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Anyone Remember The Alleycats?

It was led by David Arumugam, with his Afro bigger than that guy from Boney M. Then there was his brother Loga, who was pretty much a thinner version of David, with a slightly smaller Afro (but still bigger than then-Malaysian striker Zainal Abidin Hassan’s). I never understood what Loga did in the band, the only thing I ever saw him do was sing back-up and occasionally play the tambourine. Then there were a few Chinese dudes with short names like Ah Hock and Ah Sin or something like that. I believe the aforementioned Ah Hock played bass.

Alleycats

[tag]Alleycats[/tag] were old pros on the pub circuit, in their Penang hometown and in KL. Back in the 70’s and 80’s they had dozens of Bahasa Malaysia albums, with evergreen songs like ‘Sampaikan Salam Cintaku’, ‘Kerana’, ‘Sekuntum Mawar Merah’, and many more. Every time David Arumugam finished a song, he will shout his trademark ‘Terima kaSIH!”. Every time, without fail. There was one time I was at my Malay friend’s wedding kenduri, this wedding singer belted an old Alleycats ballad ‘ditujukan khas buat pengantin’, and he ended with the exact same ‘Terima kaSIH!”, to which the crowd cheered vociferously.

When I was growing up, my neighbour a funky Chinese dude, was their biggest fan. He had cassettes of every single album they produced, and his obsession rubbed off a little on me.

One time many about 9 years ago, me and my pal Dave were out very late in town, when we heard that the Alleycats were rumoured to be playing in PJ Hilton. We rushed there, only to be disappointed to find out that it wasn’t true. We stayed anyway to hear this so-so covers band with two lead singers, one pretty Indian girl and a fat Malay guy. Can’t remember the name of the band…

Alleycats are still around, no doubt it, although they are no longer headlining HMI on Saturdays, but still powering the pubs across the nation. In the age of indie bands like Love Me Butch and Gerhana Ska Cinta, Alleycats inhabit a different world of Malaysian music, pandering to a different generation of Malaysian – Malays, Chinese, Indians and everyone else. Along with old guns like Kenny, Remy and Martin, Francessca Peters and the ilk.

I googled to see if they had a homepage, but didn’t find much, but found this interesting blog entry regarding them (and even gives Ah Hock’s full name!)

Hey, does anyone remember Man Bai and Gersang? Perhaps another day, then…

44 Comments

  • BawangMerah

    The moment I read the name AlleyCats, Sampaikan Salam played in my head. Heheheh. I’m with eSSeNtRiC, I only know ManBai’s Kau Ilhamku. Love that song too. It’s funny I don’t have these songs in my collection.

  • mama23beas

    I laughed so hard, I have tears rolling…thanks for the good laugh when I need it.
    My teacher from primary school brought me and 2 sisters to a pub in Penang, where Loga and Zainal Abidin (of Headwinds) performed. Didn’t know that Loga is the teacher’s friend. He sat with us and we got to shake hands…so excited hehe!

  • lucia

    yes! i remember alleycats all right. they were great!

    once long long ago, some of the members used to go to one of our church to play billard and sometimes i will run into them, esp. arumagam

    when i hear the name alleycats, the song i remember is rindu bayangan. how come nobody remembers it? isn’t rindu bayangan their orginal song? or maybe it is original by someone else? but i love rindu bayangan sung by alleycat. as a child, used to like to hum it and sing it.

  • simon

    inevitable – did your dad grow an afro too? 🙂

    essentric & bawangmerah – i remember that song was used by for the malaysian hockey team in the olympics…remember that one? about the 2 brothers? “Apa itu passport”?

    jee – do you hv any of their mp3?

    lilian – wah, you oso kaki pubbing hor? r u the ones that sit at the high barstool drinking club soda?

    mama23beas – wah, you should have gotten their autographs! i was never much of a Headwind fan.

    shan – i think PJ Hilton is one of their regular haunts.

    lucia – rindu bayangan… dun remember that one. must go back and check all those old TDK90 cassettes!

    rijac – whoa, that’s cool, thanks!

  • Jaya

    Rindu bayangan is originally by Jay Jay when he was still part of the group “Carefree”. Many years later David Arumugam rerecorded the song with a female artist. I think Camelia (not sure ).

