Good booze, good blues, at one of Bangkok’s coolest live music venues
Bangkok’s live music scene has come under fire recently. Rising rent prices and more frequent crackdowns by the authorities on bars operating after curfew have led to the closure of many long-standing institutions. Since last January, Moose, Dark Bar, Overground, and the Alchemist—all stages for up-and-coming, underground, and otherwise interesting artists—have shuttered. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Despite the less than favourable milieu for live music venues nowadays, Black Cabin has arrived to fill the void.
Black Cabin is an extension of Wild & Co., the meat and game specialist on Rama IV’s Soi Farmwattana. If you’ve invested yourself in the city’s nightlife, this unusual soi name probably sounds familiar to you. The irony of the situation is that Black Cabin occupies part of the house that used to be a different live music venue, the creative sanctuary that was Stu-fe, which closed down a couple of years ago.
To be clear, though, Black Cabin is its own venue. Screaming “Midwest USA” and “Monocle Guide” at equal volumes, it’s a hipster’s idea of a mancave: a framed cross-stitch of brown bears, stuffed and mounted birds, carved wooden trout, but then also a coin-op Pandora’s Box, murals of goats in men’s suits, and a bar illuminated by red safelights. Not to mention really tasty bar snacks that include scallop larb and, yes, cheese sticks. It might seem eclectic at first glance, but a lot of attention went into the details here. That includes the drinks.
As is de rigueur, signature cocktails play off the classics. Purple Haze (B280) takes cues from the Aviation—specifically in the use of crème de violet and locally made Kristall gin—but almost comes across like a whisky sour, owing to the lime juice and egg white. Wild Men (B320), meanwhile, is a souped-up El Presidente made with Irish whisky, cherry Heering, and chocolate bitters. Smoky, spicy, and cinnamon-like in aroma—it’s an absolute treat. Those leery of the spirit-forward movement happening around town can venture into its territory with the Black Reindeer (B280). It’s a spin on the Hanky Panky, trading Kristall vodka for gin, with Massenez Basilic and good Italian vermouth softening the edges.
Black Cabin also sells a dozen different Thai-produced beers from the likes of Sandport, Lamzing, and Happy New Beer (B220 each), alongside your favourite booze and mixers (such as: B190 for Sangsom, B300 for Hendrick’s, and B590 for Lagavulin 16 Years).
Now the highlight: every week, live acts run the gamut from folk to funk to experimental electronica to jazz and blues—all high-quality, all interesting, all playing in this fantastic little house hidden in Khlong Toey. Local stalwarts Yellow Fang and the Sangsom Massacre have even played here. As a matter of fact, there’s no other place like this.
By Craig Sauers
33/1 Soi Farmwattana, Rama IV Rd.
Open: Tues-Sun, 5:30pm-1am
Tel: 06 1515 6989