Some people travel out of the country at the end of the year to visit their family or just to get away from everyone else. Some travel within the country (aptly named the “staycation”), and possibly even take advantage of the year-end sales by splurging their yearly savings on material things that make their eyes sparkle in glee – at least for the first few days after.
What about those who don’t do any of the above though? What’s there to do in the vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur during Christmas if you don’t travel or shop like mad? Go listen to music lah!
Aside from the glorious food and never-closing eateries, Kuala Lumpur is also home to several venues that deliver some of the best music you’ll ever listen to – what better way to spend Christmas if you’re not travelling?
1) For the jazz-heads: No Black Tie
Situated on the little streets off Jalan Changkat, No Black Tie is a cosy little jazz bar (bistro?) and venue that tenderly strings the hearts of jazz-fans and newcomer’s alike.
Playful fonts that make up the slightly ironic name greet you as you walk up to the wooden door – that’s probably plastered with posters of current and upcoming gigs. Swing it open and you’ll be greeted by a small little bar where one will usually pay for the cover-fee of gigs (which varies, depending on who’s playing that night).
Step in deeper past the bar however, and you’ll be in the room where the harmonies happen. The walkway you step through opens into a V-shaped room where wooden panels make the walls and floor. A little stage flanked by speakers sits at the wider end facing you. This is the room where great music and vocals play off the walls, and you know it.
There’s a little saying in the music scene about No Black Tie – if someone’s playing there, then they’ve got to be good. From the usual jazz, blues, and swing, and to the occasional pop, just about every band that’s played in No Black Tie is a fantastic experience.
Take a look at their event schedule, get in there, grab a drink, lean back, and listen.
2) Wine, Dine, Music: Bobo Kuala Lumpur
If fine foods are to be the prelude to a harmonious night, you’ll want to pay a visit to Bobo KL. Located slightly away from the centre of Bangsar’s bars and clubs is where Bobo lay; a small fine dining establishment that places its dining area on the first-floor with its rustic speakeasy piano lounge on the second.
The main dining area on the first floor is where your taste buds get to dance with the fine foods from their European menu. The entire room is decorated in a very welcoming warm earthy tone, complemented by very tasteful art pieces on the walls – apparently each of them has a story behind it!
The true magic of Bobo however, lays in the epilogue of the European fine dining (if you dined in). Follow the stairs up to the second-floor and you’ll see the speakeasy bar separated from the piano lounge by plush curtains. Like the dining area, the décor of the rustic piano lounge is well-thought – a dark room that’s given warmth by candles and an open ceiling.
Patrons sit around small tables that scatter around the stage. The sound in Bobo’s lounge isn’t the best, but it will make do as patrons sit near the stage, bringing a sense of closeness with the performers. Cover charges apply for the gigs of course, but you do get 50% off if you’re going to dine-in before the show.
They’ve got a great line-up for all of December, including the awesome Elvira Arul. Check out their events schedule!
3) Chillout at the Waikiki Bar
If there’s a bar that often comes to mind when the word “chill” is mentioned, then it’s going to be Waikiki Bar – a small little bar that overlooks the PJ Kelab community pool. True to the nature of its name, Waikiki’s seats and surfaces are all made up good ‘ol rattan; there’s a really tropical-vibe about the place.
Light meals and all kinds of beverages accompany the patrons as they listen to all kinds of music. The bar takes on an open-mic sort of approach to performers: Bands play in a small corner of the place in really close proximity to everyone else – they’ll even ask patrons to join in with their music sometimes.
The best part about the bar is truly in the music. It’s an open-air bar, but the acoustics are still great whether you’re sitting at the front or back. But in such a hidden and quaint little bar, who plays here? You’d be surprised! Lots of great local and foreign talents play in Waikiki and you’ll get music from timeless rockers to the most soulful of musicians at Waikiki.
If you just want to kick back and relax, then Waikiki’s quite the place for it. Just drop by, grab a drink, some snacks, and enjoy the great atmosphere.
This article was written by Lord Tan from iPrice Group, a guy with with an opinion on almost everything but he’s mostly vested in things pertaining music, travel, technology, gaming, and other geeked-out hobbies.