When people talk about Penang’s art scene they don’t say, but really mean, everything to do with the arts. As well as exhibited fine art and murals, the State of Penang and especially the Island continuously highlight talent in the written word, dance, theatre and music.
Mirroring the beat movement that gave rise to impromptu music sets launching into soul, blues, country and psychedelica in the late 1950s and early 1960s, for example around Greenwich Village in New York, Penang has a steady stream of informal music evenings.
The venues are usually similar – café orientated with relative doses of chic or hodgepodge but always unassuming and relaxed. The vibe is decidedly free and easy.
Say It Like You Mean It
On the last Sunday of every month, Say It Like You Mean It hosts a platform for budding musicians and entertainers to learn and perform at the same time.
Geared towards mentorship, the venue aims to provide a space for musicians and storytellers to practice delivering their creativity to the public.
Join this tight-knit, community driven enterprise to get your share of the limelight or enjoy the eclectic music and spoken word on offer.
Venue: Say It Like You Mean It
Date: Last Sunday of the month
Address: Kim Haus, 9 Campbell Street, George Town, Penang
Contact: Call 013-802 1911, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Mike at Kampong Serani
On the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, “The Musicians Village” centre operated under Kampong Serani is another avid venue for those in love with open mic nights.
Complete with full music and band facilities, including music and video production, Kampong Serani is well set up to deliver quality, off the cuff music. Live music performances, which will include young upcoming Penang musicians, flow constantly through the venue, spearheaded by weekly performances from “The ROZELLS”.
True to its village moniker, Kampong Serani’s endearing quality seems to be in its friendly atmosphere extended to regulars and newcomers alike.
Venue: Kampong Serani
Date: 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month
Address: Kampong Serani, Lebuh Melayu, George Town, Penang.
Contact: Email email@example.com
Music and Spoken Word at Gusto Café
For those outside of George Town – people living in Tanjung Bungah or tourists staying in Batu Ferringhi – Gusto Café in provides a monthly assortment of live music and spoken word.
On the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month, the neighbourhood café holds a night of stand-up comedy, poetry and readings to while away the evening.
Alternatively, on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, Gusto holds an evening of live music. There has never been more choice! Both nights are open to anyone willing to share their creativity but prior booking is advised.
Venue: Gusto Cafe
Date: Spoken word, poetry and readings – 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. Music – 2nd 3rd Saturday of the month
Address: 4, Jalan Sungai Kelian, Tanjung Bungah, Penang
Contact: Call +60 4-890 4012
Jammin’ at Living Room
The last outpost spreading the open mic scene along Penang Island’s northern shore is Living Room in Batu Ferringhi.
Every Friday and Saturday night the quirky caff hosts an inclusive jammin’ session “open to all who can play an instrument or sing along”.
To the hilarious shock of some visitors, small riffs and back-and-forths inevitably launch into full-scale songs and ballads whipping all guests into a frenzy.
Venue: Living Room
Date: Every Friday and Saturday of the month
Address: 43-c Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi, Penang
Contact: Call 017-477 2148