It was so long ago
But I've still got the blues for you.”
- Still Got The Blues by Gary Moore
This is an unusual find – a band that plays old blues, jazz, swing and roots music.
The Chicken Shack Revival is comprised of four friends: lead man and multi-instrumentalist Louis Lam; bassist Chris Gomez; drummer Justin Teo; and guitarist Gregory Leow.
Jammin’ the Blues isn’t the easiest road for the band. As Gregory Leow says:
“Pub owners feel that Blues doesn’t sell. It’s really due to the stereotype that Blues is boring, very samey and depressing, or too rockish and loud.
“Truth be told, it’s the sound for much of Blues music that’s out there. So I don’t really blame them for sticking to top 40s and established genres to sell their bar (Funk, Jazz, Latin and Bossa Nova) but hey, we try.”
And so they do.
This post contains additional material that I couldn’t fit into an article for CNNGo (5 great live music acts in Singapore).
How did you get started in the pub circuit?
We started by asking around for pub gigs through friends and family. Then it became a mailing list approach, and we got offers to play. We also sent emails to pub owners and showed them our gig list and YouTube videos with the hope that they’ll take us up.
We get quite a bit of repeat business from bar owners who have taken a chance on us and we credit them for being forward-thinking.
What’s the best thing that happened?
The usual applause, encore and dancing people. Personally as a guitarist, the cheers that I get from doing a conceived surf medley is satisfying.
An unappreciative audience. On the whole, expats seem to get our music more than locals, which is a shame. We try our best to reach out to Singaporeans to show them that Blues music is not slow, boring or with droning vocals. :P
Thoughts on your audience?
The audience reacts to a band playing well and having a good time. It’s not just about the skill of the band but how entertaining we are. So we inject some humour into it by putting little Showtune licks that people might recognise – Pop Goes the Weasel, Sheik of Araby etc – to break up the Blues form.
What do fans say?
Aside from the usual compliments on our playing ability, people who haven’t seen our band normally say that they didn’t think Blues sounded like this, and that it is refreshing to hear us.
Where do they play?
Chicken Shack Revival doesn’t have a fixed gig list. Do check out their Facebook Fanpage for more information.