As night falls, a crowd of people slowly forms outside Live House Studio. Some find seats at Khaokhong Club and sip bottled Leo from plastic cups. Others loiter, taking selfies in front of a wide banner speckled with neon logos. Visibly tattooed and clad in black t-shirts bearing the names of once-familiar punk rock bands — think Blink 182, NOFX, and Operation Ivy — the neighbouring groups of predominantly Thai youth look eager, but subdued, not the kind of insatiable mass primed to mosh, run around in circles like a human vortex, and surf on raised, half-ready arms.
At 7.30pm the doors finally open. Gender-separated lines stream into a spartan room with only a back-lit bar in a corner and a centre stage set up with a drum kit and three microphones. Small and intimate, Live House Studio is an ideal venue for emotionally charged rock shows like the one about to kick off, featuring seminal pop-punkers New Found Glory. Adding to the young venue’s secret appeal is its location in Jatujak Green, a collective of bars, shops, and restaurants by Queen Sirikit Park, just a few hundred metres from the hall-of-mirrors weekend market.
Most of the waiting fans fill the floor space by 8pm, rocking on their feet between concrete walls and velveteen curtains instead of outdoor bars and a ticket booth.
Without warning, the lights go out and a grainy black-and-white video of Judy Garland singing “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah” plays on a projector screen. The anticipation that had been simmering for hours boils over when New Found Glory bound onto the stage and start playing one of their latest singles, “Selfless.”
The band powers on through deep cuts and recent tracks, their sing-along songs racing with urgency, lasting about three minutes apiece. In turns, the singer, guitarist, and bassist throw high-fives across the low gate or toss used guitar picks. This could be a show in a garage, or an old bowling alley. Something about frantic music in a venue of this size fills the crowd with a level of energy that could never be reached in a larger, more industrial setting.
Jatujak is an elusive neighbourhood. On a map, it looks pretty basic — just building after building and a smattering of green parks — but the dense-packed community is rich with loosely guarded secrets. Live House Studio has sort of flown under the radar in the live music scene. After welcoming New Found Glory and This Wild Life in February, the venue seems ready for mass appeal.
Live House Studio
Jatujak Green, Kamphaeng Phet 3 Rd | 08 1930 3633