We fed the Goat. Let's feed the Greek!
September 26, 2006

”City supporters tend to believe that unpredictability is an inherent trait of their team, and label unexpected results "typical City". Events that fans regard as "typical City" include City's being the only reigning English champions ever to be relegated (in 1938), or the more recent example that City was the only team to beat Chelsea in the 2004-05 Premiership, yet in the same season City were knocked out of the FA Cup by Oldham Athletic, a team two divisions lower.” - Wikipedia

Crisis? What crisis?

The past week has been a very agonizing one for Psycho. After suffering a blow to a fellow mid/low-table team at Ewood Park in the weekend, League One team Chesterfield kicked City out of the Carling Cup in a disgraceful 2 – 1 lost. Not to mention the wasteful defeat to Reading the previous week after 90 minutes of having more possession of the ball at the Madejski.

Coming into the West Ham game, there was an assortment of views among the fans. Most backed the manager, looking at the good home record; achieving victory over the Gunners and being the only team, so far, to steal a point from Pompey. At the same time, some were already calling for Pearce and Wardle’s heads. Their pessimism highlighted the dreadful pace of our forwards and the player’s lack of desire. Not to mention the opponent’s hunger for a triumph since the arrival of Tevez and Mascherano.

I was stuck between the two sides, to be honest. But I would certainly not take part in the exchange of curses that Barton and Distin had with the fans after the Chesterfield game. You just don’t do that as a fan.

My worries alleviates somehow as I ponder upon our starting XI. With numerous new signings still unfit to play, I have to say that the lineup was the best we could’ve assembled.

Playing 3-4-3 with Hamman and Jordan helping the defense and Sinclair and Barton feeding in the ball to Corradi, Samaras and Miller was brilliant. This, unlike the usual 4-4-2 would allow the team to push up more and have more control over their offensive front. Evidently, as seen in previous games, Samaras and Corradi really needed the pace of the midfielders to create chances for them to finish.

On the other end, though they started Mascherano, Tevez was on the bench so that was quite a breather.

The first half was a really promising one, with City relentlessly bringing the ball into the Hammers’ penalty box but only for the shots to go wide. Plus, possession of the ball was in our hands. Strangely though, Nicky Weaver was rarely challenged despite the great form of Zamora and Harewood. The first half ended 0 – 0 but left much optimism to the fans, myself included.

City looked stronger than ever entering the second half. The pace and strength of Richards and Miller were literally scaring the hell out of the Hammers defenders. And five minutes into the half, after a blistering run into the penalty box from the other half, Miller’s shot was deflected by a defender only to be coolly ‘chested’ by Samaras before volleying the ball right into the back of the net. And it took City only 13 minutes later for Corradi to head the ball between two defenders, feeding the ball right into Samaras’ feet before he slot the ball into the right corner of the goal. Two goals ended the 21-year old Greek’s goal drought since the later half of last season.

It was a miraculous win to say the least as it shone some light to the future of the club for the season. And it’s the future that we have to really look at. It’s about time the team play some real, good football, as a team.

I call for more starting role for Miller and Richards and bring in them Academy graduates. I’m more than sure there are tons of kids hungry for goals running around the classes in Eastlands.



Nippon Gakki

Perhaps something to kick start my career in music. After Raya, Central Market, Weekends noon - dusk.

Got it for less than five bills at the Yamaha LDP showroom clearance sale.


Now I gotta get me one of those KingPins.



Born Under a Bad Sign
September 22, 2006

They call it stormy Monday. Yes but Tuesday's just as bad...


...Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy on me.

Oh, and little that I know, he dropped by KL some 16 years ago. I was in standard one back then, darn it.



My my my...
September 14, 2006

I'm stumped, or even baffled, if you will, by the number of companies exploiting the word 'my' in their businesses. It's everywhere. And at times, a 'my' at the front would be followed by a '.com' at the back. No matter how they tend to use it, I don't see anything remotely appealing about it.

But as I try hard, pushing my brain's comprehension ability to its limit, to fathom the scenario, I came across something rather amusing on my laptop. This one apparently, belongs to Toshiba...

MyConnect. The only internet connection you'll ever need.

Funny shit IMO. As most might beg to differ, I reckon some would concur.



Reading 1 - 0 City
September 12, 2006

I should’ve just slept early last night. While losing to the rags is just the worst thing in any season, being defeated by a newly promoted side is certainly somewhere down there.

Yet, they did deserve the victory as our desire to win, compared to theirs, was definitely far-fetched from being strong. Well, maybe half of the team gave everything they had but the other half? They were playing as if they were in a pick-up game, with strangers that is.

