By Kittipong Thavevong
Veteran musicians from the '80s put on a great show
THE PALACE, a band of eight well-known singers and musicians from the 1980s, were back on stage again last Sunday for a special show titled “The Palace and the Originals”, which also featured a collection of “mini-concerts” by six bands of yesteryear with whom its members once played. Referred to as “the Originals”, those blasts from past included musicians from Ploy, Inca, Royal Sprites, Forever, the Innocent and McIntosh.
Most of the line-ups were not complete though Forever showed up at full strength, its eight members gathering for the first time in 28 years. Indeed some of the musicians jamming that evening had not been on stage for years.
The concert, organised by iWave, featured more than 50 hits from the past and lasted more than four hours. The venue, Hall 106 of the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Bitec Bang Na), was almost full with most of the audience in their 40s and 50s, all of them ready to rock.
The concert opened with an eight-song set by the Palace, which comprises vocalists Sunthorn “Jeed” Sujaritchan of the Royal Sprites and Wasu “Jib” Sangsingkaew from Ploy, drummer Wongsakorn “Ton” Rassamitat from McIntosh, guitarist SaichonRadomkij and keyboardist Peerasan Juabsamai formerly of the Innocent, bassist Montri “Jued” Kittikal from Forever, guitarist Ronapop “Toey” Akraraj from Inca, and former superstar rocker Anchalee Jongkadeekij.
Anchalee, who joined Palace members this year and is the only woman on the team, delighted with her hit “Nueng Diew Kon Nee”. And despite having turned 60, she proved she could still talk the talk with powerful vocals and energetic moves.
Palace singers Sunthorn, Wongsakorn, Wasu and Saichon also packed a punch, backing Anchalee to the full and getting plenty of help from the audience on familiar songs.
The eight Forever men excited with a set of golden oldies that included “Tham Jeh” (“Ask Sister”) and “Papa Mama” and soon had members of the audience up on their feet and dancing.
Musician and composer Chatri “Ohm” Kongsuwan, a former member of the Innocent, made a surprise appearance, joining his four former bandmates on an acoustic version of “Piang Krasip” (“Just Whisper”).
McIntosh too performed with almost its full complement, the exception being keyboardist Attapon “Ou” Prasertying, who died last year at the age of 56. The remaining band members played six of their hits before capping their set with a tribute to their deceased colleague. Drummer Wongsakorn filled in on the vocals for “Lom Hai Jai Khong Kwam Kid Thueng” (“Breath of Longing”), which was originally sung by Attapon, while images of the late keyboardist were projected on the giant screens.
Many the songs performed Sunday night are now considered classics and have been covered by a variety of artists over the years. They include the Innocent’s “Piang Krasip” (“Just Whisper”), McIntosh’s “Wan Waan Yang Waan Yoo” (“Sweet Memories of Yesterday”), and Inca’s “Ying Klai Ying Jeb” (“the Closer, the More Painful”) and there was surprise on the faces of the youngsters in the audience that these songs had existed long before their idols made them their own.
The shows were fast-paced and the songs performed almost back to back. In between the musicians chatted with the audience, giving the concert an intimate feel. And while they obviously could not perform with the same energy and power as 30 years ago, they more than made up for that lack by their interaction with fans.
The final segment, performed by the Palace singers, featured more than a dozen up-tempo numbers with Anchalee, Wasu and Sunthorn on vocals. The concert closed out with “Fak Rak” (“Safekeeping Love”) performed by Chatri on the guitar and his Innocent team.