Some 37 years ago, a Penang band was formed and adopted a street name – Alleycats. Today, the band is still going strong, having cut 27 albums to date. David Arumugam, lead singer of Alleycats, recalled how the members were so excited about forming a band that they did not debate on the name chosen by their then manager.
“Our friend Ronnie Chiang Kai Chok, who was putting the band together, was the one who came up with the name. He lived near an alley, and there were many cats there.”
Alleycats’ original members were all from Penang. The group comprised David, his brothers Loganathan (vocals, flute) and Shanmugam (lead guitar), Khoo Eng An aka Johnson Khoo (rhythm guitar), Silly Hock (bass) and Albert Choo (drums). “Penang was where we started, and it was the people’s support that encouraged us to strive on,” said David.
Alleycats had spent its early years getting noticed as opening acts before the members went on to perform at clubs and nightspots as far away as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
David recalled that the band’s first hit in Malaysia was Hingga Akhir Nanti from its fourth album. At that time, the band was performing in Hong Kong and its members were oblivious to the extent of their popularity.
“We had our first concert at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur and it was packed with about 12,000 people. We opened with Hingga Akhir Nanti. The crowd went wild.”
The excitement may have died down over the years but Alleycats is still on the prowl, having recently released its 27th album, Tangga Tangga Ke Pintu Bahagia.
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