Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saxy Guitar At Orchard Road Underground

Saturday today, 26th February at 3.00pm Orchard Road. Take the air-conditioned route to get across from Borders Books to Lido Cinema at Shaw Building and you will meet an incredible duo busking at a comfortable corner just after Marks and Spencer.
Mr. Mohamed and Mr. Zainal (image) smile at the shoppers who pass them as the sound of their saxaphone and electric guitar fill the cool air at the underground connection. Name a song and they will play it for you. No questions asked. I looked into their brown bag on the floor and saw a few coins and dollar notes - not much of a collection at that time of day, especially after playing a few hours.
To be fair to them I took a couple of pictures as I didn't want to disturb their performance. I managed to have a short chat to get their names and then left immediately, leaving something in their bag for tea-break. During the short interlude I had with the two gentlemen, they told me they were 60s musicians and remember the good times when they played at some of the clubs in the vicinity.

They are in the same corner most days of the week and if you see them, spare the blue, green or even red notes. You know they will appreciate the gesture. It is a breath of fresh air when saxaphone and guitar blend harmoniously to actualise a professional sound that only Mohamed and Zainal can produce, so different from the common electronic synthesizer that we hear so often in Orchard Road. And they play cool jazz too!

Image/Article: Andy Lim. Photo taken with an iPhone 4 in dim light.


Thimbuktu said...

Cheers to Mr. Mohamed and Mr. Zainal, the "Saxy Guitar At Orchard Road Underground". We have talents in Singapore, please don't throw them away.

Our home-bred buskers should be supported generously as their appreciation and recognition.

I have seen many senior citizen buskers in the States and their public performance provide entertainment and musical enjoyment to everyone, locals and tourists alike.

Let our buskers keep the "happening street" at Orchard Road alive. Please bring back the Singapore 60s: Andy's Pop Music Influence on his blog and on the streets in Singapore.


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you very much for the plug Sir. Your sentiment about our buskers is similar to mine.

Seniors who entertain are recognised in the US and in other countries. They have always been given the opportunity to appear at top shows that attract large crowds e.g. 'Welcoming the New Year at Times Square in New York.'

In the past years when Singapore began celebrating the same festival not once did any of our 60s musicians appear. Only younger
musicians and foreign entertainers were present (eg: Fort Canning and Marina Bay).


Thimbuktu said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly, Andy. There is no discrimination of age and gender for public entertainment as long as within the police permits approvals, including foreigners. Regardless of young or old, guys or gals for those could attract these performances as talented artistes and musicians here in Singapore. The cultures and the arts must be encouraged. We are no longer a cultural desert several decades ago. Cheers!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

There must be greater effort to encourage senior musicians to appear on our numeroous state-of-the-art stages.

The TV series, 'America's Got Talent' has buskers coming from all over US cities participating in the show. Finalists had a chance to appear in Las Vegas.

Who's to stop our own Singaporeans from appearing at the Sands and Sentosa Casino stages soon?

Anonymous said...

Suggest you or your group take them [the duo] into your group...

Ya,I understand the problem... their livelihood expenses...Forgot your group is strictly voluntary.
Anyway, it's just a suggestion.

Will kiv what you have requested when I happen to pass by them.


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Yeo for support. Some of these musicians are really in a fix and need help.

Help the buskers on our streets and malls. Thanks.

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