Sunday, July 25, 2004

Day started early again, it being yet another last Sunday of the month. We were running a little late with our breakfast sandwiches and missed our bus. Not wanting to arrive any later, we caught a cab which was way faster than the bus-MRT ride could have ever been. We arrived 10 minutes early, and we were for once the earliest contributors at the Friendship Sunday breakfast. (Oh, wait, not counting the time we brought sandwiches and then discovered that there was no Friendship Sunday event that month! Doh...!)

We also found out that we had a reputation of being the last contributors to arrive every month. That is, everyone was complimenting us on the prompt sandwich delivery for a change. Usually it's more like saving the best for the last. Thank you.

Budak Pantai were our guest performers this month. The name of the group translates from Malay as "Beach Boys," so I guess the guys who gave us "Surfin' USA" and "California Girls" were the inspiration for this talented group of acapella musicians. As we had arrived early, we could watch them working over their pre-show preparations. It's nice to see performers who are professional enough to focus on setting up their tech properly rather than going over the motions of their performance in a last minute rehearsal. It shows confidence in the performers and an attention to details that are usually taken for granted -- the technicals: e.g., sound checking and balancing -- that if not prepared well and well before-hand could just as easily ruin a good show.

The members of Budak Pantai are all professional career people who only sing together in their spare time. One of the members happens to be the reigning "Singapore's Brainiest Lawyer." It must be great to be so multi-talented.

Their performance was light-hearted and good-natured, though very focused. Their voices harmonized well and their arrangements of familiar religious chorales are as surprising as they are refreshing. Their rendition of a Christmas carol that I've for the moment forgotten the title of was sung to a catchy Caribbean rhythm with faux accent to boot and was almost danceable to. If we had given them more time, they would have given us more of their cheery, improvised patter but we only gave them 4 songs and it all ended too quickly, I thought.

Nice to see Kit again who is making a whirlwind drop-in from Manchester to surprise her dad (my uncle) on his birthday. The whole family on my Dad's side had a local buffet lunch at the Peninsular Hotel. The food was only so-so, but the company was excellent. Discussions about the upcoming beach wedding party pretty much went nowhere as both groom and bride-to-be were simply allowing things to happen rather than making any actual plans for the event. Their laissez faire approach might upset a few people, but it's almost modus operandi in my family. Particularly amongst the males. Heh.

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