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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Underground 54 at Club Cixi Hong Kong

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Saturday night in Lan Kwai Fong.A chance to check out some new indie music from Hong Kong .Underground 54 gave us high energy rap from Leo 37,fuzzed out indie rock from Hazden,numetal from Zoundz and polished britpop from Skindeep and David Bowie Knives.
Underground fans are an eclectic bunch, just like the bands that play there.At Underground 54 we had everything from rap to britpop with some numetal too.Maybe we didn't love all the bands but we had a chance to find out more about the new indie music scene in hong kong.Often the opening acts here ease us gently into the main show.Not this time with Leo37 ,a young Canadian rapper full of energy ,charm ,an amazing gift for improvised lyrics with the help of 2 turntables and a microphone.At the start the crowds were barely arriving and he moodily yelled something about it being 'livelier at his grandmother's'.However as the place began to fill up ,and his song/rap 'Move It!' got us going the place started to come to life.Leo was like a combination of Kanye West with the funk of LLCool J .In fact he was so good that he was asked to do an end of show encore with Hazden!

Hazden were a revelation.In spite of the fact that they were second on,they amazed me and a lot of the audience.Faye's vocals are excellent with good range and she can move from chilly,etherial to full power rock style in a way that combines well with the band's discordant,raucous,fuzzed - out guitar sound.I think the songs ranged from subjects as wide as surfing and suicide and her vocal style fitted well with the fuzzed - out ,slightly punk sounds of Cheong on lead guitar,Yiu on rhythm,Lun on bass and Lok on drums.This band were also so good that they came on again at the end of the show!It's amazing that the band only formed a few months ago-I'd love to see more of them.

Next on was numetal band Zoundz who besieged us with some raw heavy sounds,anguished vocal yells from Ivan,high volume fast guitar from Frankie,David and Wil and crashing drums from Ray with a whole range of influences from Korn to Incubus on display.
Zoundz are Ivan (vocals),Frankie(guitar,David(guitar),Wil (bass)and Ray (drums).They played a raucous set with classic metal riffs and touches of punk on songs like 'Hate You,Hate Myself'.

Skindeep consists of Nick (vocals,guitar,keyboard ),Mike (lead guitar,vocals),David (guitar,bass),Brendan (drums.The band experienced and have a smooth,polished sound but still maintain some darker elements like bands they cite as influences,Del Amitri and The Killers as some of the song titles might suggest like 'No One's In','Leaving','Twist of Fate'.The band had some good britpop style songs and a rocking sound.The band are Nick (vocals,guitar,keyboard),Mike (lead guitar,vocals and Brendan (drums).

David Bowie Knivesare Brendan (vocals,guitar),Shaun (vocals,bass) and Gabe (drums).
The band has a polished ,britpop sound with just enough of an edge to keep it interesting.The Knives had a pleasant sound and their songs like 'She's The One'(fortunately not a Robbie Williams cover!),Nice Problem' and 'You Want Me'ended the evening on an upbeat indierock note at least until the endshow when Leo37 and Hazden gave us some freestyle jamming and rapped(!) up another Underground.

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