Underground 21

23-02-06

Thanks to everyone who followed the arrows to our new location in Wanchai. Thanks to LES VISAGES + ASAHI for supporting original local music!
May we have many more Undergrounds and many more beers here!
love Chris B xx

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Slash!Sakura!Slash!
So UG is #21! Yayy! Time to rock the vote, rap the ballots, rig the gigs – whatever! Lets hope it makes it to #50 (at least) in such stimulating company as tonight….
!slash!Sakura!slash (aka Benson) rips open proceedings with an unplugged medley of (mostly) ocker rock + one Finch cover. (Rudy from Underground #19 has some serious competition) His first song “Worlds Collide” – has free association hints of Bowie “Five Years” crossed with a bit of Roy Harper power chords. The next song which is the first song that !slash wrote in HK is a bit of Pink Floyd “Grantchester Meadows” springs to mind. Track 3 with the Hawkwind acoustic guitar intro off Space Ritual Live “Down thru the night” the (non) unplugged acoustic ocker rocker gets a little unhinged to good applause. Then !slash sings a song for Ross & Julia who are getting married tomorrow – this one has some neat ambient thrash in the middle. !slash last two songs are sort of Crowded House/Goanna plus frenzied screaming at the end. Acoustic punk at it’s best.
Nick Lovatt

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Orthon
The Dark Underlords of the HK death/prog/metal scene. Will they channel White Zombie? Dub War? Cradle of Filth? Carcass? First song “Suicide” (?) About 8 minutes or so, multi movements (ebb/flow of good 70s prog rock (like Yes in full flight) and really gruff GRUFF death vocals with sweet synth melodies (quasi-operatic). If you saw Strativarius in HK in January or own Beauty in Darkness (various artists) on Cleopatra records, you’ll LOVE Orthon. No dancing yet – but happy hardcore nodders in front row. Orthon’s drummer is the second fastest I’ve seem since Kevin from Hardpack – good jazz fusion style in places – plays exceedingly well with bassist/singer. Track 3 is like Depeche Mode turns heavy metal mingled with old Uriah Heep. Fourth song is called Ear grunt gobble. War Pigs bassline – more of that sweet keyboards versus speed metal drums/big bass and death vox. Symphonic. Absolutely amazing. Tight musicianship. Orthon would rock Europe, someone fly them there please!
Nick Lovatt

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Guitars & Panties
GNP stands “Guitars and Panties” or maybe “Gorgeous n’ Pouting” or “Growing Enormous Prongs” (happening to male audience) or “Got no Panties” (wishful thinking!)… This set brings a more punky style to the band kicking off with “Ex-Girlfriend”. Chris is more captivating, cheeky and in control on stage – but she’s not always center star. Yan, Shirley & Rachel all command equal attention now. Later on they do that organ song about spaceship which has hints of “Carrie” (soundtrack music with Pino Donaggio.) Nice bit of James Brown channeling with the big coat. On “Goodbye” they sound inspired by Bauhaus and Julian Cope. Like their last song “Attitude” basically their theme song “Chris wears black, Yan wears green, Shirley wears red and Rachel wears blue panties”. Will get closer to stage next time to see if “Sometimes they wear them, sometimes they don’t” is indeed true….
Nick Lovatt

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Protoss
More hardrock than Orthon. Dead Kennedys with Linkin Park/Rage Against the Machine rock rap. At times Beastie Boys twin vox – works really well. Like track 3 – Crystal Night – a ballad spacey guitars song. Protoss rock out. Protoss are indeed the heaviest band of the night. I lose my pen as I move to get a better spot to watch this band – sorry Protoss – didn’t catch the song titles. This band are a fitting end to Underground 21. Come back to Underground soon!
Nick Lovatt

A big hands up to the staff of Les Visages and a special thank you to Rommel! You did great guys!

Above photos © Copyright 2006 by Willem Van Der Merwe

Poster by Mike Davis

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