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A tribute to the masters

The silver anniversary of larger-than-life rockers Carabao is celebrated with a new album and concert

A tribute to the masters

Mon Pleng Carabao (Tribute to Carabao) takes place at 7pm tomorrow at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani. Tickets ranging from Bt500 to Bt2,000 are available from Thaiticketmajor

To celebrate 25 years in showbiz, songs-for-life legends Carabao will host a concert with no less than 28 artists of various genres and generations singing the band's hits. Carabao's nine members will reunite at Impact Arena, where fans will enjoy pop-jazz, rock and look thung versions of Carabao songs in this special tribute.

"The three-hour show will feature 31 songs - mostly from the latest tribute album 'Mon Pleng Carabao'," says Tiva Sarachudha, the show's producer, who also produced the album.

"The quality of the live show by professional artists and the sound system hosted by Ninja Entertainment will be highlight of the show," says Tiva, who is also a music critic and editor of Season magazine. The artists have been rehearsing for more than two months.

Tiva says that three or four projectors will portray images and messages appropriate for each song. Also to be shown on the big screen will be photos tracing the history of Carabao over the last quarter century.

"Except for Rungrudee Pangpongsai and Wipoj Petchsupan, who are now abroad, the artists singing and performing in this album will be onstage. This tribute show will be performed by quality Thai musicians of different generations who have been influenced by Carabao."

Tiva selected 26 tunes out of 500 songs for the album. Through the last 25 years, the band has sung about politics, philosophy, love, humour and patriotism. The album features two discs of 26 rearranged songs including the bonus track, "Khon Sang Chart", featuring 28 singers. Topping the best-selling charts, the album had sold more than 200,000 copies since being released by Warner Music Thailand two months ago.

In an era where music is easily downloaded from the Internet, that's a lot of albums. Tiva was aided in the preparation of the album by Yuenyong "Ad" Ophakul, while pianist and keyboardist Isra Suwannatvipa was in charge of the rearrangements.

Alternative rocker Thanachai "Pod" Ujjin of Modern Dog gives a rendition of "Talay Jai", an old favourite by the veteran songs-for-lifers, while Peerapat "Bee" Tanewong of Crescendo performs the mega-hit "Bua Loy". Thanaporn "Kib" Jaruwanakul of Monotone takes on "Rak Tong Sue" in a pop-jazz style, while Stone Metal Fire's Patompong "Pong" Sombat-pibul sings "Fah Long" in a pop-rock style.

Veteran vocalist Setha Sirachaya from 1970s legends The Impossibles makes the less-popular "Mai Phai" more widely known, while Charas Fueng-arom sings "Lom Pad Jai Pe" and Surasee Itthikul gives new life to the philosophical "Sathuchon".

Look thung master Chai Muangsing sings "Rak Thorahod" in a quick rhythm matching his signature style, while Sayan Sanya performs "Barb Borisut" in a heavier rock style.

Look thung legacy Surachai Sombatcharoen sings "Phaa Khiriew", Sunaree Ratchasima sings "Ngaem Jai" and Monsit Kamsroi is featured in a R&B version of "Tukkaya".

Back-up musicians featured are Isra on the piano and keyboard, drummer Nol Singholaka, electric guitarist Chakarin "Pop" Duongmaneerattanachai of the Sun, acoustic guitarists Kirati Prohmsaka Na Sakolnakorn and Payat Puvichai, bassist Suthep Panampan, percussionist Natawut Leekul and saxophonist Sombat Prohmma.

The strings section comprises Suwan Manosorn and Jirawat Sudsamran on the violin, Somkeit Srikham on the viola, and Pipat Suanchupol on the cello.

"It's such a good experience working on this album and in the live show with these experienced artists. The rearrangements are so charming. Each artist has his own unique style. Carabao is the Kingdom's legend, it's the right time to pay tribute to them," says Pop, a long-time Carabao fan. 

Phatarawadee Phataranawik  

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