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Class acts

Celebrating HM the King's birthday, two grand dames of Thai folk music dish out an evening to remember

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It's not often fans of molam queens Banyen Rakkan and Nok Noi Uraiporn get a chance to see these two legendary stars perform on the same stage but at the celebration for HM the King's birthday at the Sanam Suk Stadium yesterday, the great dames brought their colourful bands to the party to the delight of the huge crowd that had gathered on the grass in front of the stage. 

Prior to the event, officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, and the Department of Physical Education, presented the singers and their families (both ladies have children who work in related fields) at an exhibition of paintings on the life of HM the King.

As dusk fell, the event began with DJ MCs introducing acts and singers _ as with all luk thung/molam shows, the lesser known singers go on stage first before the big acts. Popular singers like Baowee went down well, and he was followed by Banyen's daughter Kandy, a well-known molam DJ and dancer, who performed in front of a set of pin hai (clay-pot bass). She stayed on to introduce a singer and, it turned out, cordon bleu chef/instructor Rapeepat "A" Boriboon, who told me backstage that he loves to sing and cook, so he often combines teaching and preparing Thai food along with some lam-style crooning. That's something I'll have to try _ larb and lam, sounds like a great audio-gastro combo!

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