Nite of Soul: Sounds of Acoustic. Keningau, November 2009

Richado Tawith, Managing Director of Cado Creatives, brought together Sabah’s elite musicians to Keningau for his “Nite of Soul: Sounds of Acoustic” event, at the Airport Steakhouse Karaoke & Lounge on Nov 14th.

I asked him why he launched his first “Nite of Soul” concept in Keningau.

“I’m doing it for the love of music,” said Richado, a music grad of UMS. “I wanted to bring music to Keningau for the local people.” Richado has been in Keningau for six months, doing research for his Masters degree. He was grateful to Airport Steakhouse for supporting his vision, and that his musician friends backed him all the way. He hardly makes a margin for all this. It’s not easy to support quality music and make a lot of money.

“Nite of Soul is about just that – music from your heart, from your soul,” he said.

Richado’s team of helpers on the night were Nora Kalaus and Severinus Nain, clearly wanting to make this event work, despite the heavy rain on the night!

It was NOT an easy feat. The rain was relentless, and there were a couple of weddings going on in town.

Drummer Suhaimie Jamli’s car broke down on one of the steep hills approaching Keningau, and saxophonist Teddy Chin Jr had to drive out to pick him and his girlfriend up, as well as all his gear.

The show got under way about 45 minutes late, as they waited for people to brave the rain and come out to listen. It was a good idea. No-one was feeling time pressure, and by the second half, I looked around and pretty much all tables were occupied. A few large groups had turned up by then, clearly awaiting the drop-dead gorgeous Jo-Anna Sue Henley-Rampas, and Roger Wang, who were part of the stellar line up in the second half. Richado must be so proud to have such quality musician friends!

So things got started. Alvin Infinatez was a smooth and entertaining MC, getting the crowd going and demonstrating his impressive vocal range with some opening musical exchanges with Teddy. Alvin sang a few songs from his new album.

Teddy Chin Jr! Was he on form or what? “The definition of an instrumental, is a song where I am not allowed to sing,” he said. Our favourite saxman then tossed his famous blond hair, blew long notes to show off his clever circular breathing, and ad-libbed jokes in God knows how many languages. He lost me but I was happily confused.

Next was Richado with his band Reek-A-Dawn. Richado sang, Cyril Aloysius played Cajon drum and Reek-A-Dawn Records associate Donald was on keyboards.

Richado talked about the name of his band. Reek is for Richado, A for Aloysius, and Dawn for Donald. He said “reeking the dawn” is about reaching for beauty and something real, something of high quality. “Music now is getting more sophisticated, but somehow the quality of the product is just for profit.”

They did a couple of cover songs, then a particularly nice original song called “Rinduku”, where Richado sang his heart out, and Teddy’s sax weaved through all that emotion.

RTM Sabah Kombo leader, bassist Moses De Silva, then took over. Teddy, guitarist Raimon, and drummer Suhaimie joined him. Suhaimie coloured the beats with Middle Eastern texture by using his drumbuka. These sharp RTM Sabah musicians worked through a set, which included Glenn Frey’s “The One You Love”, with Teddy being the joker and making bendy, pervy notes. He even scatted over Chick Corea’s Spain! 😀

But for me, the young lead guitarist Raimon bin Sukudat — Matlan Kidz — is a meteoric star burning across our Sabah sky. Music yearns to escape from his fingers, and people who ever doubted the calibre of our Sabah musicians should listen to him.

I don’t think Sabah could be prouder of such a genuinely nice, and blindingly talented young man – plucked out of Kudat to eventually join Moses’ Dream Team at RTM. This class act wrapped up the first set.

Acoustic guitarist Felix Agus AF3 kicked things off in the second set, setting the scene with a couple of his hit songs, and expertly switching rhythms to chop up the pace.

This paved the way for Jo-Anna Sue Henley-Rampas, who is Grace incarnate. Elegant and friendly, she clearly wanted to support her old friend Richado. Jo-Anna delivered Michael Buble’s “Home” with controlled power and rich feeling: she owned the song totally.

Jo-Anna is world class. I see her in years to come, returning to sing those words again, “I wanna go Home”. Imagine how much that will mean to those who are watching her grow now. A nice feeling, huh?

Richado and Reek-A-Dawn accompanied Jo-Anna on a second song entitled, “Underneath Your Clothes,” which they sang together about five years ago. Clearly, Richado has the support and respect of some very elite musicians.

Talking about elite musicians, Sabah’s finger-style guitarist Roger Wang was the night’s finale. Roger walked on stage and lit the darkness with a blaze of ferocious, growling blues. “Stevie’s Blues.” That twang of steel was dry and bitter. Blues to burn your throat like a shot of Jack Daniels. Awesome.

So could he top it? Yep. With Tommy Emmanuelle’s “Initiation”. Those same strings suddenly became percussion. Roger hit them with a flat hand and made a pulse resonate through the room. He ran off a flurry of notes which hung in the air, like echoes in a cave. Finally, “d Man” broke the spell with a long slide of steel, a screech, and the echoes flew away like birds into the night.

In the wrap up of Richado’s Nite of Soul, Roger was joined by the Dream Team in a jazz play out of “Hawaii Five-O”, with everyone clearly having fun over Moses’ walking bass line. Vocalists Alvin and Richado came on stage to complete the group for George Benson’s “Just The Two Of Us,” and Richado added a layer of rap to the night’s show.

It was a fine event; and a concept which Richado said he might bring to KK one day. Supporters of the event were the Airport Steakhouse, KKBandwidth, and BuliBa KalauKau Enterprises. Well done to Richado and Cado Creatives.

And of course, thank you, our Sabahan musicians.

Felix Agus, photo by Nurul Khairunie

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4 responses to “Nite of Soul: Sounds of Acoustic. Keningau, November 2009

  1. thank you so much.i appreciate it so much….i hope by having this kinda event somehow flourish the local scene, specially in a higher quality music…..thank you SABAH SONGS WORDPRESS

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