    Terima Kasihhhh!!!!

  • ALLeycats Can FLY

    My uncles nickname is ‘ahNgiaw’,he told me that duno mr.Loga or mr.David tu,they were his old schoolmates before.

    That was before I shiok much to ALL of their songs,too bad the ALLEYcats dont have a website of their own (yet).

    OKLah,selamat tinggalllll,ku meng-undur-kan dirii,…MarSeyyy!!!

  • sriram

    a bit of nostalgia.. Karunanithy or Karu for short was the youngest of the brothers and studied to be an engineer in India (IIT Madras).. He was an accomplished lead guitarist and had his band there (amateur).. He never was part of the Alleycats but had their poster with him.. Talented family.

  • jezzie

    Alleycats are currently performing at Royal Bintang Hotel, Mutiara Damansara; been there quite awhile now. Loga seems to be taking a more prominent role now as David seems to be a bit ‘lost’ at times. They are just as great as they were 20 yrs ago, voices still strong. Go watch and and show yr support!!!

  • Nick

    The Alley Cats were playing at the Holiday Villa in Subang Jaya as recently as Dec 2005. I just received a text message from a dear friend on Jan 2nd, 2007 that Loga has a very serious throat problem and is unable to perform. It’s too bad, the group did a great version of Deep Purple’s Perfect Stranger.

  • Mek

    Alley Cats!
    I grow up (still growing up) with Alley Cats. When I moved to England June 2006, the first thing that I packed up was my CDs of Alley Cats. Love you guys….
    Ma Kasih!!!!!!

  • MeMe

    Hi! Nanda,
    Alley Cats now is performing at Lavida Pub in Holiday Villa Hotel-Subang Jaya from May 2007 to Jul 2007. I’d watched their GREAT performance on 05.05.07.

  • ku,mar

    I got a message that Loga passed away today. What a waste… I have followed the Alleycats for many years and have seen them perform at the PJ Hilton. Loga was the silent one but when on stage. I always watched him due to his stage presence. He seemed in a world of his own and his flute and sway to the rythmn of the music always kept me captivated. This may signal the end of the real Alleycats…but they are the true champions of Malaysian multiracial beat… Thank you Loga…may you finally find peace as you always wanted

  • Noel Loganathan

    Sorry to read about this.
    Been away from Malaysia for a long time, hence could not recall.
    Are their CDs available?
    Can we download with itunes?

  • Fred

    Its sad to know Loga has passed.
    Last saw him performing at Uncle Chilli’s PJ Hilton last october ..incidently his last stage show .
    He was not his normal self, sang very few numbers and was drinking lots of water. Since i am sort of groupie ..i know that he normaly drinks beer 🙂

    Met up wih David in a bar next to Talking Heads (PJ) and David said Loga was improving but didnt want to try any alternative medicines..

    Very sad to know such a jolly and affable guy has passed on ..

    One of the most beautiful song i have ever listened Loga sing was “Nota Terakhir ”

    Whenever i hear that song I get goose bumps.

    Loga ..May your soul rest in peace ..thank you very much for all the wonderful memories you gave us ..
    you will live forever in our hearts and your songs …
    Thank you ..

  • Faizal Shanmuganathan

    Sad to hear Loga has left us so soon to be with GOD.A vaccum he left in the music industry.Malaysians of all walks of life missed his golden voice forever.May your SOUL REST IN PEACE
    LOGA and BROTHER DAVID to carry on your wishes and ALLEYCATS to the UTMOST.

  • wing meng(love me butch)

    Hi guys…actually love me butch stayed at Uncle Loga’s place before in penang. we are good friends with his brother in law and son, vignesh…what can i say, they are the warmest people around, and all that memories remain. will always remember uncle loga. rest in peace uncle…you will always be our inspiration…

  • lilik

    saya sebagai peminat pertam kumpulan ellycat ingi mngucapkan takziah kepada kepada ahli keluarga beliau.
    saya harap mereka semua dapat meneruskan kehidupan untuk masa akan datang.

    terima kasih…………

  • suresh p

    im one of ur hearteast fan… Alleycats is a living legent group….cant be forgotten.. ‘sampaikan salam’is the best song..take care

  • James "Scotty" Potter

    My name is James (Scotty) I would really appreciate being put in contact with David & A Hock.

