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Monday, January 19, 2009

Go To My Site

Iconic founder member and front man of artrock band Talking Heads gave a lesson in how to be a rock legend when he made his debut in Hong Kong.Having a back catalogue that would make many rock artists envious didn't faze him at all and he made joking reference to his previous incarnation as 'another band I was in before.Although  the audience went crazy for classic songs like 'Take Me To The River' and 'Once In a Lifetime'  this was far from a greatest hits show and his set was just as mercurial and mesmerising as the man himself,invoking classic American styles like jazz and blues and mixing them with some world music and his own special alchemy.In fact the gig was proof that he still has a lot to give as a performer and added to the fire of his Talking Heads material with lots of material from his new album 'Everything That Happens Will Happen Today',co-written with Brian Eno,his collaborator in earlier more experimental albums like'My Life In the Bush of Ghosts.'
David Byrne live in Hong Kong

This was far from a one man show though.The singer was backed by a powerful rhythm section, a solid backing trio and some jazz style dancers who almost seemed to embody Byrne's languid,jerky on-stage movements.This may already be the best gig of 2009 unless someone really special comes to town.

David Byrne Encore in Hong Kong

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mogwai live in Hong Kong

Iconic instrumental band Mogwai revisited Hong Kong to the delight of their many local fans for an evening of beautiful,exciting and above all loud music from the band who seemed to be following in the footsteps of My Bloody Valentine with some ear-bending volume.The band may have little time for labels such as postrock but rightly or wrongly they have been labelled as one of the defining bands in this genre and showed in their set some moments of delicate beauty as well as deafening, distorted sonics.
A sell out crowd were gathered to witness this gig and excitement was at a high as the band took to the stage and alternately delighted and assaulted our eardrums with a set comprising versions of some of their best loved songs including 'Hunted By A Freak',''Fear Satan'and 'I Know You Are but What am I?' as well as some material from the critically acclaimed new album'The Hawk is Howling' like the eerily beautiful 'Im Jim Morrison,I'm Dead.'
Mogwai 'I Know You Are but What am I?'

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Whence He Came Reunion:Nostalgia is a Lonely Road

Go To My Site

What a great gig to welcome 2009.Blasted into the New Year by the post punk indie of The Lovesong and 22 Cats was like a sonic version of Chinese fireworks to illuminate the coming year in this Whence He Came Reunion show.This gig was a chance for those of us new to the band to check out their sound and to find out what all this nostalgia for a local band was all about.

Excitement levels were already rising outside the venue as we waited in line for what was a sell out show with lots more people clamouring for tickets.
The Lovesong (risen like a rock 'n 'roll phoenix from the embers of Whence He Came) are now one of the best live bands in Hong Kong but with a distinctly punkier sound than in their earlier incarnation and they blasted their way through an opening set with only one song from their debut 'Deux Mille Sept' and lots of newer material.The band play with a passionate intensity that usually takes audiences by storm.The set opened with 'Morning Redemption' and 'Celebrate' then an excellent version of 'Starlight Shine Us So Bright' and one of the Shorter Story songs 'Here's To Hope' before wrapping up their set with '1978'. A great set from one of Hong Kong's best bands.
The Lovesong 'Irina'
22 Cats play in a modern retro style difficult to categorize and reminiscent of bands like Pavement and Deerhunter.Songs usually open gently with Por's laconic vocals before building to a crescendo with Kit's falsetto vocals and clashing guitar,the band kept on course all the while by the amazing bass riffs of Yin and the heavy drum beats of For.The songs are all heavily ironic and almost impenetrable but this band can really rock out and have a unique (but completely uncategorizable)sound.For indie fans who like challenging urban rock with asense of fun.

22 Cats @ Whence He Came Reunion
Whence He Came are a band who have cult status in Hong Kong and this set showed some of the reasons why.They have a bunch of great songs with lots of images that linger in your mind,warm vocals and jagged, lyrical guitar riffs backed up by heavy bass riffs and ferocious percussion.The band opened to rapturous acclaim from the packed hall with 'Finer Lights and Fairy Tales' and 'The Curtain Call' playing most of the songs from the album 'The Shorter Story' in what was more or less a love fest between an outstanding local band and the fans who supported them.
I guess everything in this city is speeded up.According to the liner notes on their album 'the Shorter Story' the release date was 2004.Wow,four years is almost instant nostalgia but after seeing the band and listening to the album a few times,I already feel nostalgic as hell about this band and lucky to have been at this gig.
Whence He Came (Encore)