Going into the game, both teams were at the end of two extremes, us stuck in the pitiful end. Reading has the second best away record in the league with 29 unbeaten games, trailing Chelsea with 46. City on the other hand, have been losing away games since the dreadful second half of last season.

Our starting lineup was decent, to say the least.

The defense was indeed a strong one and I was all out positive with Weaver guarding the posts behind the very men who guarded our penalty box from the mighty cannonballs shot by the Gunners some two weeks ago.

Moving further up on the field though, I started having doubts. Three games into the league and I have yet been impressed by Dabo and though Reyna has experience, I think Hamann would fit the position better.

Up front is where it frightens me. City old-timer Dickov’s only contribution to the team thus far had only been his nuisance to goalkeepers during corner kicks and Corradi, I just don’t know what to make out of him. The critics have been pretty lenient with him saying that he needs time to adjust to the pace of the English game. Myself however, I don’t quite see him producing goals or making a real impact to the team.

Quite surprisingly, we held more possession of the ball throughout the game. Nevertheless, possession doesn’t win you games, goals do; reminds me of the five woodwork shot we had before losing by a goal to Bolton last season.

And after 23 minutes into the game, Icelandic international Ivar Ingimarsson swiftly heads home one for the team.

Entering the second half, I still had hopes of the team securing a point from the Madjeski stadium. Moreover, there was still a very good line of subs on the bench.

Conversely, Psycho did the unthinkable. He subbed Richards for Trabelsi and we all encountered the youngster’s wrath upon being brought out. And it was only appropriate for Psycho to say that he’ll educate him, while endorsing the spirit brought in by the player. As the fans ran amok on the boards of the Blue Moon forum, I can only hope that Richards won’t be another SWP.

The second half subs did well for the team nonetheless. Trabelsi and Miller dashed the ball very efficiently up front and Samaras got himself a few chances, only to fade away amidst the cheers of the Royals.

The team lacked connection. There was no understanding between the players leaving passes going nowhere and dummies being intercepted. The chemistry between the players was no better than that of Anna Nicole Smith and her late husband’s.

As optimistic supporters look at the 4 points we got from 4 games, two of them involving Chelsea, Arsenal and new high flyer Pompey, I’d rather look at Dabo missing the next few games as a bright side, post last night’s game.

I say, come Blackburn this weekend, let Samaras and Corradi start, Richards and Trabelsi handling the left defense and midfield area respectively or vice versa (as Shebby suggested) and Hamann back in the starting XI. And I can’t wait for the debuts of Beasley and Isaksson.

Darn it; one penalty goal from 80 minutes of play. Could’ve done better with Weaver up front I suppose.



Dunia Perlumbaan
September 09, 2006


"Hidup mesti tahu bersyukur. Berpegang kuat pada asas kehidupan, agama dan budaya. Walau apa juga musik yang dimainkan itulah terasnya. Musik blues, rock dan tradisional itu hanya sebahagian daripada seni sahaja."

The words of Ramli Sarip often put me in a bewildered heap. And last night, I had the privilege of listening to them live, in between songs that throughout the years, taught me that we once had our own Deep Purple.

While driving through the messed up traffic of KL, heading towards the tower, I had a million things on my mind. I anticipated a full house, consisting of those who packed Stadium Merdeka during the Sweet Charity reunion some ten years ago. And I expected banners all around the area with stalls selling concert memorabilia.

But as I drove up along the roads of Bukit Nanas, I was reminded of the year that I'm living in. Apart from the opening bands rehearsing up on stage, the atmosphere was anything but extraordinary. It was like any other day at the tower. Even the line entering the tower is much longer that the line going into the concert area. And I was again in awe as I walked into the area and encounter the scarcity of people. It is indeed 2006 and those who came to the reunion concert might be too busy spending quality time with their families that evening, after a hard week's work.

Three bands from NTV7's Rock Unite opened the show and like any other opening act, we had a really long and dreadful hour.

At around 10pm, with a customized Taylor acoustic on his shoulder and backed by a band full of virtuosos, brader Ramli took over the stage and the crowd roared with all their might echoing the area as if they're twice their size. And chants of song titles filled the air; most of them Sweet Charity's classics.

Ramli opened his act with an acoustic verse from Bukan Kerna Nama. He then mumbled some words, put down his acoustic and out came that keyboard intro. The same riff that introduced me to the brilliance of Sweet Charity's music. The same riff that Mamat Khalid used at the beginning of a movie of his about the heydays of Rock Kapak. And the same riff that put the crowd on their feet to sing along to the beautiful words of, Sejuta Wajah.

