The misconception of patriotism can somehow lead to destruction. It’s not wrong to be too nationalistic but if it’s too much until it leads to prejudice and discrimination then just forget about it.
On last Friday (12th March), we were asked to take part in an acoustic show at Lepaq Cafe in Kelana Jaya by our friend for his band’s CD launch party. I arrived quite late that night because I’ve been stuck in a massive traffic jam earlier on. Lucky the show haven’t started when I arrived.
Anyway, it was the first time for all of us to be at that cafe. At first I was wondering why my friend chooses that place, but according to him, he chooses that cafe because the ambiance was quite suitable for an acoustic show and decided to give it a try. Besides us, there were also 3 other bands/ solo entertainer performing that night.
Being the second last band on that night, we decided to play only 5 songs. We did not want to bore other people since that night supposed to be our friend’s album launch party; so, we decided to keep it short and simple. With acoustic guitars and a simple drum set, we did it as decent as we could. Everything was like normal. Then it came to the forth songs. Before we played it, as usual, Hana proclaimed that the next song would be a cover song by an Indonesian band called Marjinal (just to be polite to the original band). We played as usual, suddenly our drummer stopped playing. I heard he said “why, why??” in stern tone. I saw a guy was standing beside him yelled “No Indonesian songs here”. It was kind of humiliation when the owner of the place asked us to stop the music while we were playing. He asked us to stop not because the constituent of the song but he cannot accept the song is originated from Indonesia. Yoyo and I were clueless, Hana was speechless, Cem obviously pissed off, Alak gave us signal to keep on playing and so did several of the audience while the others still clueless. I should admit; it was the most awkward moment in my entire life. Mulish as we were; we continued playing.
Right after we finished, the guy took the microphone and said “Kat sini kita tak galakkan lagu Indonesia ehh...kita patut support our local scene. Hidup satu Malaysia!!” (Indonesian songs are not advisable here and we should support our local scene. Hail 1 Malaysia!!). I was like...”what the hell?” Cem yelled “Fuck 1 Malaysia” and he left that place, whilst all of us (without Cem) managed to stay for the sake to watch our friend’s show. Keladak (my friend’s band) played all of their songs that night. Their songs were a mixture of Audioslave and a bit of stoner rock kind of music (I’m not expert when it comes to music genre, hehe). They also dedicated a song from Iwan Falls’ (Indonesian singer) – Bento to us. Thanks to Keladak, it was really comforting.
To me, music is a source of satisfaction. Without it, this world would be meaningless. Music can make you feel patriotic, spiritual, angry, happy, sensual, inspire, you name it. It stimulated the brain to think and make brilliant art. There should be no right or wrong when it comes to music preferences. It was kind of ridiculous when you can’t play song from certain Country, but frames of Bob Marley, Ernesto Che’ Guevara & The Beatles were hanging pompously on the wall. Music is universal; you lose nothing if you listen to different kind of music from different Country. There is no such thing as ‘originality’ in one song. Don’t forget, even our ‘Negaraku’ song was actually adopted from a popular French song called ‘La Rosalie’. I was wondering, how to improve our local scene if there are too much restrictions? Plus, discrimination towards certain people is not good. I mean, why should we hate each other?
When the show ended, all of us went to the nearby Mamak for a drink. Cem was there, and all of us realized maybe there are good things behind the incident. We are glad because we continued to play a song from Indonesia that night even though the owner asked us to stop.
As we passed by the cafe to the parking lot, The Cure song was played loudly by the in-house band. I just looked at that place; knowing myself well that I will never come back.