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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hong Kong Flash

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Sammy's Kitchen may not yet have the ring of CBGB's in New York but it's a welcome addition to the Hong Kong indie scene scene with just the right amount of grit and character to be a credible rock venue.There was lots of good indie on display and not one clone band in sight.On the down side there were some major problems with the sound system.
Wilson Tsang and Kung Chi Shing opened the marathon show with a fairly low-keyset featuring Tom Waits-style piano blues and violin.
Hungry Ghosts took the stage next with a disappointing set for the band and their many fans due to sound problems which continued to aanoy throughout the night,leading to numerous delays and bands appearing about an hour later than scheduled.To their frustration,the band even had to cut their set before they really got into their stride to the disappointment of the band and their many fans.
Hungry Ghosts'Chinese Families'

One of the first highlights of the night was an appearance by local britpop band Innisfallen who already have a pretty large fan base following the release of their debut album and some awesome live shows.The set showed them getting back to their best live form with some new songs and some material from their debut including 'Beautiful Soul' and 'Butterfly Effect'.
Innisfallen 'Butterfly Effect'

The show gave us a chance to see some Macau-style indie in the shape of Evade,with their cool electronica,a bit like Belle and Sebastian meets Portishead with aetherial vocals from Sonia and aetherial,complex guitar melodies from Brandon.
Evade @ HK Flash

Born to Hula provide punk-style pop which always drives audiences a litle crazy but this was their best gig I've seen ,sending the crowd into a frenzy and pleading with the band to play more and more encores after a set of
punkish,hard-edged pop with some favourites like'Goner' and 'The la la song' and some new material in 'Young Pirates' and 'See Me After'.
Punk with a sense of fun.
Born To Hula 'We Tigers'

Modern Children.Definitely one of the best young bands playing in Hong Kong with lead vocalist Kenneth's energetic delivery and a set of addictive songs like 'Mongolian Song' (with Mongolian lyrics) and Map dealer.They also have an Arcade Fire like addiction for adding unconventional instruments to a standard rock band set-up of guitars and drums with violin,accordion and rainbow bells
.I'd love to see lots more of this unique -sounding band.
Modern Children @ HK Flash

YanYan Pang was the 'mystery guest' with her all-female band Hard Candy with some raucous garage punk and a slightly heavier tribute to Elliot Smith to finish the set.
Hard Candy @ HKFlash

Chochukmo are one of the most sought after live bands in Hong Kong with their catchy garage style indie.They come on about an hour late but with guitars blazing and no one's ready to leave as straightaway the band launch into a freaked out version of 'Caroline' followed by a crazy ,revved up 'Number One' and 'Head to Toe.'
It's a kind of punkish dance crossover with lots of sweet riffs.
Chochukmo 'Head to Toe'

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hk Live @ The Fringe Club with Innisfallen,Chochukmo and Empty Tomb

Another of the Fringe Club's Hong Kong Live events saw some alternative rock from Innisfallen,Chochukmo and Empty Tomb.Empty Tomb play jangly,melodic,wistful indie.Highlights of their set were 'This is You'and 'You'll Be Home.' It looks like they just need more gigging experience to be a very good live band.
Empty Tomb @ HK Live

Chochukmo are already one of Hong Kong's best and most loved bands.Frontman Jan's vocals are soaring and ecstatic and the songs begin simply but bloom into melodic crescendos of guitar and drums.Fans were interested to see how the departure of bass player Yan Yan Pang would affect the band's sound but new bassist Regina filled that role excellently and any missing vocal harmonies were well filled by Mike Makai as the band played a raucous,exhilirating set featuring "Head to Toe' and blistering versions of 'Number One' ,'Caroline' and 'One,two ,three,four'.
The band's sound is hard to pin down and freestyle might be the best word to cover a sound that ranges from powerpop to indiepunk,songs that begin with simple melodies and then climb to ecstatic choruses ,driven by Jan's soaring vocals.The set ticked all the boxes for a great live indie band:original material played with passion and a sense of fun.Hong Kong indiefans-you must see this band live!
Chochukmo with'Number One' @ HK Live
Headlining were Innisfallen,whose well reviewed album debuted only last year but here they were after a few months break with lots of new material and getting ready to release some more new material. The band have a distinctive Britpop sound sometimes compared to Radiohead,although the sound is lighter.They opened with some new material which is a little darker than what we expect of this band and it looks like the new stuff needs to be played a few times before it becomes as addictive as songs like'Butterfly Effect'and 'Beautiful Soul'.
Innisfallen @ HK Live 'Beautiful Soul'