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Samui Music - Island Tunes

Text by Jens from Kohsamui.org

When I think about the Samui island, I also think of music. Most places on our Planet Earth can probably be associated with some kind of music. As Koh Samui is visited by people from all over the world, you can today hear most music genres in different clubs, restaurants, bars etc. on the island. From traditional Thai country music (Luk Thung) in a Thai barbecue restaurant to Club Jazz in a stylish trendy café or even Heavy Metal in a "biker bar". Of course, the local Samui people has their own local favorites and national artists as Carabao, Loso, Silly Fools, Bird (Thongchai McIntyre), Palmy, China Dolls, Tata Young etc. Many of these superstars has performed in Chaweng, and naturally, these concerts attracts a lot of the locals and also some of the "farangs".

Except form Thai music, I am sure that Bob Marley is one of the most played artists on Samui. His brilliant relaxed Jamaican tunes and "love and freedom" lyrics has attracted so many people, that he has almost become an icon here. Maybe a little "remarkable" as Jamaica is found on a continent on the other side of the world (but on similar latitude though). Of course the famous nightclub Reggae Pub on Chaweng with a giant board and picture of the Reggae legend, has probably increased his popularity even more on Samui.

I remember the nights on Bauhaus (Lamai) and Reggae Pub 1991/92, when Samui was much more of a backpacker destination. People were dressed in batik colored loose trousers or sarong and the average age seemed to be about twenty-five. The friendly DJ on Bauhaus played Soup Dragons "I am Free" (a Rolling Stones cover) and "New Year's Day" with U2 almost every night, but no one, including myself, seemed to get bored. At 4 AM some people were dancing on the tables, continue until dawn. There were not the same regulations regarding opening hours then.

Much later, in 2005, CoCo Blues arranged the Samui Music Festival, and this was somehow a milestone in the music history on Samui. Internationally know artists as; Jerry Lee Lewis, The Wailers, Jools Holland and UB40 performed at the big stage at the Chaweng lakeside. Many bands has also entertained us regularly on these island; Ovada (a fantastic show band from the Philippines, famous for a spectacular scene show including bottles and high kicks), Ritchie Newton (Elvis), FLOW, The Roaring Bhoys and Lee Shamrock are just a few examples. CoCo Blues has offered high standard blues like Memphis Gold and Drunken Monkees for some time, and many clubs on the island are often visited by internationally known DJ's. "Don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be all right!" - Bob Marley, 1976.

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