Monday, March 20, 2017

Jimi Hendrix Come Alive: Singapore's Ray Anthony

When Mr. Michael Bangar, who plays rhythm guitar for Singapore pop bands that included The Silver Strings, informed me that he was attending the *Ray Anthony / Jimmy Appudurai gig I asked him if he could cover it for this blog. As usual, he agreed. Mike's knowledge of the genre speaks for itself. 

Thanks Mike for your story and pix 3,4 and John Cher for pix 1,2,5.

Hood's Bar n Cafe: Bugis/Victoria Street, Singapore: 19/3/2017:

Doors opened at one pm. My buddy Shaikh and myself paid our entrance fee of $20 each, which includes a drink and took up position at the back with a clear view of the goings-on stage wise.

Ray Anthony with his red Fender guitar, son Ryan Marshall on keyboard and original Fried Ice member Gerry (Gerard Bheem) on drums and Felly Chitran on bass guitar. As we watched them do their sound check, we were listening to Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild.

Their first set started at 2 pm. They opened with a Gary Moore song (unfamiliar). After that songs included Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, The Doobie Brothers' Long Train Running, Dylan's All Along The Watch Tower, Purple Haze, Stone Free - all Jimi Hendrix Experience numbers (when Hendrix had Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums).

As in the tradition of the 70's Guitar Hero era, long solos followed between Dad and Son. It was their moment !  After all these years brother Ray Anthony is still as versatile and great as he was.

They ended the set with a Chuck Berry tribute, Johnny B. Goode. And as Ray put it, "Ladies and Gentlemen, we want to pay tribute to a guy who just left us for the big gig up there, Mr. Chuck Berry."

This first set ended at 3.40 pm.

The second set featured a mixed band of two locals and two expatriate members. The band called themselves, Blues 77 and featured Lim Kiang. There was a Chinese gentleman on a guitar, a Caucasian on drums. They all did about half a dozen of their original songs, which were not familiar to many in the audience and myself.

Then *Jimmy Appadurai from The Meltones, Stray Dogs, took over lead guitar and performed Stormy Monday, a blues classic and Fleetwood Mac's My Baby's Good To Me. He was as great as ever and played just like he had done in the late 1960's.

Ray and Company took to the stage again for their third set at 4.35pm. Pink Floyd's Another Brick In The Wall. More of Jimi Hendrix' music followed. There was Hey Joe (when he formed The Band Of Gypsies with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles before his passing), Cry For Love and Them Changes.

Free's, Alright Now, Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water, some more Doobie Brothers and a few more rock classics followed. This set also included drum solos and bass guitar solos towards the end.

The two of us, including Mr. John Cher left by 5.45 pm. We did not stay for the jam session gazetted up to 7.00 pm.

Thanks Andy.

Ray Anthony lives in Taiwan while Jimmy Appadurai lives in Cornwall, England.

Images from: Michael Bangar (right) and John Cher (left).
Article and images are Copyrighted. 


Unknown said...

Hi Andy. Thank you for publishing Mike Bangar's account of the gig by FRIED ICE and BLUES 77 as well as the guest participation of Jimmy Appudurai-Chua. It is a fact that Mike is well versed. I dont think I could name even a quater of the songs that were played at the gig. It was a fun and enjoyable event, even though it was just a little too loud for me. But the rest of the packed HOOD BAR & CAFE did not mind in the least !

Mike and I did consider staying for the jam segment but Mike didn't have his guitar and I dont have my drumsticks, and it is quite obvious we cant borrow from the other musicians.

But it is no issue. The show was worth $20, with a drink, and it was announced more than once that the event organizers are planning to do this on a regular basis to facilitate the participation of more local bands, both the old and the newer ones!

Undoubtedly Mike and I, plus many others, will be there to support local musicianship!

Cheers AndY!


Sorry, wasn't there but I'm sure all who were, enjoyed.


Sounds interesting. Wish I was there.


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Musician Ray Anthony made his name in the late 1960's and 1970's as Singapore's Jimi Hendrix. He is one of the pioneers of the hard rock scene in Singapore and he played in two important bands, Fried Ice and Heritage. He studied graphic arts in London from 1966 to 1969 and saw the late guitar icon Hendrix play live. He returned to Singapore and formed Fried Ice. Anthony plays left-handed with a Fender Strato.

He formed Heritage with brothers Ashley and Atwell Jansen. He left Heritage in 1976 and played regular nightclub shows. The next few years would see him performing overseas in cities such as Bangkok and Amsterdam. In 1980, he moved to Taiwan for a six-month club residency

The family moved to Singapore in the early 1990's and played a memorable opening set for British hard rock veterans Deep Purple's concert at National Stadium in 1991. They then returned to Taiwan in 1995. The show saw him reunite with fellow Fried Ice founding member, drummer Gerard Bheem, as well as bass player Felly Chitran.

Anthony is also keen on writing music and works on his compositions in his home studio.

Edited: From The Straits Times by Eddino Abdul Haddi, Music Correspondent.


Great to meet you Andy Singapore Music, thanks for the follow 😘 I have a LOT of fans, but a personal relationship with my followers is really important to me💞

Anonymous said...

John Cher - "and it is quite obvious we cant borrow from the other musician"?? am sure they would have let you if asked .. i suspect they were not asked hmmm