I was surprised that he chose to play the song that early in the show despite its capacity to shiver the crowd down their spines.

Following Sejuta Wajah was an array of very excellently chosen songs from the prime days of Sweet Charity namely Kamelia, Tahun 2000, Ribut, Jangan Tunggu Lama-lama, Batu and many more that I fail to recall.

The highlight of the night though, has got to be his rendition of the Deep Purple classic, Black Knight. Brader Gamal told me once that back in the late 80s, at the Sweet Charity and Blues Gang double header gig, they did a cover of Child in Time. Well I suppose last night's cover would kick just as much ass.

The other cover for the night was Wonderful Tonight. Just as I thought they'd be playing Dia, the awesome Sweet Charity take on the Clapton classic, Ramli invited the head of SIC whose name I forgot to take over the mic. Seems like a cool enough guy I thought as he got the song word by word.

The only other guest for the night was Lan Pet Pet who was actually a member of the audience. Ramli invited him on stage to do his hand trumpet bit for Teratai and I suppose he did a nice job blending in his weird tone to the song.

We were soaked in sweat from headbanging and air guitaring. But it was definitely all worth it; the most meaningful RM30 I'd ever spend in my entire life. As small as it may be, this very show is way up there in my book, along with the Deep Purple Bananas Tour stop at the Chicago Theatre some two years ago.

Plus, we bumped into brader Ramli while slotting coins into a vending machine. Leaving those few cents in the machine we shook his hands, amek berkat, and snapped this…


At times, I wish I'd lived as a twenty-something during the 70s and 80s as those were the golden decades for our own brand of Rock and Roll. But I breathed a sigh of relief as I drove home last night. Despite living in a world tainted by shitbrick music, I managed to experience to glorious live performances of our legends, or some might prefer, otais.



Mawi World
September 08, 2006


I spent most of the past five years abroad and during the time, I could only drool as I read about the comeback of reunion concerts of our nation's Rock legends. Some of them being Ramli Sarip's Dari Studio Satu gig, May and Lefthanded's Sunday Night Live shows at Planet Hollywood and that Search & Godbless concert that didn't quite took off if I recall correctly. Oh but I did manage to join the army of men clad in leather jackets and tiger/dragon t-shirts for the Scorpion concert at Stadium Merdeka back in 2004; with Search opening for them.

When I first heard about the Triple Mega Malindo concert (cheesy name, I know) not long after touching down KLIA, I knew that there's no reason for me to miss this one. Not until my account balance told me that going to the concert would mean the fasting month coming earlier for me.

So one fine afternoon as I was flicking through the channels, I saw Ella holding up the concert's poster (while simultaneously waving her hair to and fro the corners of the screen no less) and reading two questions to be answered via e-mail; to win tickets to the concert.

Sent the e-mail to TV3. Got the call from EMI. And bang RM70 tucked nicely into my wallet.

We arrived at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club at around 430pm as I had to pick up my ticket around then. And the front gate was flooded with the many likes of locals (that's both Malaysian and Indonesian) mostly dressed to kill. Simply put, the girls reminded me of Cindy Lauper and the guys Boy George. And I had to ask myself if I missed a news of the other bands backing out leaving only Ratu to perform that night.

Nonetheless, I knew deep inside that the 'otais' would arrive later that evening. They knew their messiahs will only play towards the end of the whole show.

As we walked into the racing track, echos of the night's emcee can be heard from afar. It was Bandi of Amuk and as usual, he had his face covered.

"Oih tu Seruan tuh…"

"Aiseh, awat la depa tak buat Ratu main dulu. Takpa la depa main Seruan tu suruh kita Asar dulu. Satgi baru headbanging…"

And headbanged, we did, 'til the break of dawn.

And as noted earlier, Lefthanded opened up the show with Muiz Metalasia fronting them and Man Kidal's son, Elly playing second fiddle to his dad. I also had the pleasure of enjoying the beastly drum poundings of Man Dayak and Yan's utterly dynamic and energetic bass groove. Their set-list included Seruan, Keadilan, Semangat Lamina, Arah Yang Hilang and Tanjung Puteri. While Muiz did an awesome job, I'm still longing to see the famous Mark I line-up with Nash fronting the band.

