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Remember Nizam: A Celebration in Music

Pioneering musician. Award-winning filmmaker. All-round loveable guy. The local music, movie and creative scenes were devastated when, on 14 June, influential DIY figure, Abdul Nizam Hamid, unexpectedly passed away from liver, lung and pancreatic cancer. Nizam, as his friends called him, was only 50.

Bonded in grief, his friends have come together to organise a special tribute concert to this singular, inspiring and dearly missed man.

With venue sponsorship by The Substation, Remember Nizam: A Celebration in Music features rare performances by indie acts from the late '80s and early '90s, when Nizam's band, The NoNames, and The Oddfellows (whom he was a guest drummer for) were founded, playing heartfelt original and rocking cover songs that were some of Nizam's favourites.

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Remember Nizam features the long-overdue reunion of Twang Bar Kings, an acoustic duo of Leslie Low (The Observatory, Humpback Oak) and Don Bosco (Daze), who looked up to The NoNames and were inspired by them to form a band in 1989. A brother of a very early The NoNames guitarist even helped produce the first Twang Bar Kings cassette [Witchdoctor (1991)] and also played bass with the duo for a while. Finally coming back together after two decades, Twang Bar Kings will be performing classic rock songs that Nizam and The NoNames covered.

Performing original compositions alongside covers is The Endless, featuring The Padres' veteran Nigel Hogan & Friends. The band, some of whose members used to play football with Nizam, will be playing three of their own songs dedicated to Nizam: “That's Why I'm A Fool”, “Stargazing” and “You Soothe Me, Man”, followed by covers of The NoNames staples, David Bowie and Fiction Factory.

The night will culminate with the legendary Gary Chand & Friends. Founding member, lead guitarist and vocalist of IGTA, Singapore's first reggae band, Chand formed a “firm and everlasting friendship” with Nizam in the course of playing the local lounge circuit in the late '80s and early '90s. In memory of Nizam, he will be playing an eclectic covers set of songs by 2 the eternal Bob Marley & The Wailers and The NoNames favourites like Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Co-organised by Ivan Thomasz, the administrator of The NoNames’ Facebook page, with the generous support of Snakeweed Studios, BCUBE Live Sound and Production, and fFurious, proceeds from Remember Nizam will be channelled to Nizam's estate. Tickets at S$15 in cash only will be available at the door on 31 July, Sunday, from 6pm.

Remember Nizam: A Celebration in Music

Date: 31 July 2016, Sunday Doors open at 6pm
Ticket Price: S$15 at the door
Venue: The Substation 45 Armenian Street, Singapore 179936

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Abdul Nizam Hamid (1966–2016) was a pioneering, award-winning and influential Singapore indie musician and filmmaker. In 1986, Nizam formed The NoNames with his schoolmates from Anglo-Chinese School: Vincent Lee (bass), Choo Jong Aik (guitar) and Dennis Lim (guitar).

As a drummer and singer, Nizam and his bandmates performed memorable original songs like the funky “My Mama” and raucous “Evil” that were included on BigO magazine's classic New School Rock II compilation (1992). The NoNames were also renowned for their 3 energetic covers of numbers by The Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more.

Nizam also played drums on The Oddfellows' acclaimed debut album, Teenage Head (1991), their sophomore Carnival (1992) and on their Malaysia tour in 1992. Graduating from Ngee Ann Polytechnic's Film, Sound and Video Department in 1999, Nizam directed the short film “Datura” (1999), which won the Singapore International Film Festival's (SGIFF) Best Short Film prize.

Nizam went on to direct acclaimed and experimental films like the SGIFF-premiering Keronchong for Pak Bakar (2008), Breaking the Ice (2014) and the music documentary (re)surfacing: 50 Years of Alternative Music in Singapore (2015). He also directed three episodes of the TV adaptation, Koridor (2002), made other short films like “To, Paisan” and “Ajna” and contributed the segment “Haura” to the omnibus film Stories About Love (2000), which travelled to the Busan International Film Festival.

Nizam passed away from liver, lung and pancreatic cancer on 14 June 2016. He was 50 and is survived by his mother and wife.

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