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It was a small discotheque located along Jalan Tuanku Antah, not far from the Seremban train station. In the mid 1990s, it was a blatant lie to say that the place was shy from any independent music gigs. It was actually Seremban’s answer to Damansara’s Picadilly discotheque. Moonriver enjoyed the same attention and privilege as Picadilly; the region’s top host for independent music scene happenings at that time, at least it was Moonriver for the state of Negeri Sembilan. Almost every week there were independent music shows there. Performances ranged from little known local acts to the underground scene’s headliners such as Carburetor Dung, ACAB, The Bollocks, Butterfingers, Infectious Maggots, N.E.T. and many more. Of course not to mention Seremban’s own thrash metal heavyweight, Seasonal Abyss. What’s the name of Slayer’s 5th album again? Anybody?

Anyway, kids involved in the independent music scene back then were well informed about the happenings at Moonriver via fanzines and words of mouth. Not to mention the flyers distribution from two of the most prominent underground outlets in Seremban; Kodai Sopan and Say Can Hand. The first being a so-called underground garment retail outlet (most of them were knock-offs anyway) and the latter being a second-hand stuff trading outlet. Acoi of Say Can Hand later starred in Hishamuddin Rais’ independent road film, “Dari Jemapoh to Manchestee”. Well that’s another story.

During each gig at Moonriver, kids would set up tables or even just opening their bags to sell or trade their d-i-y merchandises. Stuff ranging from demo tapes, fanzines, self printed t-shirts, pin buttons and even leather spike bracelets. It was well known that the mid 90s was the beginning of the inter-genre era where bands from different genres would play in a show together, sharing the same stage. Before that era, shows were classified strictly by genres. In each and every independent music gig at Moonriver during the mid 1990s, punks, skinheads, metalheads, and hardcore kids were seen together in that particular premise, enjoying their ass out. Unity was a strong word, definitely!

Unfortunately, at the end of the 1990s Moonriver was literally burned down to the ground. Whether it was sabotage or insurance fraud, nobody really knew. The ruin was on display for a few years. When it was finally rebuilt, it was turned into an electrical store. But that didn’t stop Seremban’s independent music scene from growing into what it has become today.

This entry was actually written for a defunct music portal, http://www.gundu.com.my back in early 2009.