    I used to jam with them 1970 to 1974 whi was based in Butterworth. Merlin Hotel, Captains Bar Mandarin Hotel, Gypsy Caravan Rasa Sayang. Ming Court Singapore.

    We did a benfit concert in Penag in 1973!

    The last time I saw them was when they came to one on my gigs in Wetern Australia I ithink it was in it was 1975 or 76.

    MIssed them when I came through Singapore on 2001.

    If you can help it really would mean alot.

    I am now living in Scotland but planning to come through Malaysia?Singapore 2010 and would really love to catch nup with them.

  • simon

    hi james, so good to hear from a fan all across the globe. i haven’t seen much of David and the band since the recent tragedy, but let me see if i can contact the band or their management, ok? cheers.

  • kashrascals

    saya juga salah sorang peminat alleycat walaupun saa dilahirkan dalam tahun 80 an…saya jug cuba buat searchin dlm internet utk menyelidiki lebih dlm tenang background alleycats..dan juga Discography….belum ada website yg utama utk alleycats…saya juga byk mencari lagu lagu dari alleycats..dan juga berminat nak tahu lagu lagu ygs aya dgr ni dari album mana..saya dapat list senarai album kumpulan ini..tapi tidak dapat tahu list lagu dalam setiap album..ia bleh didapati dari web wikipedia bila search disana..tapi masih belum cukup sempurna maklumat yang ada berbanding dgn band lain….dengan keterangan yg lebih byk tentang lagu pencipta komposer n gambar album….kalau sesiapa tahu dari mana lagi website tentang alleycats bleh email kepada saya…terima kasih….16/11/08

  • Affendi M.Z.

    Sayang sekali kumpulan sehebat Alleycats tidak mendapat layangan akademik sewajarnya dari mana-mana pihak, baik di kalangan kelompok kreatif, persatuan-persatuan seni mahu pun akademicians dari mana-mana Universiti tempatan. Begitulah nasib sesiapa sahaja yang mencipta nama di Malaysia, tiada sesiapa yang peduli dan mereka dibiarkan terhapus dengan sendirinya melalui proses masa. Namun Alleycats akan kekal evergreen kerana keunikan lagu-lagu mereka dan kerana muncul pada zamannya. Tahun 80an adalah zaman nostalgia remaja orang-orang dewasa yang sekarang ini menjadi pengemudi zaman. Mereka yang sekarang berusia lingkungan hujung 40an dan awal 50an pasti masih bermain di ingatan melodi-melodi Alleycats dan terkenang zaman silam yang indah tahun-tahun 80an. Siapa boleh lupa lirik lagu “Seribu Bintang” yang begitu menyengat, melodi “Layang-layang Putus Tali” yang nostalgik, dan irama “Kerana” yang melancholic. Lagu-lagu mereka ciptaan M. Nasir dan Eric Yeo sebenarnya bertaraf dunia, namun malang tiada siapa ingin membantu mereka mengekspot lagu-lagu mereka ke Eropah atau US atau India atau China pada zaman kegemilangan mereka dahulu. Kalaulah lagu “Hingga Akhir Nanti” masuk ke dalam mana-mana carta lagu antarabangsa, sekelip mata boleh jadi nombor 1! Kini semuanya sudah 20 tahun berlalu, apa yang tinggal hanya kenangan. Namun lagu-lagu Alleycats tetap unggul berkumandang melalui corong-corong usb di dalam kereta-kereta milik generasi 80an yang sedang menjalar di jalanraya-jalanraya di seluruh Malaysia….

  • Suria

    Before the 90s, the non-malays participated and were very popular in our mainstream music scene.
    Fran, Alleycats, Kenny Remy Martin, Chendrawasih, DJ Dave, Elaine Kang, Ben Nathan and many others. And then there were bands of multiracial members … Freedom, Blues Gang, Sons Of Adam, Gingerbread etc ….

    Alleycats is most definitely THE band of all time in Malaysian music history.
    People know who Alleycats is just like they know who Siti Nurhaliza is.

  • Inocencio

    The gray and white cat, basking in the distinction of having spotted me first and announced my arrival to the waiting multitudes, regally ignored us all and groomed herself in a corner.

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