Homies of The Manifold, Boston Ska Band lead, Dave McWane gave us his impression of his brief tour in South East Asia.
My favorite thing about traveling to South East Asia, specifically Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia were the attendees to the concerts. There is nothing like seeing a young lady in a berka, wearing a black leather studded jacket, a Stick Of It All t-shirt, chain smoking, throwing out her best 2-step. And the little kids that many young parents bring to the show are dressed slicker then The Specials themselves.
Not many people drank in South East Asia, they mostly chain smoked. But Bintang was our beer of choice. We also liked buying small bags of wine from street venders. The bags are the same bags you’d get at a convenient store, yet filled with wine, tied and with a straw. Yummy stuff and convenient.
The Philippines was colorful and crammed. I love the old US GI jeeps that they have renovated to be fun taxi’s that look like Reggae / SKA Sound Systems. Malaysia was wonderful as well. The Petronas Twin Towers are beautiful at night. Singapore is one of the most modern cities I have ever seen. Singapore is much more modern then any of the other countries we toured in South East Asia. Their ship that they have on top of a few skyscrapers is just jaw dropping architecture that I wish I saw more in this world. However, I learned it is a casino and many losers jump off of it to flee their deaths. The city has a team of Navy Seal type soldiers who’s job is to strictly clean up the bodies. So that’s a bit sad. Indonesia was bustling. Very friendly. To be honest I did yearned for the children and young adults that I saw crouched in sheet-metal homes and shops with dirt floors to have a sounder structure to call home. However, kids seem to be doing fine in this environment that they only know. Many young kids and big families bring a new talent to how many people can you fit on a motor scooter. As an open minded agnostic I thought it a bit pushy to have prayers played over loud speakers 5 times a day, but to someone of religious beliefs, I can see how it can feel comforting to hear these messages spoken over the land. I only suggest investing in better speaks, because a lot of the prayers sound like Janis Joplin peaking a high scream.
All in all the people were very friendly, the local bands were talented, the food was great and we can’t wait to get back. Big thanks to all of our promoters who booked us and all the listeners that came out.
Big D and the Kids Table