Saturday, June 10, 2006

Bits and pieces...

A book arrived through my letterbox today for review, namely John Tully's A Short History of Cambodia : From Empire To Survival, courtesy of Australian publishers Allen & Unwin. Thanks guys. Its a 270-page book intended for tourists, students or general readers wishing to find out more about Cambodia's history. It doesn't pretend to be an exhaustive history. What's interesting to note is that Dr Tully is a lecturer at an Australian university and pays his dues to his former tutor, Professor David P Chandler, acknowledged as the great Cambodian historian. A case of pupil following in his teacher's footsteps.

Whilst surfing, I found a website for a documentary film from 2005 called Monkey Dance, where director Julie Mallozzi had focused her camera on the lives of three teenage Cambodian-Americans who were members of the Angkor Dance Troup, based in Lowell, Massachusetts. Read more about Monkey Dance at To find out more about the dance troupe, go to

I received a phone call out of the blue yesterday from Derrick King, who played bass guitar for the excellent roots reggae band, Black Roots, during the 80s. Derrick still lives in Bristol, the band’s hometown, but has been away from music since he left the band in 1990 and is now thinking of getting back on the music bandwagon. Derrick, who appeared on six albums with Black Roots, gave me an insight into life with the band, who were very popular in England and Europe at the time and reminded me that he wrote one of my favourite Black Roots tunes, Seeing Your Face. A pleasant surprise and a nice guy.

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