What an absolutely amazing night of music at our final event at Backstage before it closes at the end of August 2015. The line-up was full of some of the best & quirkiest acts in Hong Kong and we even had Hugo Sohm step on stage and beatbox for 10 minutes during the course of the evening. The musicianship was outstanding and the audience kept dancing and dancing long after all the bands had finished performing! We must give some credit to our amazing sponsors: Singha Beer and JackDaniels Cola for lubricating our bands and the audience. Thanks to The Underground team who kept the door running smoothly, the visuals on display behind the bands, the awesome photos you see below and the video clips (coming soon) and all our reviewers who have taken the time to listen and write. Thanks to Abe & all the staff at Backstage, we will miss working with you and filling up your venue with quality Hong Kong bands.
雖然Backstage將在8月底結業, 但Underground有幸在此之前最後一次和Backstage共享了一個充滿美妙音樂的晚上。最出色和最詭異的樂隊都出現在當晚的表演陣容中, 我們邀請到Hugo Sohm上台, 即興表演長達10分鐘的Beatbox。 音樂人出色的演出令現場觀眾樂而忘返, 跳舞跳到所有表演結束後亦未肯離場。現場的高漲氣氛歸功於我們的飲品贊助Singha Beer and JackDaniels Cola, 它們將表演樂隊和現場觀眾打成一片。感謝The Underground Team維持入場秩序和門口暢通, 提供背景的視覺特效, 拍攝以下精彩照片和影片(即將上傳)及撰寫樂評。感激Abe和所有Backstage的工作人員, 我們會記掛著一起合作和樂隊表演時Backstage坐無虛席的時光。
love Chris B xx
Sister Tang-Yi (唐藝) and the Gang
3. Why on my Bed
5. Just Be Gay
6. 還是要相信愛情呀，混蛋們（cover song）
唐藝所創作的歌詞大多都是取材於日常生活或她個人非一般的經歷見聞，內容生動脫軌但親切有意義亦有共鳴。容易理解又易記的歌詞再配合不同風格的樂曲和唐藝極具個人特色的歌唱技巧及戲劇性的現場演繹，產生非常有趣又奇妙的化學反應，令人不斷期待她的演出。「Just Be Gay」則讓人有走出來做自己的勇氣，而「你的孩子會聽著我的歌長大」更突顯唐藝幽默諷刺又不羈的風格。
– Jacqueline Tang
Tang-Yi greeted the crowd and gave a big shout out to Chris B and the Underground for the last show at Backstage (as it will be closing down end of this month.) Sister Tang Yi and the Gang then began to play what seemed to me like a playschool-like tune. ‘你的孩子會聽著我的歌長大’ was something you would hear from a kid’s TV show, which isn’t a negative comment. I’m a big kid and memories of watching Play School in the late 80s came rushing back into my head. Soon, the song turned into a jazzy number with lots of “La la la’s…” accompanied with a trumpet and a basic drumbeat. But, there was no drummer. The drums were pre-programmed and controlled by the bass player, Shawn, who maintained the rhythm section. The song was quirky and beautiful. Despite not being able to understand any of the lyrics in Mandarin I really enjoyed listening to their first number.
Tang-Yi introduced the second number,’吃飯前把手機交出來’, and told us it was about people using the phone while at the dinner table. This is becoming more of a common occurrence and so I agreed with Tang-Yi’s sentiment of how rude it is. So, I was trying to decipher the meaning of her song while experiencing the language barrier. The song started with an electro synth keyboard and more lyrics in Mandarin. If I had a guess at what she was singing about I would say that she was directing her lyrics at a particular someone who didn’t pay enough attention at the dinner table, instead head in phone the whole time. Am I right? The rhythm was quite simple though the tune was heavily led by the Tang-Yi’s melodic vocals.
