May 28, Clarke Quay. You know what music festivals are supposed to present: Many bands performing on several stages and the bittersweet dilemma of which of your favorite bands to catch or miss because of clashes in performance times.
What Singapore lacks in terms of space for multiple stages, Music Matters tried to make up for by hosting the bands—over 40 of them—in different venues around Clarke Quay. Which worked out well, because all were within easy walking distance from each other. This festival also gave good opportunity to participating venues to showcase themselves as decent live music joints—good for smaller bands that prefer alternative spaces to Fort Canning Park or *SCAPE, for example. And with each of the bands playing a few gigs, on different days in different venues and at different times, chances of them being heard by a wider audience were higher.
Music-wise, even though each act was given just a 20-minute slot to perform, all of the ones we caught—Pitchtuner and Evaline on the Main Stage; Sweet Jane and Goober Gun at Se7en1nch—played good sets without a hitch. They all looked like they were really happy to be here. While the songs were good enough teasers to introduce new music to the crowd, we do wish they could play longer; even smaller bands at European festivals get 30-40 minutes of playtime.
Here’s to hoping the next Music Matters gets even better.