Straydogs reunite for teadance

From the mid-1960s to mid-1970s, home-grown band The Straydogs stood out from their contemporaries in the Singapore music scene with their hard-edged R&B and blues-influenced sounds.

Fans of the band can relive the good times tomorrow, when the members reunite for a one-off show to celebrate their 50th anniversary of formation.

They are hoping to recreate the heady days of the teadance - afternoon gigs that were common in the entertainment scene then - with a 2pm show at Hood Bar & Cafe in Bugis.

Many of the veteran musicians who have been part of the band's different line-ups will perform.

Two of them flew in just for the gig: one of the founders, harmonica and organ player Ronnie Kriekenbeek who migrated to Adelaide, Australia; and lead guitarist Jimmy Appudurai-Chua, who lives in Cornwall, London.

"We've been rehearsing every night and everyone's in top form," says Appudurai-Chua, 69. "Everybody is coming back for this except original guitarist William, we couldn't trace him."

  • BOOK IT / THE STRAYDOGS 50TH ANNIVERSARY TEADANCE

  • WHERE: Hood Bar & Cafe, 05-07 Bugis+,  201 Victoria Street
    WHEN: Tomorrow, 2pm
    ADMISSION: $20, includes one drink

The other founding members playing tomorrow include singer Lawrence Lim, bass player Dennis Lim and drummer James Tan.

Others who joined the band later, such as singer and organ player Terry Tan and drummer Hanson Beng, will also play.

Veteran journalist Jeffrey Low, who is also part of the founding line-up, will not be playing his rhythm guitars, but is helping to manage the band for this reunion as well as emcee the gig.

All the members are aged 68 to 70, except for guitarist and singer Steve Ferzacca, 62, a recent addition to the band.

Appudurai-Chua says the setlist will feature songs that the band usually played at The Golden Venus, an iconic, now-defunct club where they had a stint as a crowd-pulling resident band.

These include original tunes such as Cold Morning and Freedom, released as a double single in 1971 that went to No. 1 in Malaysia, as well as covers of blues legends such as B.B. King and John Mayall.

The gig will also feature sets by another veteran outfit, Pests Infested, who played regularly with The Straydogs; and blues band Blues 77.

The seeds for this show were planted last year when The Straydogs reunited for the Esplanade's A Date With Friends, an annual festival for senior citizens.

Says Low: "We figured, since this year will be the 50th year, why not have a jam?"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2016, with the headline 'Straydogs reunite for teadance'. Print Edition | Subscribe