Underground 69

17-10-08

Thank you to Durex for sponsoring our crazy show this night and thanks to Body Conscious for the spa massage coupons (read our winners’ delightful feedback at the bottom of this page!). The vibrating rings and the giant massagers aka vibrators were so popular!! Thanks of course to the bands for performing, to Hungry Ghosts for substituting at the last minute and to Desert for taking a train down from Canton (Guangzhou) to play. Most of all thank you to the audience and to Club Cixi.
love Chris B xx

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沙漠 Desert (China 中國)

I would say I believe the people were still getting ready to get dressed sexily at home so viewers were few when the first band came onstage all the way from Guangzhou. This was definitely testing the Adversary Quotient of the band, and later on, ours. I am not an artist after all, and am sometimes flabbergasted by some avant-garde (or GROTESQUE) philosophical ideas. Having read through their bio and standing behind the scattered audience listening, I still hadn’t the slightest idea as to what was going on. What amazed me were their experimentalism and the rawness of the vocalist’s voice, after trying to immerse in the distorted guitar drone and singing in the speaking style.
I lied to them. When they asked if we understood Mandarin, I said yes, but didn’t clarify how much I understood. They could really be a group of eloquent propagandists if they could deliver other messages as clear as the following: “This is your freedom! OUR freedom!” Perhaps they meant they didn’t care what I’m going to write about them. They went on playing with more guitar wall of sounds, adding to the flavour was a hidden gadget playing by the bassist. Think it’s a Kaos pad. Finally, I heard one of the song titles was “The Road Without An End” – which really gave a feeling as if one was driving alone on the untrodden desert. I don’t think they should (or never will anyway) change their style to suit the listeners’ taste. Perhaps it reflects some of the values or culture of the youth in booming mainland China. Whatever I say, still they read more than the kids in this place.
Erik Piece

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Hungry Ghosts


We were meant to see New Hair Hong Kong City, but their gig was called off. The replacement band I was delighted to see – Luke Chow in his band Hungry Ghost. It must have been a short notice but his fans were fast and swarmed to the front when they started. I saw Luke play by himself a couple of times and it’s the first time to see him play a guitar-driven full set (except those days when he was in Firefly Conspiracy as the bassist). An attractive lineup: Luke on turquoise Strat, Tiff on Firebird bass, Paul on Danelectro guitar, and Mike on energetic beats. Really energetic, as heard from some audience’s comments, “A real drummer has always got the drummer charisma when s/he drums. Mike’s got it.” True, made me think of Sparta’s drummer. I could smell the air with Luke’s acoustic sounds way back then in the HG songs, always chill, uplifting, and emo-influenced. They had an instrumental towards the end of the set. A nice build up on the wall of guitar sounds from jangling distinct notes. I was humming their songs in my head, with a song by the ex post-rock band from Cambridge, “Gweilo”.
Erik Piece

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Guitars & Panties

I deliberately saved the following line for the G&P review: with the sensual video montage showing faintly on the telly (clips nicely chosen by Chris B and edited by Chris B’s friend Steph), G&P were taking things easy, slowly they got on the stage as I helped Chris B tune her guitar. Poor me, my underpants were the stinky navy blue ones. What a mismatch, but Angus has a record of it. Frankly I nearly forgot to write anything seeing their outfits, especially Shirley’s Deep V (Gulp)! Don’t miss out Chris’ PVC overcoat too! Chris has never been dragged down by her busy work – the busier she had been, the more hyper she performed – and her amazing voice had been heard in all songs. The most appealing one, to me, was “Goodbye”, that she yearned to the audience to stay. Of course we were more than happy to stay till the end! Yan and Renee continued to bring in powerful back up; and Shirley’s eloquent fingers were gently stroking… the bass strings. She looked more elegant and sexy as she changed her position… to the piano. What an all-round player… musician, I mean. (Cough – mind my words) Okay, so… Chris went on with a Cantonese number, classic rock! Her yelling “I want freedom; I wanna enjoy; I want SEX!” with occasional moaning, I couldn’t help gulping the whole bottle of Asahi to cool down. I’ve always been wondering how people could rap like rapid fire while throwing (worn?) panties, Chris demonstrated flawlessly. And good to know about one fact: Renee wore no panties, according to Chris. Nice! (Note: I went sleepless thinking about the fact all night)
Erik Piece

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F.B.I.

