100 Singapore bands to rock Kovan Hub

Caracal and sub:shaman (above) are among the 100 home-grown bands which will be playing at the old Hougang bus interchange. -- PHOTO: SUB:SHAMAN
Caracal and sub:shaman (above) are among the 100 home-grown bands which will be playing at the old Hougang bus interchange. -- PHOTO: SUB:SHAMAN
Caracal (above) and sub:shaman are among the 100 home-grown bands which will be playing at the old Hougang bus interchange. -- PHOTO: ALOYSIUS LIM
Caracal (above) and sub:shaman are among the 100 home-grown bands which will be playing at the old Hougang bus interchange. -- PHOTO: ALOYSIUS LIM

One hundred home-grown bands will rock an old Hougang bus interchange, in what is possibly the largest local indie music event to date - and it is free.

100 Bands Festival, happening over three consecutive weekends starting tomorrow, features a line-up ranging from alt-rockers Monster Cat, and progressive-rock outfit In Each Hand A Cutlass, to electronic artist The Analog Girl. Veteran bands such as Astreal will take the stage, as well as newer ones such as Atlas.

Up to 20 bands will play on each gig day at the old interchange now called Kovan Hub. Usually used by Paya Lebar Kovan Community Club for its programmes, the space can hold 500 people. Each band's set will last about 20 to 30 minutes.

The festival is part of PAssionArts Festival 2014, an annual affair organised by the People's Association to bring arts to the heartland.

It is initiated by the Aljunied Cluster Community Arts and Culture Team as part of its arts programme titled BANG! BANG! WONDERLAND.

The extensive line-up was chosen by curators The RSC, the same collective behind regular gigs at the recently defunct Home Club.

The RSC founder Razi Razak, 32, says they wanted to showcase the breadth of quality acts in the local music scene.

He adds: "We have a vibrant underground music scene that used to be hush-hush, but it hasn't been such a secret for a while now. The festival is about the indie scene and the talents that speak about us as a community."

Besides the performances, there will also be discussions about the music scene organised by The Music Society, Singapore. Booths set up by retailers Straits Records and Canopus will sell music and merchandise.

Post-hardcore band Caracal's drummer, Martin Kong, who will perform on June 22, says the quintet are raring to play at the festival and watch the performances of other bands. They intend to play some freshly written songs.

Kong, 27, says: "It's great to have such a huge festival in the heartland, what more in Kovan and Hougang, where most of us grew up."

Experimental rockers sub:shaman will not just perform on June 14. The quintet will also premiere their short film, Outsider., made in conjunction with their recently released EP of the same name. A neo-noir film directed by local film-maker Elliot Sng and written by the band and writer Christopher Fok, the murder-mystery was filmed over four days last month.

The band's bassist, Mohamed Hanis Isahak, 26, says: "We felt a music festival would be perfect to screen our film. It is definitely a thrill to be included in a line-up that can only be described as massive."