The next two acts that followed them were Ari Lasso and Ratu. Leaving us with no other choice but indulge on the tantalizing servings of bihun goreng and nasi lemak over at the stalls. And quite surprisingly, nothing was overpriced; allowing us to enjoy seconds with Ratu singing feminist anthems in the background.

We then head straight to the Fly Wings Entertainment stall and got ourselves some super cool Wings t-shirt. They were the shiznitest of t-shirts I kid you not.

"Aduh, 40 tahun gini lagi. Aku pun nak…"

And as the day grew darker, more Kapak fans filled the ground and we walked up right to the front area to enjoy the sultry performance of the country's rock queen, Ella. She featured oldies like Resah, Permata Pemotong Permata and Permata Biru and goodies like Layar Impian and Dua Insan Bercinta. The rather weird surprise of the night, I must say, must've been Saiful Apek's take on Tam Spider's parts on the duet, Dunia Batinku. Would kill myself before I'm a fan of his jokes but I gotta give him credit as he sang the song very well.

Nevertheless, Ella is still the hotness after all these years.

"Oih hang biar betul Salah tak berenti hang windmill tadi tau dak?"

Thereafter, anxiously yet calmly, we waited for the emergence of Awie, Joe, Eddie and Black or otherwise known as Wings, one of the greatest ever eardrum breaking rock bands to ever exist on the planet's surface. Their setup crew took quite a while to get everything in place but deep inside we knew, it will be all worth it.

And out came Awie in a Harley t-shirt and fully patched jeans, Joe with a Black Beauty slung to his body, Black in his trademark white singlet and Eddie, simple as ever posing an XXL Everlast Boxing t-shirt. Ah, the euphoria in the air…

As they played their fast numbers, Bujang Senang, Jerangkung Dalam Almari, Ranggi Metropolis, Peronda Jaket Biru and Lipas Kudung, the crowd roared. And as they played their ballads, Sejati and Semalam Yang Hangat, the crowd choired.

Simply put, despite all odds, Awie lacks none of the energy he had back in his heydays and Joe, is doubtlessly one of the country's top five axemen.

Damn Salah freaked me out when he banged for almost 10 minutes non-stop during Wings.

"Sialla oih ni Immigrant Song. Dengar kat Jimmy Page marah dia nih…"

Dewa was next. I was never a big fan but the majority of the crowd was really there for them, evidently. Yet, I couldn't agree more to those claiming Ahmad Dhani as a brilliant songwriter. Their songs caught me the first time, and with their tight musicianship and video clips backing them up, it was definitely a show to remember; not forgetting Ella coming up to do the Dangdut bit during Sedang Ingin Bercinta.

After Dewa, half of the crowd left the area. And it wasn't a pretty sight.

Yes everyone was tired and it's been a long night. But coming up next is a legendary band who for the last 25 years paved the way for other bands to turn their fantasies into a reality. The band, have been so influential that their songs needs no introduction.

Then again, those who stayed kept on going. Our feet sore and thighs numb. Almost everyone was sitting on the ground. Until…

"Peeeewiiiiiiiiiiiiit…."

Out comes Search. Even with the departure of Kid and Din and the comeback of Hillary into the band, Search still looked strong. And for the night's show, they had Edrie backing up Hillary on his Wolfgang. With that, they exchanged blistering solos throughout the night on Di Pintu Sepi, Pawana and Isi Atau Kulit.

To our disappointment however, the sound for Search wasn't as crisp as the previous bands. Perhaps the PA guy was already exhausted and I don't really blame him. Seven acts is a bit too hefty for a local show.

Still, it was a short yet incredible performance by the band and I doubt anyone there could ever forget the band leading the whole crowd to sing a whole verse of Isabella, with the spotlight on us. Oh yeah…

And we drove home, extremely tired yet utterly satisfied from an outing with the best of our rock and roll legends.

Next stop, Ramli Sarip and Friends, KL Tower, 8/9/06.

PS - Kirah, please gMail me them pics. Trima kasey…

Image credits: The Star, Utusan Malaysia



Crikey!
September 06, 2006

I'll be reporting to PETRONAS LPPG on the 16th. Hence, my dream of catching up with the guys and enjoying Clapton in Chicago, is a no go.

Yet you know what they say, it doesn't end 'til the fat lady sings. And I don't hear no big momma humming...


Ah, the blues with some shrimp on the barbie. Not the bluesiest of towns but since when is Surrey? Oh dear God please let this happen...



Welcome to Eastlands DaMarcus!
September 01, 2006

We all know Captain America needs a sidekick, don't we?





And check out the ball control on this one...




Not quite sure if that's really him though.



Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

About
  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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