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Eddino Abdul Hadi
Saturday, Jun 21, 2014

Showbiz

Rock to new beats

The Straits Times | Eddino Abdul Hadi | Saturday, Jun 21, 2014

Orangecove's (from left) lead guitarist Alvin Wong, vocalist and guitarist Kenneth Tan, drummer Sean Tan and bassist and backing vocalist Benjamin Zhu.

If at first you do not suceed, try and try again.

That is the motto driving many of the upcoming home-grown bands who are performing at this year's Baybeats music festival at the Esplanade from June 27 to 29 under the budding bands programme.

Six of the eight bands who made it through the two rounds of auditions to score a mentorship as well as a slot at the festival are returnees who did not make the cut in the last few years. A total of 140 bands had auditioned to be part of the mentorship programme.

Among these are wyd:syd, who made it only to the first round of auditions last year.

The band's guitarist Eugene Huang, 24, says: "Watching the bands perform at past Baybeats inspired me to pick up the guitar. It has always been one of our goals to go through the mentorship and perform at Baybeats."

Indeed, Baybeats, which has been held annually at the Esplanade since 2002, has become an institution in the local concert scene. Besides the budding bands, the line-up this year also features acclaimed home-grown favourites such as alternative rock band Monster Cat as well as regional bands including Malaysian punk veterans Subculture. A total of 36 bands will be playing over the three nights.

Past editions have drawn crowds of up to 85,000 over its three nights, making it Singapore's most significant event to have a mostly local indie line-up.

The mentorship is part of the Esplanade's Baybeats Budding initiatives, which has been a distinctive part of the festival since its 2007 edition. This year, the eight bands are mentored by scene veterans Leonard Soosay, music producer and owner of music studio Snakeweed Studios; guitarist Daniel Sassoon from prog-rock outfit In Each Hand A Cutlass; and multi-skilled musician Bani Hidir, who performs in B-Quartet, YouthWreck and 53A.

More than just about bands, the Esplanade also organises mentorship programmes for other aspects of music such as music journalism, gig photography and entrepreneurship.

A new component this year is the Budding Video Artists programme, where final-year students in Lasalle's diploma in broadcast media course are paired with four local bands to make music videos.

dinohadi@sph.com.sg

Book it

BAYBEATS 2014

Where: Various venues within the Esplanade

When: June 27, from 6.15pm; June 28 and 29, from 3.30pm

Admission: Free

Info: www.baybeats.com.sg/2014/

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