As the New Year came and went, and celebrations disappeared from view, the boys from PlanB were otherwise occupied - readying themselves for yet another Asian adventure. This time around, a return to the exotic climes of Cambodia was in the offing. Five shows had been scheduled, spread across a couple of weekends in the beautiful, chaotic and intoxicating cities of Phnom Penh, Battambang and Siem Reap.
After catching up for rehearsals at Sharky’s Bar on Day One, PlanB rocked the Cambodian capital at the Phnom Penh Hard Rock Café with their first show of the tour. The three sets of vibrant rock ‘n’ soul proved a mind-blowing way to kick things off.
From there it was up to Cambodia’s second-biggest city, Battambang. A white-knuckle ride along the famous Bamboo Railway was mandatory, as was a restorative beverage afterwards. The band played to an enthusiastic crowd of ex-pats and locals on Sunday night at the fabulous Here Be Dragons, to the delight of all concerned.
The next stop was the historic Siem Reap, where PlanB played two concerts on consecutive days. The first was a gig at the Cambo Beach Club; a fund-raiser for the Angkor Hospital for Children. What a night – the boys were smoking! In fact, the only thing hotter than the band were the fire eaters! For Friday’s show it was on to another Hard Rock Café; this time it was the turn of the Angkor HRC in Siem Reap.
It was a triumphant return to Phnom Penh, and Sharky’s Bar, for the final concert of the tour. A packed house made the most of being treated to a special show by one of their favourite bands, and PlanB left nothing in the locker.
Cambodia had provided much in the way of cultural expansion for band members; the boys visited temples, the circus, a hospital and a children’s home. They sampled many delights amongst the local food and beverage options. PlanB travelled by plane, boat, tuk-tuk and bus to make the tour happen. They made friends with people everywhere they went; new acquaintances included monks, bar staff, drivers, performers and local people simply going about their daily business. It was a two-way street, though. In their own inimitable way, PlanB also provided the good folk of Cambodia the opportunity of sampling a little bit of the band’s own culture. Judging by the level of appreciation, it would appear that Cambodians enjoyed immersing themselves in the PlanB experience!
Arriving back in Adelaide, it was a case of “Wow! What just happened?” but band members didn’t have too long for reflection – they were almost immediately back in the studio to begin work on the next release.