Silampukau at Tjikini

Tjikini, a cosy cafe in the heart of Jakarta, was suddenly filled with Surabayans and music enthusiasts as Silampukau serenaded everyone on a quiet Monday evening.

They came all the way from the East Java’s capital the week before and this was their last performance in Jakarta, before they headed to Bandung the next day. They did a gig in Mondo on Saturday and many interviews throughout the weekend before their performance at Tjikini.

I was pretty late to find out about this amazing band. My friend Tinta had often mentioned them in social media but I never seemed to have the time to really listen to their music. Felix, a music writer and fellow Tjikini’s frequent visitor, had told me how awesome their album was, but still I hadn’t really taken a listen before recently.

I played their songs in my office and my colleague instantly said that they sounded like Iwan Fals, Indonesia’s famous folk singer who in the early days often sang about people’s struggle against the ruling power.

Silampukau however, sang more about the struggle of young people for some pleasure in the city. The memories of their sins, which were not always being regretted, and in their opinion, might not be so bad after all.

Their latest album was called “Dosa, Kota, & Kenangan” (Sin, City, & Memories), a collection of stories about their hometown Surabaya with all its complexity, and how there is always another side of the story. The harsh life of those who live in the city, once full of hopes but now they all fade away, and how people (men) buying alcohol and going to the red light district for an escape.

Thick Surabayan accents could be heard between the sing-alongs and the exciting cheers of the crowd, especially during the songs “Si Pelanggan”, “Sang Juragan”, and “Malam Jatuh Di Surabaya”.

“Si Pelanggan” tells about Dolly, a famous red light district in Surabaya, and here goes the chorus:

Di dasar kerat-kerat bir
Yang kutenggak dalam kafir,
Di ujung ceracau malam yang lingsir,
Di dengung hambar aspal yang terus bergulir,
di lubang-lubang nyinyir ranjang matrimoni,
kupertanyakan nasibmu Dolly, oh Dolly.

The performance was a bit too short, and they only played one song at encore – “Cinta Itu” from their debut release “Sementara Ini” EP

setlist: (thanks to Felix!)
Prologue in A Major (Waltz of Things That Don’t Matter Anymore)
Lagu Rantau (Sambat Omah)
Balada Harian
Bola Raya
Malam Jatuh Di Surabaya
Aku Duduk Menanti
Sang Juragan
Si Pelanggan
Puan Kelana
Doa 1
Sampai Jumpa


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