Tang-Yi told us the reason why she chose the song title of their third song which had me laughing in tears. “Why on my bed?” was a song she wrote after she caught her friend and her friend’s boyfriend having sex on her bed. Oh my! If you are going to do it make sure you don’t get caught! Haha! She told us that this song was the only reason why her EP was considered to have explicit lyrics. It also could be from the oohs and ahhs which made the song pretty darn sexy. Sister Tang-Yi and the Gang built a very sexual atmosphere and vibe for this song which made me feel at times like I was in a cabaret lounge. The ending of this song is great as she has been complaining the whole time about them doing it on her bed, she finally gives in and says, “Why without me?”
Sister Tang-Yi and the Band’s fourth song, ‘天氣這麼好，我卻在煩惱’, was a quickie. It was a ballad that came 😉 and went. It was quite beautiful and melodic, and over in a flash.
‘Just Be Gay’ was the fourth number that Sister Tang-Yi and the Gang played. It was a very happy tune ;). This song was very different from the other tunes we had heard. It was quite trippy and transcendent. It had some computerized tones which made me feel like doing the robot. I think the contrast between the singing in the verse which was done in Mandarin and the English chorus was great. This combination enabled the song to engage the entire audience.
‘還是要相信愛情呀，混蛋們’ was the only cover song that the Gang played for the night. It was also another song which was heavy on the computerized keyboard sounds. It had an infectious chorus and I felt like if the audience understood the lyrics they would surely be singing along. This was the first time I really noticed the backing vocals from Natalie shine through, as in the previous songs their voices melded so well with each other that I didn’t even notice that she had a backing singer.
Sister Tang-Yi and the Gang were a band that I would definitely go to see again and look forward to more fun and out-there lyrics and song titles. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand Mandarin (Putonghua) you will be able to feel the messages to her awesome array of songs which she embeds deeply into your brain with her quirky vocals and music. Great way to start the night! On a high! But, not in my bed! Please! Hehe!
– Cain McInerney
1. Super Hero
2. New Song
3. It’s alright
4. Soul on the beat
開場前時, Chris B用傳奇來形容Site Assess, 稱得上傳奇定必有一定水準。一行五人的Site Access 有主音, 吉他手, 貝斯手, 薩士風手加上鼓手各一位。單從他倒當晚全黑的Dress Code絕對想像不到他們是Disco和Funk好手。
以漫畫英雄人物為主題的“Super Hero” 作開首。在近年漫畫英雄熱下, 觀眾都對曲中夾雜的英雄人物非常熟悉, 中板的Funky音樂加上主音懶洋洋的Rapping唱腔, 在晚間的backstage聽著實在令人寫意。接著的New Song是一首情深的Ballad作品。之後的It’s Alright的Bassline換上突出的Effect, 充滿70年代Disco歌曲的味道。Soul on the Beat開頭的薩士風節奏為歌曲帶來Jazz的元素。值得一提的是, 當我在Youtube搜尋Site Access過去的演出時發現,只有在2015年後的演出才有薩士風手, 相信是新加入的成員。從當晚的演出, 可見薩士風手為Site Access的音樂生色不少, 將一些本來帶點稚氣的Poppy Hip Hop歌曲注入成熟的感覺。
– Dicky Kwong
Chris B was very happy to have Site Access at the Underground for the first time and she praised the band hugely before they even played one note. She told us that they were legendary and I felt like she was talking them up so much that they just might be superheroes, which was actually close to the song title of their first song… ‘Super Hero’. I love a good song about superheroes and this song had everything I liked in a nice, neat package delivered to my eardrums. The verse was filled with references of all the different superheroes you could think of off the top of your head, with a cool vocal melody. It was the type of song that whenever I saw someone enter the room they had to start doing a funky dance to the beat. The guitar solo near the end of the song was really awesome and I immediately fell in love with Site Access.
The next song, ‘New Song’, was a slow-down Ska song which sounded something akin to Sublime with the saxophone beginning the tune. Sublime was one of my favourite bands as a youth so I was hooked on this song which was heavily driven by the bass and drums. I really enjoyed the exchange from the vocalist and the saxophone player in this song. Brandon would rap a line or two and he would be answered by Chi’s saxophone. The crowd loved this song just as much as I did.
