Oct 19 2011

Happy birthday to No Black Tie, a Kuala Lumpur musical institution

Published by at 11:50 pm under Bars & nightlife

Kuala Lumpur is such a young city in world terms that the whole idea of longevity has to be thought of differently. A 100-year-old building in London, Paris or Rome, would barely raise an eyebrow, while it would be considered ancient in KL. It might not sound like a big deal that a live music venue such as No Black Tie is celebrating its 13th birthday, but it’s hugely impressive in local terms.

13 not out!

13 not out!

The city may have a generally low attention span, but when it comes to nightlife, it’s even worse. Change is the only constant. Since No Black Tie started business in 1998, the whole area around it has been transformed from a fairly rundown inner suburb to the most happening district in KL.

In that time, umpteen restaurants, bars and clubs have come and gone, but NBT has not only endured, it has become a much loved institution. The only real change is that it’s now located five doors away from its original premises. NBT’s home, in a converted shophouse, makes for an intimate setting to appreciate live music, with audiences counted in the dozens, not hundreds.

All that jazz, and a lot more besides.

All that jazz, and a lot more besides.

Although often referred to as a jazz venue, its musical offerings are much wider than that — everything from classical to reggae, and back again. Good musicianship, rather than genre, is the core requirement, and it is this integrity that encourages artists to come back again and again. Many of those regulars are taking part in the inaugural Langkawi Live music festival, a sign of NBT’s important role in nurturing talent.

Many happy returns NBT!

Many happy returns NBT!

For a great taster of the calibre of local and international performers who have graced its stage over the last 13 years, NBT is putting on anniversary concerts from October 21 to November 2. The music kicks off every night at 21:30, and is made up of two performances. Tickets cost 60 ringgit and include a free drink.

Overall, this is not a bad time at all to catch live music in KL, with NBT’s near neighbour Palate Palette, Alexis Ampang, La Bodega Lounge, Nerofico, and Hakka Republic all doing sterling work. But they are principally restaurants or bars which also put on concerts. What makes NBT special is that it is a live music venue, which also does food and drink. Long may it continue.

No Black Tie
17 Jalan Mesui, off Jalan Nagasari, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2142 3737

Palate Palette
21 Jalan Mesui, off Jalan Nagasari, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2142 2148

Alexis Ampang
Lot 10 & 11, Great Eastern Mall, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 4260 2288

La bodega Lounge
18-1 Jalan Telawi Dua, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2287 3808

Ground Floor, Wisma Perintis, 47 Jalan Dungun, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2089 5312

Hakka Republic
Lot 5, Level 2, Menara Hap Seng, Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2078 9908

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