Best bars for live music, performances and vinyl records in Singapore

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In these nine music bars in Singapore, the music shares the stage with the food and drink.

No Spotify playlists are in sight here. Instead, it’s live music at Maduro, Blu Jaz, and Astor Bar, which feature crooners singing jazz and blues. For the next generation of Singapore stars, Stage offers them a platform to perform in front of live audiences, while Timbre X SEA bands offer bands by the Singapore River.

Warm saxophone melodies sync with electronic beats at Club 5 every Friday, while a mix of funk, soul, house and other genres take over at Offtrack. For the rich, comforting sound of vinyl, sound systems from Vertigo26 and RPM by Dbespoke do justice to old-school records.

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore

Press play: 9 music-focused bars in Singapore

Astor Bar at the St. Regis Hotel has a legacy as long as it’s lyrical. New York is where the Bloody Mary was invented, and Singapore’s swanky pub offers a chilli padi version of the original. It spices up your evening in preparation for a jazz concert by resident singer Eugenia Fernandez and pianist Chris Robinson, who come nightly to sing sexy tunes.

Wednesday to Sunday, 3 p.m. to midnight

Blu Jaz, Bali Lane

Open in its current form since 2006, Blu Jaz is an intimate loft space serving jazz music talent from Singapore and overseas. Recent performances include the varied sounds of British saxophonist and composer Gray Lyons, scratch tunes from the Darren Moore Trio and a set of flutes from Rit Xu and his band. Listen with a jug of frozen Margarita in hand and sample North Indian dishes like Amritsari Paneer Tikka and Mutton Rogan Josh.

Every day, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Club 5

Club 5 goes from artisanal cocktail bar to groovy lounge on Friday nights when they host their Friday Funk sessions. The venue at the Parkroyal on Beach Road hotel hosts event selectors and music consultants The DJ Dispensary, who deliver an eclectic mix of deep house and disco beats to techno, funk and hip hop. The highlight, however, is a live saxophone performance by DJ Kaye, who combines his dexterity with the instrument with electronic beats. Before hitting the dance floor, refuel with the bar’s 20 Houses Tonic and Cardamom Nasi Lema’rgarita.

Tuesday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to midnight

Off road

Offtrack is a bar and restaurant started by the co-founders of local music collectives Darker Than Wax and Ice Cream Sundays. They wanted to give local and regional DJs, as well as record collectors, a place to spin their music, which can range from Southeast Asian funk to soul. The cocktails draw inspiration from ever-reliable classics, as well as pan-Asian dishes like avocado kombu and XO cauliflower fried rice.

Tuesday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to midnight

Maduro

Based in Dempsey, Maduro combines a cocktail bar, supperclub and jazz lounge under one roof. The venue was founded by pianist Peter Ng, who played with big names like Anita Sarawak and Frances Yip before becoming a real estate broker. Now dedicated to his first love, Ng features local and international talent, playing jazz and classic tunes as people drink cocktails designed by Papa Doble’s Andrew Yap and dine on food from French restaurant Atout Ci- below.

Monday to Thursday, 3 p.m. to midnight
Fridays and Saturdays, from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m.

RPM by Dbespoke

As well as being a fantastic bartender, Daiki Kanetaka from Japan is also an audiophile, and he’s channeled both passions into this vinyl bar. An offshoot of his D.Bespoke cocktail, RPM primarily spins jazz, soul, funk and rock records collected by Kanetaka since his youth, which are played on a vintage audio system. The menu consists mainly of shochu-based drinks, as well as barrel-aged cocktails, sake, and whiskey.

Tuesday to Friday, 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays, from 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Arrange

To catch Singapore’s next crop of musical talent, head to the stage. The bar and restaurant shine the spotlight on young local artists, including music school students Lee Wei Song, and provide them with a platform to showcase their creations. While the food and drink menu isn’t as sophisticated as other places — think commercial lager and chicken wings — they’re priced appropriately for the younger crowd.

Sunday to Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Thursday to Saturday, 12 p.m. to 4 a.m.

X SEA stamp

The fanciest of all the group’s food hubs, this Timbre is located in the historic Parliament House, the former meeting place of Singapore’s government. The music is equally authoritative: some of the best bands in the area play mando pop to cover songs. Food ranges from buah keluak braised pork cheek buns to risotto laksa, and drinks include name brand beers, soju shots and signature cocktails like the Thai Mojito.

Monday to Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight
Fridays and Saturdays, from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Vertigo26

Hot vinyl tunes fill the air at Vertigo26, a listening bar and restaurant that only plays records. Founded by Eric Chan and Simon Chia, who provided technical assistance for Sunset Cinema screenings and Films @ the Fort outdoor film screenings, tracks range from Black Sabbath to Bestie Boys, which play on a huge system of vintage JBL S2600 speakers. Listen to analog sounds while drinking local craft beer and eating Japanese-influenced food.

Monday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to midnight

(Image credit: @iris.nihao/Instagram)

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