Heineken Green Room ft. Filthy Dukes + Verbal @ Zouk


It didn’t look promising for Heineken Green Room. Anti-ISA rallies and the responding road blocks had earlier in the day turned KL’s main roads into carparks. JUICE was stuck in the Smart Tunnel at 3pm watching the petrol gauge as it dipped to dangerous levels. The thought of jumping back into the batmobile and heading out again excited as as much as watching paint peel. Even the planned media lunch was cancelled and converted into dinner. Then an hour before the event with the realisation that the chaos was contained and that no way in hell were we prepared to listen to people wittering on about what we missed we thought the better of it. To the batcave!

In a jiffy JUICE was KL bound and with Tweets making their way to cellphones and laptops, it wasn’t long before the rest of the Green Room regulars got the message and made their way Zoukward.

The intensity tonight was obvious from the get-go with DJs Goldfish and Blink wasting no time getting the grrove on. Before the advent of Lapsap, the pair used to be a regular sight on the KL scene, spinning shiny breaks, hard hip hop cuts and Euro-tinged electro and indie together at underground nights and parties – it was good to have them back. “It’s been a while since we did this,” admitted a visibly hyped Goldfish at lunch before the show. “But we’ve both been busy with other things: Blink with LapSap and me with GoldSounds, and my nights.” Playing back to back as the Goldfish and Blink Show, their  a high-energy warm-up set in the fast-filling Zouk Mainroom, was perfectly calibrated to Filthy Dukes’ electro rock grooves. We tasted some Duck Sauce y’all.

With a set honed by endless festival shows over the summer, Filthy Dukes displayed no fear as they casually sauntered to the stage. With their debut album Nonsense In The Dark peppered with guest vocalists, Tim (Lawton) took on vocal duties, and alongside touring drummer Ivan, the band ploughed through a high spirited set, Mark Ralph throwing rock star poses over his guitar or thumping away at his synth, and the heavily bearded Olly thumping electronic FX and percussion pieces, while Tim contorted himself around the mic and his keyboards.

Kicking it off with a disco rock sound that tipped its hat to DFA and even 80s theme Magnum PI before moving into rockier territories, it was certainly intense, the boys keen to deliver maximum showmanship in the intimate setting. Finishing with their club anthem ‘Tupac Robot Club Rock’, Filthy Dukes even snuck in a few sneaky bars of a Human League classic into the middle of the song. And then, as the crowd rose forward, cheering for more, Filthy Dukes were gone, with Mark raising an extra cheer for the words ‘I Love KL’ scrawled on his arm in magic marker.

Terrence C kept the mood going while the stage was dismantled before the impending arrival of Verbal. Rapper with M-flo and Teriyaki Boyz he had certainly attracted a hard core group of loyal supporters with him that surged to the front of the dancefloor. Earlier in the evening the popstar even had to stop to sign CDs and tees, even autographing the back of one guy’s shirt. JUICE found itself sitting next to the brother in the VIP area. Accompanied by his wife, Verbal even brought a celebrity contingent along what with Singapore hip hop producer Terry Lee, local rap maestro Joe Flizzow and international streetwear guru Earn Chen [Surrender] in his entourage. Aside from catching up with them, JUICE also dug Verbal’s oversize chains and diamond encrusted four-finger POW! ring. They’re real, yo!

But back to the music. “When I DJ I play a lot of electro,” he explained before his set. “That’s what people in Tokyo like to hear: phat music. I mix it with hip hop and because I make music with M-flo and Teriyaki Boyz. So there’s a good chance I’ll play my own music and sing to it and try and rock the crowd that way.” Verbal surely delivered, even using the mic to bouy the crowd. It was a bit loud for our sensitive ears so we made a beeline upstairs to check out the Heineken Green Room State Of Mind installations from Sevendays/Select, MNEP and Replacement.

A live feed streaming in Filthy Dukes, and the ubiquitous Heineken Green Room Heads had also kept Barsonic busy before Barsonic DJs Didjital of Altered Image, Bass Agents and Xu of LapSap and TAG began their own Green Room set, playing back-to-back for the first time. The Tetris theme remixed by Elcetrixx and Didjital’s mash-up of Black Eyed Peas with David Guetta’s ‘Love is Gone’ pushed the Barsonic floor to the edge with Didjital later commenting “It was one of the best nights I’ve had in Barsonic since the opening party.” But the biggest surprise for the teeming upstairs crowd was a special unannounced DJ set from Filthy Dukes.

We had earlier spotted them making their way back to the hotel post-gig but they were back much to our excitement. Sharing the console with XU and Didjital, Dukes Tim and Olly brought a touch of their London night Kill ‘Em All to Heineken Green Room, with the 4 of them alternating and spinning a clutch of brand new mixes, burned smoking hot from the Filthy Dukes’ laptops.

By now downstairs in the Mainroom, the Goldfish and Blink show was back in full effect. Spinning tracks from Michael Jackson to an unmixed ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana by way of the latest in electro and fidget sounds, “It was crazy,” commented Blink. “When we came on everyone rushed to the front and it was packed until the end. No one wanted to go home. For us, the last 15 minutes was actually the best.”  Even Verbal got caught up!

“Tonight is the strongest line up at Heineken Green Room yet,” commented Ms Jasmine Foong, Heineken Senior Brand Manager in conclussion. It certainly was and we wouldn’t have missed it for the world, FRU or otherwise.

It all happened at Heineken Green Room on Saturday August 1 at Zouk KL. To be invited to Green Room events log onto www.heineken.com.my/greenroom.

More pix in the Heineken Green Room gallery.

Find out more abour Green Room artists by clicking to:
Filthy Dukes
www.filthydukes.com and www.myspace.com/filthydukes
Verbal www.m-flo.com & www.teriyakiboyz.com
The Goldfish + Blink Show http://goldgoldgoldlife.blogspot.com and www.blinkville.com.