When your only memory of a place is the bottom of a plastic bag and how much time you spent throwing up, a return to that place a second time will almost definitely be guaranteed to be better. In this case, 16 years later, it was my pleasure to come back to Da Lat, this time to perform at Rain Nightclub.
Upon arriving at the airport near Da Lat, the temperature and humidity dropped dramatically compared to Ho Chi Minh City. As I stepped off the plane, the horizon spilled in front of me with mountains and pine trees. I hopped onto a bus and soaked up what 31kms to Da Lat had to offer. Sparse land, lots of fresh local produce, farms, people with woven backpacks walking along the road. Passing by waterfalls, the road spiralled through the mountains reaching Da Lat.
With not much time to explore Da Lat, I headed into Cho Da Lat and was coaxed into the wonderful world of ‘muc’ (dried fruits), chanh day (passionfruits) and atiso tea (artichoke teas). The freshness and amazingly sweet and sour sting of the passionfruits in Da Lat is memorably tasty!
A quick sound check at Rain Nightclub occurred in the late afternoon as you can see below:
The organisers dined with me for dinner at the Ocean Palace Restaurant where I had ‘forest pork’ (heo rung) for the first time. It tasted more like beef, really chewy but tasty nevertheless.
The jitters crept into my stomach again at about 8:30pm as I started to prepare for the show and at 11pm, stepped onto stage. It never ceases to amaze me that even on a Tuesday night, a club could be filled out – the Vietnamese really know how to party every night don’t they!
Rain Nightclub had a sick lighting setup as you can see:
I learnt the Da Lat saying of ‘an ngon, ngu ngon’ (eat well, sleep well) and that, I sure did. Thank you for having me Da Lat. Even though I didn’t get to explore much, I think Da Lat to be a wonderfully fresh place, rather shy but a lot of heart in a small town.
Next stop, Hanoi. Til then, love and respect.
Here you go, my first English Only album in Vietnam. About 1.5 year ago, Ha Anh Tuan called me and asked if I wanted to make an English Only album with him. I said ok but I told him that we needed a couple of Vietnamese tracks on there as well because I assumed that the Vietnamese wouldn’t like an album which has only English songs on it.
The idea of the album was to create a story of a bartender; A simple guy who works in a bar and meets female customers, falls in love, wants to party, his heart gets broken, etc. It is fun to write in a certain story because it gives you a clear guideline for writing the lyrics.
The album has been released on Christmas day and the responses to this album are great! It was a big risk but I am glad that people like it. This means that the Vietnamese audience is ready to accept English Only albums which opens some doors for the Vietnamese music industry.
I love the fact that Ha Anh Tuan used a cock on his album cover. He wanted to play around with the word cocktail because the bartender makes a lot of cocktails which have different flavors etc. He was very open to different music styles and what is funny is that all the colors and flavors stand for the different music styles on the album.
For me the cock is extra nice because the Early Risers logo is also a cock :)
When you have a chance, grab a cock-tail and enjoy the music!