for a shower. Depending on the weather, you'll soon need another shower yourself.
(+/-) There's enough sequin passing up and down the stage to cover every inch of a truck.
(+/-) Some of the humour is fairly crude, but hey, it's funny.
(+/-) There are 13 year-old girls in small silver dresses and boots belting out Hokkien heartbreak/life's-tough songs like this year's favourite 十二蓮花... followed by middle-aged men belting out other Hokkien heartbreak/life's-tough songs.
(+/-) There're some parts of the audience present who believe that the actual, intended audience are the spirits of the dead released from hell.

Put all this together and it is hard to understand the lure of the Getai. Yet J and I would stand and watch this variety show for an hour or so. This year at the Taoist temple near our flat was especially well-received, even though the funny woman in Royston Tan's 881 seemed to have passed on the baton to a much younger and slimmer host/singer.

Not quite a Getai, Sound Stories last weekend at Zouk was just as enjoyable, sans Hokkien and sweaty men but as unsparing in the use of sequins. If nothing else, it was great just watching the white-haired crowd dance, laugh and claim their music.

25/52 (二五/五二)

before/after (前/後)
The Gypsy and Rahimah Rahim at Zouk

In this way, it is not that difficult to understand what makes the Getai, Sound Stories or any live performance appealing to its audience. It is as one would enjoy a conversation with a friend, or that understanding, celebration and experience of something that is both your very own and shared with a neighbour.

p/s "Sound Stories" should be taking place same time next year as part of the Singapore Heritage Festival. Tickets come with 1 drink. Amps recommend that you take your parents to Zouk!


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