OK what a great night this was!! Lots of moshing. Lots of laughing! Loads of fun! Thanks so much to all the bands and Wu So Lui (鬍鬚女) for giving 200%. Thanks to the audience who attended this show. BIG thanks to Rockschool, BC Magazine and Asahi. Hope you can all wait for a few more months for our last Heavy show of 2010 in November.
love Chris B xx
Stonemind started off the evening with old-school classic rock. They started in 2009 and may be I shouldn’t have read their bios because after that I thought they befit the model of young band that didn’t move much. This was, of course, not a bad thing, because we all grow in time. They were rather tight and, most importantly, they had got very good sing-along chorus for everyone who would quick become fans. In particular, watch out for their punch-through vocal. With such nice melody and a frontman that commands a great voice, this band is off to a good start. Same for the night.
Darkness Pool brought out their trademark high speed metal while their lead vocal, John, literally peaked the sound system. This band was a true veteran as you could see all five members doing their parts in absolute comfort. My mate Erik actually exclaimed that the guitarist was smiling while playing complex guitar solos. But that’s beside the point. This was the third time Darkness Pool played The Underground, although I have this strong intuition that they played more (last time they also shared the stage with Gong Wu, my research department told me). Understandably, you need to appreciate heavy music to like to listen to them. But the reason why I said something this stupid is because they were delivering mature metal songs (they explained their style is Thrash Metal), excellent musicianship, impressive stage presence (plenty of those that evening, though), without having to also dressed up in metal gear!
Gong Wu! Well, Gong Wu! Typically, they are a heavily gigging band. But recently, they are going through a change of guitarist, and a change of voice (as if vocal Li Xu is growing out of puberty). In reality, Gong Wu is in need of more practice for new guitarist Felix Hung as well as a less heavy singing style for Xu. They played a comfortable set of seven songs while Xu was leading the audience to interact with him easily (plenty of interaction that night, too). To those of us who are familiar with their songs (and it’s rather easy because their songs are all available on their web site for free download), we heard new arrangement for a few songs, most significantly Sugar. I would have no idea if it was the acoustic, because Gavin Ho’s bass was not prominent enough, but, still, Xu’s shirt was off, as usual. No disappointment there.
Wu So Lui (鬍鬚女)
Wu So Lui is such an exception he (she?) had to break Underground rules. On the home page of this very web site, it is said that “THE UNDERGROUND was created in April 2004 as a result of the dearth of live music venues in Hong Kong, and to provide a showcase for the unsigned talent in Hong Kong to strut their original music.” Wu So Lui is such an exception that he has no original music. Not only that, he also does not have live music, only live singing. And you’d probably think that as soon as the music started, the organizer would have kicked him out (not that she could actually kick him at all). Not only that, I was asked by different people throughout the show, prior to his (her?) hitting the stage whether I have seen him (I have not) and to treat his show more like entertainment. So, to sum it up, Wu So Lui is a karaoke comedy performance of his very own style of Cantocore, which is hardcoredized cantopop. Now it’s much more exciting than it sounded, and Wu So Lui would definitely treat you to lots of headbanging and Cantonese interaction (apparently English-speaking folks need not apply) even though he’s clearly (both visually and vocally) a Westerner. Pause. If I write any longer everyone else would probably think I’m serving favouritism. But with no run-of-the-mill background music, you could tell his hardcore music is really quite good. And, really, it begs the question, when is he going to record all these mutant cover songs?
Hardpack were going to play two new songs. However, because two members were unavailable that night, they had to switch to playing a short set of four songs. Based on that criteria, I would be unable to comment because even if they played lousy (they did not) I would have to excuse them. But, of course, Hardpack being Hardpack continued to be the greatest pop punk band in Hong Kong (currently being challenged by another pop punk band who had recently released a CD). In this instance, we saw new guitarist Adam (ex-Dear Jane) fitting the role rather well, but did not punch through any surprises. And, as usual, Joseph, and, in particular, drummer Kevin was able to just set the stage on fire. The crowd wanted more, but politely let them go after they decline to honour the “one more”.
photos © Copyright 2010 by ANGUS LEUNG
poster by ANGUS LEUNG