Kevin Mathews & LUNARIN: “Quiet At The Library”, 13 Nov 2010

I was late for the show. They started on the dot.

Missed the first performer, Vanessa Faith Tan. But managed to catch Debra Khng and Kevin Mathews. The two talented ladies were musical proteges of Kevin Mathews (under the Noise Singapore apprenticeship programme).
Kevin Matthews & LUNARIN: "Quiet At The Library"

Kevin Matthews & LUNARIN: "Quiet At The Library"

Like his apprentices, Kevin Mathews also sang several originals. Plus the familiar “One and only” (YouTube vid, here).
Kevin Matthews & LUNARIN: "Quiet At The Library"

That was my first time hearing Kevin Mathews perform “live”. Let me tell you, that guy can SING.

And then Lunarin was up next.
Kevin Mathews & LUNARIN: "Quiet At The Library"

They went acoustic, of sorts.

A cello, violin, keyboard, and acoustic guitars (and very briefly, an acoustic bass).

“We normally do not sit down when we play” ~ Linda Ong.
Kevin Mathews & LUNARIN: "Quiet At The Library"

There’s something about classical strings in rock tunes. I later found out that Victor Ong (on cello) was Linda’s younger brother. Natalie was on violin (a friend of the band, I think).
Kevin Mathews & LUNARIN: "Quiet At The Library"

Kevin Mathews & LUNARIN: "Quiet At The Library"

Lunarin played this list. Yesterday’s show featured several unpublished songs.

At this point, let me just say that Kevin Mathews, Vanessa (and I’m sure Debra) were really, really good. They can hold their own easily.

But to me, Lunarin just had that something extra.

While the band went through their songs, I scanned around the crowd. Particularly those in the cafe area. The incidental listeners. It seemed to me several dropped what they were doing/ eating and were listening intently.

I bet they were wondering about the strangely melodic, classical yet modern sounding music.

At one point in the show, I felt as if the whole world was standing behind and around, listening in.

Hearing Lunarin yesterday gave me those muse-inspired goosebumps.
Kevin Mathews & LUNARIN: "Quiet At The Library"

Kevin Mathews & LUNARIN: "Quiet At The Library"

Kevin Mathews & LUNARIN: "Quiet At The Library"

I chatted with Kevin Mathews after the show. The affable stalwart of the SG music scene said it was the first time he’d heard Lunarin play “unplugged”. And their rock melodies showed a different, and equally positive, side of the band. It showed the strength of their song writing, he told me.

I couldn’t agree more.

I have heard Lunarin ‘unplugged’ before. It was their last show for 2007, fortuitously held at the library@esplanade too. But this time there was something different about their acoustic set. I’m pretty sure the cello and the violin had a lot to do with the (what I consider) their new signature sound.

This time, I also thought there was a certain maturity in Lunarin’s songs. Their overall performance.

Next time Lunarin ever go acoustic, you should catch them.

Nay.

I say Lunarin MUST have an acoustic album.

~ Ivan

Update – videos of Lunarin’s set, post-show (doesn’t have that “live” atmosphere though; you had to be there):

 

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