It was Boxing Day 2010 and the PlanB entourage rolled in to Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon as we were referring to it back then). Those who followed the band's 2009/2010 tour would see considerable similarities touring the same countries, however in reality that is where the similarities end. Peter Spooner and Glen Torrens (keyboards and sax 2009) decided not to join this tour and so it proceeded with a new tenor sax player from Darwin, Dave O’Callaghan. We did not tour with a keyboardist this second time around.
After traditional welcome drinks, the following day the band boarded a pre-sunrise bus to Phnom Penh. This tour to the Kingdom of Wonder commenced with some intense local rehearsal sessions as once again the band was gathering from various corners of Australia and Sneaky Pete was still working overseas. In addition to exclusively playing for the Sharky Bar whilst in Phnom Penh, PlanB were able to rehearse in a spare room at the bar.
During the previous tour we played a music festival at Sharky Bar, a legendary Phnom Penh music bar. The festival was called Penhstock. This was an incredible gig for PlanB .......however it wasn’t even close to the madness of playing at Sharky’s for their 2010 New Years Eve party. Locals still recall that night as one of the best parties held at Sharky’s. After a couple more gigs over the next few days the band made its way back to Saigon just in time to catch our breath and change direction from party band to a more serious rock and roll recording band.
PlanB played various venues in Saigon over the following fortnight, with a particular standout venue being the Acoustic Bar, a sweet music venue dedicated to supporting original live acts.
The highlight of the tour however was meeting and working with Tran Manh Tuan, one of Vietnam’s most prominent saxophonists. The band recorded numerous songs for the album Too Late the Hero, in his home recording studio. These were busy, heady days as we were gigging at night and recording during the day. On one of our rare nights off, a few of us headed to Sax 'n' Art, Tran Manh Tuan’s Jazz club in Saigon. Our singer Brett Monten even got up on stage and belted out some crooner classics with Tran Manh Tuan and his band. We were blessed to have Tran Manh Tuan lay down sax solo’s on two album tracks, So Saigon and Too Late the Hero.