Archive for April, 2008
… but some friends and I have been busy making something.
Hong Kong’s live music scene music is still, one has to admit, decidedly lacklustre. Outside of the Cantopop concerts, which routinely sell out but can’t fairly be described as music, and the occasional Maroon 5-esque show at AsiaWorld Expo (see above), the scene is still struggling to stand on its own two feet. But there are a some encouraging signs of growth.
For the last couple of years — pretty much the entire period of my existence in Hong Kong — that growth has really just meant more Underground shows and more middling bands. But now some promoters are bringing in indie bands from abroad — bands that have high standards, great songs and a stage presence that reaches beyond the feet-glued-to-ground fare we’re used to seeing round these parts.
The people behind Pier Pressure, for example, have recently brought in metal bands From This Day and Horse the Band, and another one from Canada, Comeback Kid, is on the way. (Side note: the singer’s a former Mennonite — something about the idea of a Mennonite metaller is so appealing.) Metal’s not my thing, but I like that there are people out there leading the way, showing how good live indie music can be.
My favourite promoters are Crazy Young Master, the people behind the Beijing Explosion gigs that have brought us Hedgehog, the Carsick Cars, and PK14. Last night they put another great show, this time with Beijing’s Queen Sea Big Shark. A couple of hundred people crammed into the Fringe to see the wiry dance-rockers put on a damn good show. The band wasn’t 100 percent on its game, chiefly because of the venue’s poor sound, but it did produce two or three songs of true international quality, and the crowd responded.
Plus, the singer is hella cute.
The next Beijing Explosion is on April 19, this time with Hedgehog and ReTROS (Rebuilding the Rights of Statues), an iconic punk act that has developed an international following. Both bands were supposed to perform at the first Beijing Explosion gig last year, alongside PK14 and New Pants, but ReTROS had visa troubles.
One cool thing: New Pants, who I reckon are China’s coolest band, are coming back to Hong Kong on April 26. You should come along. They’re playing for a gig put on by a magazine I now happen to be working for. Check out the details on Facebook.
The best way to get a sense of the electro-kookiness of this disco-punk act is to watch one of the self-produced videos (lead man Peng Lei is also a stop-motion animator and filmmaker). Here’s one for you.