The three Thai musicians who make up the Bangkok Traveller Band spent their teenage years repeatedly listening to cassette tapes of Western music.
Lead singer and drummer Goff said he would write down words one by one in English, try to learn the meaning and the spelling, and spend hours learning to copy the singer’s Western style accent correctly.
Guitarist and vocalist Sak, and bassist and backing vocalist Chang learnt the same way.
“It was very difficult,” says Goff, who owns the G&G Music shop in Phuket Town.
“But 30 years ago, we had to do that. We had to be English-language musicians and there was no other convenient way to do it. There was no internet or YouTube or anything like that back then, and we had very limited English-language teaching at schools.”
“It was hard, but being musicians is our job, it’s our life. And it was at a time [in Phuket] when people, including many tourists, wanted to listen to English songs.”
Chang, who runs a mini-mart in Bang Tao, and Goff were friends from Bangkok, who 17 years ago decided to try their fortune in Phuket.
After a few years performing on the island they returned to Bangkok. Goff moved to Germany for three years, and then went touring as the drummer for famous Thai pop singer Pongsit Kanpee, a performer Goff describes as the “Thai Bob Dylan”.
Meanwhile, Chang was touring with The President Band, a Thai soul music group. He and Goff eventually returned to Phuket and met up with Sak, a local Phuket musician who works at the Bangkok Store music shop in Phuket Town.
The band in its current form has only been together for around six months, but all three have a lifetime of performing experience behind them. A covers band, they specialise in 1980s and 90s rock.
The Bangkok Traveller Band plays at Angus O’Tools in Karon on Fridays from 9pm, and at the Craic Irish bar (near Peppers in Laguna) on Thursdays and Sundays from 9.30pm. For more information contact Goff on 081-646-1986.