Underground 44

13-04-07

Wow! Our first ‘mini-festival’ with 10 bands playing! It was an awesome six hours and all the bands were unique – thanks to Headhunter for the last minute replacement of Bereavement (may your guitarist heal swiftly!) Thanks to Les Visages for over a year of indie music. Thanks to everyone who came and most of all thanks to the bands that persist in writing and creating their own expression in music
love Chris B xx

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Forgot
a strange combination of smooth vocals, swingy trancey drums, and almost ambient-style guitars without a particular purpose. more of a slow sway-to-the-music, forget your worries and just groove and wail for awhile type. if i were to describe their style, i’d say they’re relaxed but noisy quirky ambient pop. the general attitude is softly leading. it’s a bit like a chef without an exact recipe, just throwing in everything that seems suitable, and because of the chef’s skill in selecting ingredients, the result is pretty decent.
Amos

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Lazy Susans
bursting with style and personality, each song is a very distinctly different style. overall i’d call it funky pop-rock with a touch of punk and just a hint of ska. kind of experimental in styles, but they know exactly what they’re doing and it shows. rather convincing vocals and perfect (although not entirely traditional) musical accompaniment. the last song, a slow one, wasn’t very matching the atmosphere of the club, but is clearly a work of art, mainly thanks to the fantastic vocals. the music itself is only somewhat remarkable, but a perfect fit to make a great performance.
Amos

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an id signal
a thumping tortured hardcore mixture of noise that’s hard to get “into”, it’s like a pickup truck ride at a pretty good speed over a dirt road absolutely filled with potholes with no sign of relief in sight. very hard and a bit bewildering, i can’t help but wonder where they get their inspiration. the music is moderately coherent, but the vocals are all over the place – it’s as if they enjoy being hopelessly lost in a nonsensical array of sometimes painful and confused oddness. definitely not for everybody, especially not for naturally happy people, there’s not much joy here, except in the recognition of another horribly tortured soul (if applicable). not quite as hardcore into despair as “Bereavement”, but still pretty down, with just enough rock to still keep you moving around some. logic dictates that they must be, but i’m not entirely convinced by the vocal style that they’re having a pleasant time performing. the audience sure seems into them, i guess that indicates a fair amount of enjoyment of suffering around.
Amos

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The Darlings
instantly recognizable as a pop-rock band, they can be enjoyed by any fan of live performances. not particularly distinctive but full of all-around noisy goodness. they have just a touch of attitude. they seem to be trying to reach something, but not quite sure what. it’s certainly a nice, if somewhat rockingly ambiguous ride, though. some bits of uncertainty prevent me from fully mentally merging with their message though. a cross between them and “collective soul” would be fantastic. a few of their later songs showed pretty strong confidence, i’d love to hear more of that boldness.
Amos

The Darlings: 九十年代時看九十年代的Bass手,會覺得沒有什麼大不了,但在二十世紀再看九十年代出身的Bass手,會覺得現在已經沒有什麼人有這種技巧了。其實不單Bass手,樂隊三人演奏出來的聲音都是具有音質,而又非常整齊,給人一種成熟的感覺,沒有一定的演出經驗也不能做到這個效果。當晚Keyboard手缺席,但在這樣的情況下也不會太過不夠Full,只是在結他Solo時會有那種「突然進入Solo」的感覺,不夠順暢。
Dan Lai

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Queen Elephantine
off to a slow but deeply rich start, they’re all about populating the bassline with juicy tidbits of stoner love and fascinating variation to keep you solidly in their groove. and a wonderful groove it is. i thoroughly enjoy every sedimentary syllable they have to utter. they seem to have almost invented the mind of the stoner in all its cannabic glory, an absolutely blissful place to get lost in for an hour or three. not a whole lot of original melody here, but pretty much everything a slowly wandering mind seeks to encounter. they are the abolutely perfect accompaniment to couch-lock, leaving you wanting nothing but another plate of nachos. the band “tool” has a bit more creativity and variation, but queen elephantine is very stiff competition as far as keeping an awesome vibe going goes. i seriously cannot think of any way that they could possibly improve. they’re like floyd without the legacy. truly a stoner’s wet (if a bit cotton mouthy) dream.
Amos

