Post-National Day, some GRCs staging big musical bashes

Singers Alfred Sim and Tay Kewei (both top) will entertain at West Coast Rocks, while Cantopop star Frances Yip (above) will sing at Bishan.
Singaporean indie rock acts such as Caracal (above) will take to the stage at TinHill Rock Fest, organised by Bukit Timah Community Club. PHOTOS: ALOYSIUS LIM, ST RAZORTV, THE NEW PAPER FILE, S2S
Singers Alfred Sim and Tay Kewei (both top) will entertain at West Coast Rocks, while Cantopop star Frances Yip (above) will sing at Bishan.
Singaporean indie rock acts such as Inch Chua (above) will take to the stage at TinHill Rock Fest, organised by Bukit Timah Community Club. PHOTOS: ALOYSIUS LIM, ST RAZORTV, THE NEW PAPER FILE, S2S
Singers Alfred Sim and Tay Kewei (both top) will entertain at West Coast Rocks, while Cantopop star Frances Yip (above) will sing at Bishan.
Singers Alfred Sim and Tay Kewei (both top) will entertain at West Coast Rocks.PHOTOS: ALOYSIUS LIM, ST RAZORTV, THE NEW PAPER FILE, S2S
Singers Alfred Sim and Tay Kewei (both top) will entertain at West Coast Rocks, while Cantopop star Frances Yip (above) will sing at Bishan.
Cantopop star Frances Yip (above) will sing at Bishan.PHOTOS: ALOYSIUS LIM, ST RAZORTV, THE NEW PAPER FILE, S2S

Clementi, Bishan-Toa Payoh and Bukit Timah hold concerts in celebration of National Day

Tomorrow evening, Clementi Stadium will host an event rather different from the sports meets it usually sees.

It will be the venue of West Coast Rocks, a concert featuring homegrown husband-and-wife singers Tay Kewei and Alfred Sim. The gig will culminate in a fireworks display.

Organised jointly by West Coast GRC and Clarke Quay nightspot Shanghai Dolly, the event is one of several ambitious concerts put on by three GRCs in celebration of National Day. They are all of different genres, ranging from Mandopop to indie music, but play out on a larger scale than most community events.

The largest event is the Bishan- Toa Payoh GRC Musical Concert, taking place on Aug 29 and 30 at Bishan Stadium. Organisers are expecting a daily average of 10,000 spectators. About 14,000 tickets, each costing $5, have been sold.

Performers at the Bishan event include Taiwanese singer Alan Kuo and popular Hong Kong Cantopop veteran Frances Yip, who will be singing a duet of Teresa Teng’s The Moon Represents My Heart with Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. Dr Ng is an MP of the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

TinHill Rock Fest, a Bukit Timah Community Club initiative with a line-up consisting exclusively of Singaporean indie rock acts, will see performances from bands such as Caracal and Havana Social Club and singer Inch Chua. It takes place on Aug 29. The performance venue, Merlion Sports- City, can accommodate 2,000 to 2,500. Admission is free.

  • BOOK IT / WEST COAST ROCKS

  • WHERE: Clementi Stadium

    WHEN: Tomorrow, 5 to 10.30pm

    ADMISSION: Free

  • BISHAN-TOA PAYOH GRC MUSICAL CONCERT

  • WHERE: Bishan Sports Stadium

    WHEN: Aug 29 and 30, from 5pm

    ADMISSION: $5 from Bishan-Toa Payoh Community Clubs, open 2 to 10pm daily

Concert organisers say they are keen to shake off the image that grassroots events are amateur affairs. As West Coast Community Club management committee chairman Samuel Tang, 52, says: “This time around, the whole spectrum has changed.”

Though the Clementi Stadium concert features performers from Mandopop nightclub Shanghai Dolly, MrTang adds that the gig will be family-friendly.

Besides singers Tay and Sim, the West Coast concert will feature Singapore a cappella group MICapella and Stereofly, the resident band of Highlander Bar, which will perform a range of genres from 1970s favourites to current hits. Entry is free.

Of a different genre altogether is Bukit Timah’s TinHill Rock Fest, where an indie rock-only programme stands out. This was a deliberate choice by the event’s organiser, Mr Eugene Yang, 59, who said he wanted to try something “totally different”.

To research the Singapore indie music scene, he went online to find out more. After previewing some of the bands, he realised that “my goodness, the quality is pretty darn good”.

He then contacted the bands he thought had a “broad appeal” and put them in the line-up.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2015, with the headline 'Rock it out in the heartland'. Print Edition | Subscribe