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Man about town

Aussie bluesman visits
SIEM Reap is becoming a magnet for travelling Australian blues players. Aussie blues legend Phil Manning gave a debut Siem Reap performance earlier this month at FCC Angkor, and hot on the heels of that was a visit this week from a bluesman from Cairns, Australia.

The bluesman, Andy ‘Sugarcane’ Collins, arrived in town on Christmas Eve and left for a boat trip to Battambang on Tuesday.

Accompanied by his trusty guitar, Collins gave private performances while in town, planning a proposed tour of the Kingdom after he winds up his annual US tour later in 2011. Siem Reap is firmly chalked in on his itinerary.

During his stay, he passed around copies of his acclaimed CD Way Down The River to some of the more attractive but bemused patrons at Mikey’s Bar. The compilation had won him a coveted Australian Blues Album of the Year award in February 2008.

Collins was last seen at Mikey’s pondering how, or indeed even why, a live massage fish had made an appearance in his rum and coke.

Giant concerts at fair
A MIND-BOGGLING gaggle of famous Cambodian singers will perform tonight, tomorrow and Sunday at “giant” concerts at the Siem Reap International Commerce Trade Fair at the Angkor Kjong Yu recreation area.

The fair itself, organised by the Siem Reap Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with Angkor Cable Television, and supported by the Siem Reap Authority and Provincial Tourism Ministry, started yesterday. The concerts kick off tonight.

The all-star line-up includes Ork Sokun Kanha, Chhon Sovannareach, Chhert Sovan Phanha, Sapon Midada, Nop Phanha Rith, Pich Sophea, Sokun Nisa, Vin Savet, Sok Pisey, Khemarak Serimon, Keo Veasna, Chhay Virakyuth, Orm Kuncola, Heng Vithou, San Phanit and Noy Vannet.

The singers are from the Hong Meas, Big Man, and Sunday production companies.

This is the second annual fair, with the theme “Clean City, Clean Resort, Good Service.”

The 2009 inaugural fair attracted about 50,000 people, and the fair’s program manager Va Kri told 7Days reporter Thik Kaliyann that he expects  double that this year, hoping for a turnout of about 100,000.

He said that with such big crowds expected, local authorities were cooperating to ensure there was no replay of the Koh Pich bridge tragedy.

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