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Unexpected Jam in Singapore – with Luke Buirski

September 21, 2012

I went out for a late meal after midnight at a food court in Singapore, around the corner from the Actors Jam bar. I had a cold meal – let down for the first time with the quality of the food, as it was meant to be hot! – and then I decided to drop into the Actors Jam bar again, for the second night in a row. I did not expect to find anything of interest, and I was initially quite let down when I was told that the jamming would stop at 1:45. It usually goes to about 3 AM. But then everything changed very quickly, and I had an amazing night, and a cool meeting.

I ordered a half a pint of beer quickly, ripped out my guitar and went on stage with a drummer and a lead guitar player. The drummer looked local – Singaporean/Chinese, maybe – but the guitar player looked Western. I thought he was a local businessman or a tourist. He said he was a singer-song writer, and I was skeptical. “Okay,” I said to myself, “well, let’s see.”

Then as I was plugging in, he started playing some cool fingerpicking stuff to warm up, and I said, “hmm,” sounds good. But everything had to be hurried to get in a few songs before the place closed, and unlike on the previous night there was actually an audience of a few people, including a couple of women who were clearly expecting some good music – or hoping for some, anyway.

So this western guy told me just to play and he would play along. I did “Mad World.” What else? And within a few chords, I said to myself, “Hey wait, this guy’s got chops!” Soon I was not thinking about whether he could play or not, but just jiving along and buzzing along, and before I knew it, we had played maybe five songs and torn the place apart. Actually, the woman ended up leaving before we even noticed, as we were having so much fun.

Afterwards, when the bar closed, we went off and continued playing until 5:30 AM, exchanging our own compositions, and introducing each other to our favorite various musicians on YouTube. It turned out that Luke Buirski is from Tasmania originally, he grew up in and studied music in Singapore, and now he is living as a studio musician, performer and teacher of music. He plays a wicked lead guitar, does some great song compositions and at 23 years old, I’d say he’s got a great future.

But most of all, the even once again revived my faith in the beauty of stepping out into situations where you think nothing will happen, and finding another world there. Everything happened so quickly that for once I was unable to make any recordings or videos. So in lieu of that, I’m putting up some of the videos of Luke and his band.

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