Scene4 Magazine — International Magazine of Arts and Media
Scene4 Magazine-inSight

june 2008


by Janine Yasovant

คลิกเพื่ออ่านบทความนี้ เป็นภาษาไทย

In May 2008, Setha Sirachaya brought back the band, The Impossibles for a major concert at Siam Paragon Hall in Bangkok Thailand. Billed as “The Return for No Reason”, it was the triumphant return of one of Thailand’s most popular singers together with the legendary musical group. At 64, Setha Sirachaya was celebrating over 40 years of making music.

It was after the Vietnam war that Sirachaya and the band changed the popular current of songs in Thailand. At that time, most Thai songs were dominated by “Luk Thung” and “Luk Krung” genres. Luk Thung is well known to people in northeastern Thailand and very popular with farmers and workers;. its primary theme is the simplicity of life. The language which Luk Thung uses is the northeastern Thai dialect along with some standard Thai. At that time, people could hear the music only via A.M radio. Some popular songs in the genre also came from movies.

On the other hand, Luk Krung was well known to urban people in Bangkok. The main purpose focused on music for partying and the pleasure of middle-class and wealthy people. Thais grew up in the 1960s and early 70s with the songs by male singers such as Charin Nanthanakhon, Suthep Wongkamhaeng. The night club was the place that people went to dine and dance. Luk Krung used standard Thai and was heard only on F.M. radio. There were no tape recorders, just record players and vinyl discs. It was a time that Thai popular music had two faces: one for poor people and workers in the villages, the other for educated  and rich people ,

During the war, Thailand was a base for American soildiers, for both military action and R&R (reat and relaxation). This “encampment” had a major and long-lasting impact on Thai society.

The name “The Impossibles” band came from the young people. During the Vietnam war, many musical groups appeared in the pubs and bars in Bangkok and other provinces. String and combo was the favorite performance genre of the music at that time because the band which played small musical instruments, string instruments, woodwinds and horns were influenced by British bands such as The Beatles. In 1972, there was a string combo music competition and The Impossibles won it.. They went on to win the competition three more times which exploded their popularity.  The band became a purveyor of music without catering to class, rich or poor.


From the beginning, the band had the opportunity to provide music for the movies and they were famous with audiences who often sang along with the soundtracks.. In 1971, The song “Nao Nua”(Cold to the Flesh) was presented in a movie called “Ton”. This song was very popular at that time. In the same year, the album “Pen Pai Mai Dai” (Impossible) was produced. The hit songs were Pen Pai Mai Dai, Raroueng Chol (Happy in water), Chao Dong (Forest people), Chua nid Niran (For eternity), Nai wa ja cham. (Why don’t you remember?). The band  even toured overseas, as far away as Hawaii and Europe.


They released their second album “Muen Mai Tae Jai Kae Uam” (10,000 Miles but the heart can reach) The hit songs  were “Hak Rak Pen Chen Ta Lae”(If Love is like sea), “Wah Weh”(loneliness) and then went to Europe

In 1976, A final third album called, “Hot pepper”after the second tour show in Europe. The hit songs were: Tat Sa Na Jon (Trip), Lao Duang  Duen (Old Song Cover), Had Baan Pae (Strand of Baan Pae).

The Impossibles worked together for 10 years and disbanded in 1977. Sirachaya went on to a successful solo career as a singer and and as an actor in movies. But he always tried to re-ignite the beauty and the glory of the band. Over the years, they came together for an occasional concert, a trip down memory lane. The grand concert in May in Bangkok was a culmination of that journey.



Click Here for this article in Thai 
คลิกเพื่ออ่านบทความนี้ เป็นภาษาไทย

©2008 Janine Yasovant
©2008 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Janine Yasovant is a writer in Chiang Mai, Thailand
and a writer for Scene4.

For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives


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