Spearheaded by Little Ong (of fFurious), 'So Happy: 50 Years of Singapore Rock' features 100 photographs of bands through the years and various memorabilia. It's got an active facebook community of our rock scene. The exhibition's editorial lead is Patrick Chng (of The Oddfellows and of the '91 single 'So Happy').
Once upon a time, and maybe still... people view musicians and males with long hair and tattoos as undesirable. There was even outright discrimination of long-haired males. *roll eyes* Pleased that part of SG50 celebrations and funding also included this segment of local music. Rock isn't just punk or grindcore, death metal or dunno... Air Supply or Coldplay or Maroon 5. There's a ton of sub-genres more than melodic, like progressive and folk. Nice to catch The Oddfellows, Riot !n Magenta, and The Pinholes on one of its two opening nights. The next night had Plain Sunset, LC93 and Rudra. Great vibes.
Where else would this exhibition be aptly held? At The Substation, of course. It didn't feel particularly nostalgic, even though we were looking back through the years. It felt, exciting. Music-making has carried on through the decades. It's thriving now. What we had then, was a parched and sad landscape. There was a time of great creativity in the 50s and 60s, and then, if I might use it, repression during the 70s and 80s. 90s was a cautious period of slowly pushing the boundaries. Now, playing in a band and getting albums out is trendy all over again. There's no more government-sanctioned discrimination of men with long hair, but of course what remains is the fear of drugs and riotous rave parties, and possibly public drinking. o.O Well, we're even suspicious of crowd-surfing at gigs. Really, our rock scene is pretty mild that way. All good isn't it?