Having been a devoted follower of Chochukmo, I decided to move on: I had chatted with the FBI guys on a web-radio programme a while ago, and within 4 weeks I had seen them twice. FBI started with a Blink 182 cover song first to show their love for punk. A speedy and energetic number to warm the crowd up. They interacted with the audience as they yelled out “I say LK, you say…” and expected the people to shout back “F!” This turned the crowd on and they (especially the girls) started to dance. Cain told me earlier on his voice was almost gone. How could I believe him? He became another person as he sang onstage – his voice was perfectly fine – with the professional music back up: Jerald’s RHCP-esque bassline, precise slapping and tapping; Kam’s thick and catchy guitar riffs; and Nice’s tight percussion, last but not least. While Cain decided to take a short rest, his amazing force took the lead and sang a couple of fast Canto-pop numbers, with a character of course – most of the mainstream Cantopop singers were poorly covering songs, with no style, written by the original composers anyway. Shortly Cain went back and insisted to sing “Man Love” with the guys. A very bright number. They ended their set with freestyle rap about number “6″ and “9″ (two suggestive numbers). Could be the sexiest band of the night, but let me determine a bit later, because the next band’s coming up. One of them would take off his clothes in the middle of the show. Check it out.
Erik Piece

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Gong Wu

I mentioned in the previous Underground night I reviewed, that towards the end of the whole thing I was exhausted and drunk; but tonight was different: with all the sexy bands and girls all coming in just to enjoy a sexy night with fags and alcohol, I still stayed hyper. I made my mind up not to write anything from then on, just walked to the front and immersed in the last band’s music, charisma, and all those smells around. That’s Gong Wu playing. As promised, they delivered a wild set which bouncy but smooth funky bassline had never ceased and heavily distorted guitars rhythm, sometimes a speedy riff or solo, but never went over the bar (please note my U67 review about comparing playing guitar solos to having a scoop of ice-cream). As Li Xu’s voice was soaring in the venue, the temperature rose to the peak as he took off his clothes that it wowed me: 6 packs. I can only envy. Come on guys, tell me your training programme and your diet. Seems I’ve become their fan now, forgetting to review their performance. They say in their profile that they “don’t give a fuck”, so just please let me admire them. Be it man or woman, seeing Gong Wu playing is a pleasure. Yes, after their set people were so unwilling to go, so was I. Why not? I don’t know, but as soon as I reached home, I immediately went to Gong Wu’s page to listen to their songs all over again. Thanks for your reading. Good night.
Erik Piece

Review of Body Conscious Spa Prize by winners Cla & Winnie

“Body Conscious must have just opened (we saw some shop-opening flowers at the entrance) but we do not doubt it will become quite popular in short time.
Excellent position and nice building, the real striking point about Body Conscious is their attention to details. Everything was taken well care of.
When arrived we were asked to fill a questionnaire to state our health condition (how many times people get hurt by careless masseurs!), then offered tea in tiny wooden cups with incredibly well carved coasters. In the massage room, the beds were self-warming, all towels were not only warm and clean, but they smelled like essential oil. Masseurs were skilled and they hypnotize you with different kind of balsamic perfumes.
In that blue-black dark room, under the most relaxing touches, you can surely dream of starry skies, hearing a faint piano melody together with the sweetest japanese flute singing to the moon.
A luxurious treat. Thanks, Underground!”
Cla (winner of the Body Conscious Luxury Spa Coupon)

photos © Copyright 2008 by ANGUS LEUNG

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