Mello Yello: Staying Low Key at RCA.

Making a healthy contribution to the burgeoning live music scene at RCA is Mello Yello, the erstwhile Overtone that was reborn as a jazz venue. A brief history: Overtone had the occasional jazz gig, but most will remember it more for its haphazard Goth concerts and female Earth, Wind and Fire cover bands.  History lesson completed.

While fun, the eclectic mix of performers at Overtone weren’t paying the bills, so Overtone closed down, retooled and was reborn as the Jazz focused Mello Yello. The Boon Rawd brewing dynasty, which owns a stake in the club, has a passion for the swing and also a knack for market research (e.g. Herbie Hancock concert almost sold out), so they knew they were onto to something exciting when they decided to focus on in-demand jazz acts.

To generalize, jazz lovers tend to spend a little more on top shelf liquors and quality wines in an effort to compliment the music and steady toe tapping.  A glass of red wine and jazz go together like Pabst Blue Ribbon and our family friends that live down the street. Time and place make all the difference. Mello Yello understands this and has responded by offering quality wines such as a 2006 French Bordeaux at 2,950 baht a bottle and Menage a Trois at 1,700 baht a pop.

Mello Yello’s booked bands do play jazz, but we are a little concerned on the consistency of the acts. Last visit the main act slipped in a few renditions of the Jackson Five and Michael Buble. Great if you are in the dancing mood, but criminal if you are coming for quality performances of high hat and bebop. In our experience cover pop bands are a slippery slope as indicated one evening at Saxophone, where a sparse crowd and peer pressure led to tone-deaf audience members singing karaoke pop on stage.  A tear drops our eye.

The layout of Mello Yello is standard if only for the dark wood vibe and a pool table. The only thing that’s changed is the name and the focus on jazz. Mello Yello scores big points by having a bathroom that can compete with the big boys like Curve and Route 66. While it might not have a live band in the ladies room, the men’s room does have a live orchid and lemongrass aromatherapy.

KohSpot loves this movement toward live music at RCA and hopes the trend continues.

Location: 29/70-72 RCA Zone S, Rama IX Road, across the street from Cosmic Café and left toward Taksura.
Mass transit: MRT Phetchaburi and then 10-minute motosai
Hours: 6:30 pm-2 am Monday-Saturday
Phone: 02-641-4283

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Related posts:

  1. The Living Room: Jazz Now Has A Home
  2. Cosmic Cafe | Bangkok Live Venue
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