Queen Elephantine: 他們除了音樂上的演出,還有Live Art表演。他們的音樂聽起來有點Sludge和Stoner的感覺,是我非常喜歡的類型。而Live Art表演亦正好能夠配合這種音樂,因為與其看著台上幾個人不斷彈奏一些重覆的音樂段落,不如看一些視覺元素比較豐富的表演。但由於Live Art佔用了觀眾的一部份位置,所以觀眾便不能釋放身體,盡情投入很Stone的音樂內,否則便會很容易踐踏到那幅畫
Dan Lai

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The Squawk
Found myself slamming into the Squawk’s debut at The Underground with songs that are halfway between deathmetal and punk – short short anthems of intensity and energy at an all time high. Perfect. Moshing to various songs with subjects littered with dedications to ‘their boss’ to birthday songs. Tight. Book The Squawk now.
Joseph

The Squawk: 有點Grindcore感覺的音樂,歌曲長度非常短,給人一種嚴重Under run的感覺,不過另一個可能性是因為他們的歌曲太吸引,所以希望看多一點吧!
Dan Lai

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The Nobody’s
An assortment of musical styles equals The Nobody’s. Dramatic sort of flowing punk rap rock then moments of passionate keyboards then Beatlesesque moments. The singer tries hard, maybe a little too hard at times but no complaints musically as he sings in key! Majestic keyboard washes fill their last song, a Cantonese number. Interesting mix of styles, sometimes like they cant decide, other moments it works! I’d watch them again.
Mark Emerson

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Karat
The only band at U44 with an ‘entrance’ donning afro wigs and the cute female singer with her blue wig – she’s got great vocals! Reminds me of a japanese porno movie with schoolgirls – oh wait maybe thats the beer talking. Singer should have kept the wig on, she looked too normal once she took it off…. Musically very very funky with shades of Bee Gees. Karat are reviving 80s music! Possibly too funky for funk’s sake!
Mark Emerson

Karat: Funky Beat + 美女主音 + 爆炸頭造型 = 必勝。他們演出時,看見有很多人拿著相機來拍攝短片,令我想起一些狗公影會活動的情況。另外,若果女主音能夠大聲一點的話就更完美了
Dan Lai

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Synthetic Insemination
This is the sort of band you can take mushrooms to! [Editor – please, no drug references] Drum machine with melodic funky grooves, the female vocalist alternating between playing bass and keyboards. Guitarist with effected vocals. Reminiscent of Morcheeba. With songs halfway between industrial and punk – thnk Bangles influenced by Nirvana. A very good band. Mark Emerson

Synthetic Insemination: 他們運用了很多電子器材去幫助他們建立歌曲的感覺,而效果亦不俗。不過最令我大惑不解的是,既然有電子器材去播放鼓擊部份,而他們鼓手打的又是和電子器材播放的一樣,那他們為什麼還需要一個鼓手呢?另外女主音唱歌時似乎有點太用力。
Dan Lai

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Head Hunter
Headhunter had a large crowd with people jostling to see this industrial goth band. Naughtily they played two covers but at least in was in their own style with Twenty Century Boy drawing a big round of applause. The Leslie Cheung cover was just weird. I’m so impressed with them for their dress sense, their makeup, their fashion sense, their music – I watched them once before in 2005 and think they have improved although I do miss the gas masks!
Rosie Chan

不能在Underground 44演出,有點遺憾,但昨晚也去了看其他樂隊的演出,包括同事Bob的The Squawk及同事Gary的The Darlings。先談談在這晚喝的三款啤酒:

Boddington:都是一貫的易入口,都是與Budweiser相似,但都是比Budweiser好喝。
Tetley’s:以為是Tetley’s生啤,但原來是罐裝的。第一次喝罐裝的Tetley’s,沒有了最大的賣點 – 濃滑的泡沫,而且被罐子影響了它特有的苦澀香味。
Strongbow:原本以為喝了兩罐啤酒,再喝Strongbow時便會平衡了它那強烈的味道,但原來只是我的一廂情願。以我的口味而言,它太酸了,飲用時令我想起嘔吐物。

沒有買那$50元2罐的Asahi Prime Time的原因是,家裏還有很多Asahi Prime Time…

音樂方面…

意色樓: 留意五線Bass上只剩四條線,但還能自然地繼續演出,主音呀禮解釋:「斷了線還可繼續,為什麼?因為…我們是意色樓!」…好一個解釋。坦白說,鼓手和Bass手無論在技術和音樂方面都非常出色;結他手雖然相對地沒有那麼出色,但結他部份則非常配合歌曲的感覺。
Dan Lai

Above photos © Copyright 2007 by Willem Van Der Merwe
except photos of Forgot by Yan
Poster by Mike

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