Last January, Frankie Teardrop Dead came to Cambodia, all the way from North London, cooking neo-psychedelia, shoegaze, dreampop and post-punk into a warm hazy stew, playing to audiences across the Kingdom and gaining a loyal local following. This year they’re back for a bigger and better tour, starting with back-to-back shows at Oscar’s on the Corner and LF Social Club this weekend, and continuing through Kampot, Siem Reap, Koh Rong Sanloem and eventually winding up with a couple of shows in Ho Chi Minh City, including the inaugural Saigon Psych Fest.
I got in touch with the band to find out what’s been going on since we saw them last, and how they feel about the tour coming up.
2018 was a big year for you. What have been the highlights?
Yeah, what a great year it’s been! Started off with our first tour in Cambodia, then a UK summer tour with San Francisco Band, The Pleasure Routine, followed by our new album release tour over the autumn which included a support slot for Brian Jonestown Massacre.
And tell me about the new album, All You Need Is Love And F**king Peace. And can it be purchased online or should we wait until you arrive to get one?
We recorded the new album back at the end of 2017 at a friend’s studio on all his amazing vintage analogue gear in Seven Sisters, North London. It’s influenced by the sounds of the 60s, 80s, 90s and up to the present day. We wanted the album to bring different feelings from one song to other and not stick to a formula. It’s available online and all other physical formats, vinyl, CD and cassette.
Last year you toured as a four piece, borrowing our own Danzo on bass for some shows. What’s the line up this year?
This year there will be five of us, Luigi who played drums last year is actually our bassist so he is back where he belongs, with the addition of our new drummer, Eric, an Aussie boy. This year is going to get loud!
You’re back again for the second Folk Art and Blues Fest Cambodia. What were the highlights of last year’s festival?
Folk Art and Blues Fest was a brilliant trip, so many highs, but for us the highlight was getting to tour with bands such as Cambodian Space Project and OPNAIRDRGMKT in beautiful country with great people.
What are you most looking forward to in Cambodia and Vietnam? And what are you dreading?
Obviously looking forward to a dose of vitamin D, the warm weather and the wildlife, but most of all the excitement for life you feel when you’re over there. You can feel a real buzz around you, the music, the people and the streets. Looking forward to being back in Vietnam for the first ever Saigon Psych Fest and also just to touring with the band – we always have such a good time together.
What should Cambodian audiences expect from this year’s version of Frankie Teardrop Dead?
This year you’re gonna get the full sound, rock’n’roll psychedelia. We’ve even been practicing a Cambodian song, a Drakkar Band cover.
This Week in Phnom Penh
So it’s another rich week for the music city. This week has seen the Phnom Penh debut of Boogie Noir, a rocking duo combining the vocals and acoustic guitar of Brian Wood with the cello of Cecile Lacharme. They have been making appearances at several venues and will finish up with shows at Farm to Table Friday, Bassac Lane on Saturday, and Bona’s Pub on Sunday. Also notable around the traps on Saturday is Randy Cataluna’s newly formed band Riddim at Alchemy, and a reprise of the Elvis Presley tribute by the Peanutbutter & Banana Sandwich Band at Oscar’s on the Corner.
Sunday sees a very special addition to the Original Sessions series of intimate concerts. Indonesian pianist and composer Metta Legita will be bringing her compositions that blend jazz, chamber and world music to Sovannaphum Arts Association Theatre in Boeng Trabek on Sunday evening, along with a small ensemble of violins, violas, cello, flute and percussion. Very limited seating, you’d be advised to purchase your tickets in advance.