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Getai’s unsung heroes

Published on Aug 17, 2014 11:34 PM

The flamboyant singers and witty hosts get all the attention at getai shows, but those who work behind the scenes are crucial to the smooth running of these concerts during the Hungry Ghost Festival, which runs from July 27 to Aug 24 this year.

SundayLife! speaks to Mr Alan Tan, who shuttles getai singer Yuan Jin to and from her shows; Ms Susan Lim, a choreographer and costume-maker for the flashy back-up dancers; and veteran band Venus, who have been backing getai shows for 25 years.

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Background story

“People think doing getai is easy because these are just free concerts. But it’s difficult for bands because we don’t know what songs we’ll have to play.”

MELVIN TAN, Venus’ drummer

“When night comes, that’s when I feel the most nervous because I’m very worried that I’ll have to pee in between. At some show venues, there are no proper toilet facilities and I would not have time to go and hunt for them.”

MR ALAN TAN has been tasked to chaffeur Shanghai-born singer Yuan Jin to her shows on all 29 nights of the Hungry Ghost Month

“Every time I hail a cab with all these suitcases, the driver will ask if I’m moving house or something.”

MS SUSAN LIM, on transporting her costumes for getai back-up dancers