Unless you stay in Punggol or Sengkang, you’d most likely never set foot into OBAR Ponggol. Despite the ulu location, you should still make your way down to this modern bistro bar which boasts a nightly pool of local musicians and great food to boot.
Most Singapore bands are pretty gender neutral, so an all-female group is quite a refreshing experience. Introducing homegrown band, MissChief.
Playing every Saturday night from 9.30pm to 12.45am, MissChief is an all-female Singapore band that boasts a unique mix of dynamism, versatility and style.
From left to right, the ladies of MissChief are Mabel Lim on keyboard, Jamie Lee on drums, Chanel Pang as the lead vocalist, and Jenix Ee on guitar and backup vocals.
Meghan Trainor’s cheeky “All About That Bass” was the opening piece of the night with Chanel’s escalating vocals hyping up the crowd.
We later got to know that Chanel entered the scene after emerging as a finalist of Mediacorp’s singing talent search show, Project SuperStar. She then proceeded to enthrall the crowd with her touching cover of Jay Chou’s “Love Confession” (告白气球 ).
Jenix later took over with her unique rendition of Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance“, although I felt that the song could do with a deeper register.
Jamie’s drumming prowess accompanied Jenix’s strumming, enrapturing the crowd even further.
MissChief’s playful rendition of Jolin Tsai’s “Turn A Blind Eye” (睁一只眼闭一只眼 ), paired with Mabel’s swift tempo buildup on the keyboard, was a definite crowd-pleaser.
Playing a total of three sets, MissChief covered an eclectic mix of English Pop, Mando Pop and a few Canto songs. These included Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You“, OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars”, JJ Lin’s “If Only” (可惜没如果 ), Eric Chou’s “Let’s Not Be Friends” (以后别做朋友 ), just to name a few.
You may request for Korean and Japanese song covers but the ladies will only sing them if they are familiar with the lyrics.
The highlights of their performances were undoubtedly their original medleys. Fresh, unique and well-transitioned, it was evident that the ladies had put in a great deal of effort rehearsing.
One such medley is their rendition of Hong Kong-based singer, GEM’s “Light Years Away” (光年之外 ), mashed with Norwegian music producer and DJ, Alan Walker’s “Faded“.
We also managed to talk to the four outstanding ladies about their passion, the challenges they faced and their favourite crowd to play to.
What is it like to be a musician in Singapore?
Jamie: “I’ve probably been doing music gigs for about two to three years now. At the start, it was really difficult. You’d find it hard to find places and stages to play, places that would pay you to play. I was quite fortunate enough to meet MissChief and the people along the way.”
Mabel: “The industry is pretty small as most of us here will know. So, competition is pretty stiff. You have so many keyboardists, so many singers, so many bands around. So, it is tough trying to set yourself apart to prove your worth. So, I think one thing we are constantly trying to do is to prove ourselves and it is also really rewarding.”
Any particular favourite crowd to play to?
Jenix: “We find that the ‘ang mohs’ (Westerners) are quite nice. When we play at Clarke Quay, we usually sing bilingual songs. Even though they don’t understand those songs, they will still clap and cheer.”
Chanel: “Talking about the ‘ang moh’ crowd at Clarke Quay, they may not understand a word we are singing, but they can feel the emotions. They’d come to us and say, ‘We are from Australia and we really love your music’. It’s a kind of achievement; people can feel what you are trying to express.”
What are your thoughts on making it big?
Chanel: “We are all trying very hard. We are trying to work on our own EP. It’s still tough but hopefully we will have something by next year, so look forward to 2018.”
What’s a bar experience without consuming some of its food?
OBAR Ponggol serves up a wide variety of savoury bar bites that go well with a pint or two. Besides the standard fries and wings, you can expect to see unique options such as the sinfully delicious Baked Escargots ($17.80), juicy Crackling Pork Belly ($12.80) or BBQ Stingray ($20.80).
Lively, attractive and enthusiastic on stage, there is no denying that MissChief has the potential to go big. Catch them live and witness the magic for yourself at OBAR Ponggol every Saturday night.
Date & Time: MissChief showcase – Every Saturday, 9.30pm to 12.45am