Good Times, a nine-year-long first Friday of the month music affair, says goodbye to Blu Jaz.
By Kim Hana
All art by Eric Foenander
Photos by Ungku Ibrahim
Good Times is one of the few, if not the only, free-format nights around Singapore. This Friday, May 5, marks its final instalment at Blu Jaz, the Good Times sanctuary for the past nine years.
The last time we spoke to organizers, Syafii Ghazali and Eric Foenander, officially for a story about Good Times in 2014, Syafii told us the night came about as a result of his and Eric’s shared notion of what a Friday night party should be.
“No cover charge. Great music. Big ass smoking area. No fancy promotion. Laidback vibe. No frills. No gimmicks… Good Times is an approximation of that ideal.”
Even though Good Times had to implement a cover charge eventually, it has remained at a modest S$5. The only times cover went up to S$20 was on New Year’s Eve or when a big name like Homeboy Sandman came through.
So many reasons why we’ll miss Good Times at Blu Jaz, but they all boil down to these five main ones.
1. It championed the Singapore underground and bass music scene
Good Times has been the antithesis of bottle service clubs that are more about the fireworks and being seen than being about the music. Since good music trumps all at Good Times, organizers have, over its nine-year tenure, put collectives like Darker Than Wax, Syndicate, Phyla Digital, Pushin’ On and others front and center numerous times.
2. That courtyard
Once you’re past entry, there are two ways into Good Times: via the dancefloor on the right, or through the courtyard on the left. The courtyard is where you’re bound to meet old friends, or make new ones. It’s where ideas – both sober and drunk – are exchanged. It’s where you go to smoke, or take a break from the dancing. In many ways, the courtyard, as is the music, is the heart and soul of Good Times at Blu Jaz.
3. Those annual NYE parties
Every year, Good Times throws a massive New Year’s Eve party. Instead of the usual one-storey tameness, NYE at Blu Jaz is a massive two- or three-storey affair. And even though it’s usually a bitch trying to get a cab home after the party’s all over, it’s still worth the S$180 Uber ride home (this actually happened to someone – a story we overheard in the courtyard).
4. A party with heart
When MC ROZ, a beloved fixture in the Singapore underground and bass music scene, passed away in May last year, the immediate next instalment of Good Times was dedicated in memoriam of Roz.
All proceeds from door sales went to Roz’s family and the night was filled with the sounds of “dub, jungle, hip-hop, dnb, grime – basically, the bass-heavy shit that Roz loved,” according to the event page.
5. Toto’s “Africa”
Remember how departmental stores would play a Richard Clayderman piece as its “thank you, goodnight” track at closing time? Good Times has a similar tradition, except the final track at Good Times is always Toto’s “Africa”. And even though it has been a tradition since time immemorial, no matter how drunk and bleary-eyed people are, the last ones dancing always find the energy to yell-sing, “It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you…”
Good Times: The Last Kopek at Blu Jaz takes place this Friday, May 5. For updates on Good Times wherever it may pop up after The Last Kopek, follow the event page.
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