Dudesweet, Mischa Cheap, Khaosan legend—these are just a few things ‘Note’ Pongsuang Chup is known for. We went over to talk to him, and pressed for all the juicy details.
Dudesweet has been in business since 2002. By in business, we mean organising some of the most banger parties Bangkok has ever seen.
It all started back then out of boredom for mainstream music you simply can’t escape from. Dudesweet is founded to quench the thirst for something out of the norm. They started with handprint flyers, handing them out, and putting them up around town.
Through word of mouth, they became a well-known force behind many Thai indie bands, including Slur, Apartmentkhunpa, and Sqweez Animal. And today, they have been trusted to collaborate with cultural organisations, major music festivals, and with international bands and DJs. When it comes to organising a party, there’s simply no better person to ask than Note of Dudesweet.
[Hero and featured image credit: Mischa Cheap]
As we enter Mischa Cheap to find Note, we had to literally push ourselves through a massive crowd there for a Taylor Swift night. They’re known for themed nights, anyway, and this is certainly another one of their bangers. As we found ourselves in a slightly quieter corner in Tropical Galaxy, Note walks through the door as he jokes about how a lot of Swifties appeared for the night without even ordering anything. That’s how we know the interview will be worthwhile.
So we talked parties with ‘Note’ Pongsuang of Dudesweet
“Business has been great, even better after the pandemic.” Note exclaims, “Of course, there are certain periods that did less well than others. Mischa Cheap was packed during December 2021, but not so much in January 2022. Then, we had to deal with the rainy season.”
“Khaosan has seen a lot of changes over the years. A lot of visitors, both local and international. The graph just keeps going up, which can be seen especially in recent times,” he says with excitement.
Why did you start Dudesweet?
It all started 20 years ago. “The first party was a punk rock party—very intimate, very laidback.” Note says, “Then a few projects together: more parties, Facebook pages, even a bar that went out of business in Silom Soi 4 around six years ago. After that, we settled on Dudesweet.”
He then elaborates, “I like rock music, and that time [20 years ago] was the turning point from rock music to hip-hop. That’s why I gathered a couple of friends and organised our own thing, so we can listen to whatever we want to listen to, not just according to what the mainstream is listening to. It was supposed to be a one-time thing back then, but hey, we’re organising yet another one this Friday.”
Fittingly, at Dudesweet’s parties, the song ‘Beautiful Ones’ by Suede can be heard every time. According to Note, “We’ve done it since the beginning, and people cheer for it till this day.”
Tell us about Mischa Cheap.
“We started as a pop-up bar in Soi Ari—just a tiny storefront made from bamboo selling yadong [fermented liquor made from herbs].” Note explains, “We had no license, nothing, just a fun project at the side of the road. By word of mouth, that’s how we got the name ‘Mischa Cheap’ as it’s technically illegal to do so.” In Thai, the word misha sheep means “criminal,” which is on brand for a non-licensed alcohol project popping up.
“The first 2-3 weeks were really slow, but things started to pick up as a month went by. Think of like a hundred people swarming in front of this tiny pop-up bar. We wrapped up the project after three months went by.”
He further elaborates, “Then during Covid, I had this thought of “I wanna open up a bar again.” The pop-up thing we did had a small community anticipating our next move, so we knew that there’ll be visitors. In the end, we chose Khaosan to open our more permanent venue because of the laidback vibes. You can be different, you can wear anything—there is no attitude towards those things.”
Mischa Cheap then expanded to include Tropical Galaxy, a fun, energetic bar which hosts incredible DJ lineups and techno nights, as well as Bar Darn, an underwater themed cocktail bar with drinks and shooters perfect for Instagram.
What are some of your favourite parties you’ve organised?
Themed nights at Mischa Cheap are legendary. They’re very Thai, very on-trend. Someone made a joke before that when Britney was freed from her conservatorship, Mischa Cheap may just do a night based all on that. And you know what? We really did.
“I would say the best party we’ve ever done is the first party.” Note says, “It was also in Khaosan. We didn’t know much of anything back then—we were still using cassette tapes to play the songs. We also did a The Great Gatsby-themed night where we saw a lot of people dressing up and that’s always fun, along with a night where we analyse the minds of partygoers, which was very interesting.”
What kinds of people have you met over these 20 years?
Note takes some time to think. “From the 20 years that have gone by, I’ve seen so many things I never thought I’d see. I’ve seen people going naked, dancing on tables. It was surprising at first, but you become desensitised to these things as they happen again and again. After all, it’s expected to see drunk people at parties.”
“But one of the facts that surprise me the most is that in all these years organising parties,” he goes on, “is that there has never been a fight. I think fans of rock music listen to the genre for the fun of it. We’re not as rowdy or aggressive as many think we are.”
What’s the secret to hosting a good party?
“Make your friends dance,” Note says without hesitation. “It’s a sort of viral phenomenon. If you see someone dance, you’re less afraid to dance, so make your friends dance so others can do the same.
“Sometimes I just sing out loud to break the ice.” He laughs, “I don’t want a cool bar, I want a bar with humour—one that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Many times, when we make decisions for the bar, we’re afraid of some choices that may not be ‘cool’ enough. In the end, we’ll see that if guests can enjoy themselves, that’s also cool. Sometimes you just need to be reminded of that.”
He also mentions that on his days off, he like to visit WTFBangkok, Smalls, and a few bars in Ari. But if you happen to pop by Mischa Cheap, Note leaves a message to “try Mischa Cheap gin. It’s an old recipe we make in-house using chrysanthemum.” At the same time, he states, “just order anything. We aren’t trying to be a sophisticated place—we’re just here to let you have fun with us.”
Mischa Cheap, 9 Khaosan Rd, Talat Yot, Phra Nakhon, is open Tues-Sun 6pm-1am. You can find out more information on their website. You can also learn more about Dudesweet via their website.