Friday, November 30, 2007


Fingerstyle guitarists give First Beach Cafe patrons special treat

Patrons at Tanjung Aru’s First Beach Cafe were given a special treat on Wednesday night as they got up close and personal with fingerstyle guitarists Scotsman John Goldie and local star Roger Wang.
In a one-off performance that lasted a couple of hours, the crowd were brought on a joyride of catchy and mostly recognisable tunes that got their feet tapping and heads bobbing.
Goldie was making a brief stop-over before making his way to the Penang Jazz Festival this weekend and later to the Malaysian Guitar Festival in December, on an Asian tour with acoustic guitar amplification specialists AER.
A self-professed freestyler, the affable Scotsman described his sound as “feelings”, which have a “hopefully musical” interpretation to the crowd.
“I never wanted to play just one style. At the time I switched to acoustic I was getting fed up with the electric and for a long time I was playing predominantly rock music,” he said.
“I guess I do have a bit of a jazzy sound but that’s only because I have been playing a lot of jazz when I was in the United States.
I find it more enjoyable to play a variety of music like pop, some old hits ... I hope to appeal to a large group of people.”
Wang, who knew Goldie when he was playing on the European guitar circuit, stressed the need for more events such as Wednesday night’s performance to spur local talents to come out in the open.
“There is no doubt there is talent in the market. We need venues that are open to the idea of giving them a chance and to be fair to them instead of taking advantage of them so eventually we can get more locals to get seriously into music.
“As the city grows, there will definitely be more people who will have specific tastes, so there is room for more venues to specialise. It will be difficult to fit in an acoustic set and suddenly have 70’s rock ... the crowd wouldn’t know what to expect,” he said.
Wang meanwhile is keeping his schedule to a minimum for the Christmas holiday season to make time for his wife and eight-month-old daughter.
“Having a family makes leaving home harder. My wife can’t follow me on tour anymore. Then there’s added pressure to bring home the bacon... but it’s a good feeling, it makes me feel complete,” he said.
The acclaimed guitarist however will participate in the Malaysian Guitar Festival and perform at the Christmas Carnival, while at the same time planning a collaboration with Mr Gambus, Farid Ali to cut a tribute album of songs by the late Tan Sri P Ramlee.