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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Los Campesinos at Clockenflap

Hong Kong indie music fans were out in force on Saturday to see the most ambitious show of 2009 so far with local rising stars Good Fellas and Chochukmo, fan favourites False Alarm and the awesomely talented UK band Los Campesinos.Just add a nice outdoor location with warm weather and sea breezes, film shows, graffiti artists, and a bouncy castle for lots of fun for all ages .....(with lots more on the Sunday which i missed but check out for more info).
I just got there in time to see an energetic set from Good Fellas, one of Hong Kong 's promising young bands playing a set of Britpop-influenced songs.This band have been getting better each time I've seen them and this was their tightest set yet with rocking versions of 'Ride With Me' and ' Nothing About My Way '. With Egg from The Train alongside Po Kei on vocals and Angus from Born To Hula they're now one of Hong Kong's best Britpop style bands and well worth checking out...
I first saw Joshua Wong, the lead vocalist and songwriter of Noughts and Exxes in January in one of the best attended shows I've seen for his former band Whence He Came and his band were on fire at that show.. He has moved away from the more up-tempo sound of his previous band to something more complex and darker but the great vocals , well written songs and passion are still evident.
Having recently seen the turnout for the 10th Anniversary show of False Alarm it's clear that this band have a big local following.They and Harbour Records were right in the vanguard of today's alternative Hong Kong scene and their energetic, garage-punk set gave us some reasons why they have lasted so long and are still going strong with songs like 'Heavenly' and ' Give Me More. '
Chochukmo were winners of the recent Time Out Hong Kong 'We'll Make Your Album competition.Wthin the space of their first song they'd won over all of the crowd who weren't fans already with their quirky melodies,jangly guitars and Jan's delicate but passionate vocals.on songs like 'Head To Toe','Carolyn' and the darkly humorous 'Number One.'The band play jangly,latin,jazzy electro-pop.

Pet Conspiracy deliver moody but upbeat Beijing style garage synth rock in the style of Queen Sea Big Shark .The band members have impressive backgrounds in music and media and they created an energetic, dark, sexy, downbeat sound with Helen Feng (lead vocals) transporting the audience to new levels of electro-clash ecstasy. If you missed the excitement of their live show then you should get a copy of their album in White Noise Records
Alexis Taylor DJ set was next up (a bit of an anti-climax after the audience expectations based on albums like 'The Warning' and 'Made in the Dark').
Los Campesinos.This set was the highlight of the show and possibly the whole of 2009 in Hong Kong.The band are talented, write great songs (with crazy but oddly appropriate titles like "Ha Ha We destroyed the hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics', are generally lauded as one of the most promising of the current contenders and have a sound that's unique among today's indie clone bands with its mix of elation and melancholy of elation and melancholy.
The moment the band launched into 'You'll Need Those Fingers For Crossing', the crowd went wild and just got wilder as the set progressed to an awesome climax in 'You! Me! Dancing! "
A Timeout Hong Kong writer stated recently that this is a highly entrepreneurial city even in musical terms.Yet another characteristic is the city's ability to appreciate and play music that is a little more challenging than that created by platinum-selling indie megabands .

Note for the organisers of Clockenflap.Please bring all these bands back soon!I'm sure that fans will turn out in numbers for big shows with Greenday and the Killers in January but events like Clockenflap display an appetite for indie music that's a a bit more individual and less market driven than the world tours of rock megastars.

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