Saigon isn’t known for its ground breaking, original live music. But two new music bars have added momentum to a growing scene


RockFanClub Bar

Emerging from the ruins of the prematurely defunct Tadao Café Bar (incidentally, named as one of The Word’s best new cafes in 2010), RockFanClub Bar opened in its place at the start of the year. Located along Tu Xuong, RFC Bar has helped to reinforce District 3’s longstanding reputation as a bastion for fostering local, independent live music, alongside the likes of Acoustic, Yoko and Cacophony.

Sporting a hand-painted, wall-sized mural of Ben E. King and a brilliantly designed floor-to-ceiling faux speaker stack installation behind a small stage, this miniature venue prides itself on providing a platform night after night for both up-and-coming and established home-grown Vietnamese hard rock and metal bands such as Microwave, Coconuts and Hornets to perform from.


Yet such is the owners’ passion for all things rock that international acts like British alt. rock quartet The Lost Souls Club and Australian avant-metal trio Contrive have also headlined at RFC Bar to packed-out and appreciative Saigonese audiences.

And having cultivated a devoted underground following that reaches into the thousands, it’s no surprise that RFC Bar has enjoyed such a prosperous and fruitful opening year.

RockFanClub Bar is located at 25C Tu Xuong, Q3. Tel: 6290 7489


Thi Café



Another snug and cosy live music spot that emerged seemingly out of nowhere earlier this year, the bare-brick walled Thi Café has almost singlehandedly rejuvenated local and foreign residents’ interest in the oft-dismissed tourist-centric Pham.

With an assortment of ad hoc local and foreign musicians, including the likes of rapper GlenSKii, bluesman Gregory Wilson, jazz pianist Tim Tiger and acoustic duo Maeve & Dave having performed nightly throughout the year, evening revellers looking for good tunes and a lively atmosphere have suddenly had a dependable extra option to consider on an otherwise normal night out.

Upstairs also acts as a chilled-out daytime hangout spot with its Bohemianesque décor, decent food menu and reliable Wi-Fi.

Thi Café is located at 224 De Tham, Q1. Tel: 2210 2929

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