Their third song, ‘It’s alright’ started off a little faster than the first two and Site Access showed that they can do the best alternative groove funk in Hong Kong. I was impressed with his voice as he sounded so original yet familiar. Then, after doing some more research I realized that Brandon was none other than Ghost Style who has also been in another legendary Hong Kong band that I love, one of my all-time favourite Hong Kong rap groups… none other than 24 Herbs. No wonder I loved his voice so much! In this song the music was something akin to ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams, with the vocals giving it a different twist. There was another guitar solo that I was so happy to hear once again, and nearing the end of the song if you weren’t already hooked then you would have been encapsulated by the Blues Brothers-esque finish.
Yim and Wai led us into the next song with their funky bass and guitar until Chi jumped in with his sassy sax. In ‘Soul on the beat’ Brandon’s vocals were more like singing than rap in this song and in the chorus I caught a feel of Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was a funky and poppy number which had Brandon hitting all of the high notes.
For their last song, Site Access gave us more of an outro as it was more laid back in tempo than their previous songs. ‘Natural’ didn’t have the same kick as the other songs, but it was as if they were doing their own personal farewell to Backstage through this song as they wounded down their set. The best part of this song was the sax solo which really hit the spot.
If you haven’t seen Site Access before then you should definitely go see them as they are going to funk you up! They are a band that you will want to dance along to all of their tunes. Their alternative groove funk will have you begging for more. Encore!
– Cain McInerney
4. New wave of sense
5. A discovery
6. Eternally indifferent
7. Traveling soul psychedelia
8. What’s on your mind
隨著迷離旋律，身體感官不知不覺就墮入ShumKing Mansion的迷幻音樂世界。主音帶點懶慵慵的唱腔令人放下戒備，腦袋放空，由Keytar作旋律主導，加上突出的貝斯和鼓點所強調的節拍，冷不防就被他們的舞曲攻陷，不由自主的跟著節奏舞動起來。ShumKing Mansion擅長以節拍及Keytar豐富的音色控制現場的氣氛和表達樂曲的意境，樂曲節奏精彩多變，時而放慢，時而輕快。而主音亦會隨著樂曲以不同的唱腔演繹，時而迷離夢幻，時而玩味十足，營造出他們獨有的音樂空間。樂曲多以跳躍的dance rock為主，而樂隊成員們亦非常樂於跟台下樂迷交流，經常跳到台下跟樂迷一起跳動，令現場的氣氛更高漲，感受到樂隊、樂曲跟觀眾之間的一體感。
– Jacqueline Tang
In just a few months, ShumKing Mansion – previously described as a “drunken tour group on holiday in Ibiza” – have evolved from beach bar boogie-makers to one of the most mesmeric new acts on the HK circuit. Increasingly better attended live shows have bolstered the band’s confidence in their niche musical style, and it seems they’ve stopped messing around after realizing, they’re making noise that crowds dig.
The four-piece blends psychedelic elements into electronic tracks with a classic rock structure. It’s a combination that wouldn’t work if all four members weren’t competent musicians in their own right. And, unlike many electro outfits, having live drums and bass helps too: a solid, driving rhythm underpins each wavering melody and gives backbone to some of the more tripped-out guitar and pitch-bending key noodlings.
Third on the bill at The Underground’s last hoorah at Backstage, Shumking reach their stride quickly, soaking the venue with a compelling grunge mutation of reference points as far removed as Pink Floyd, Shy Child and Kasiabian. Frontman and guitarist Zaid scans the crowd, daring onlookers not to move to the funky disco rock-meets-nu-wave electro pulsing from the stage. By the end of the third song there wasn’t a hip in the house not undulating in synch.
‘Travelling Soul Psychedelia’ and ‘A New wave of Sense’, and ‘A Discovery’ sparkle in a busy setlist, and keytarist Jean-Emmanuel programs his white Roland to the “sitar” setting for new song ‘Bollywood’, a glittering blend of eastern influence and snake-hipped city electronica.
Despite retaining the holiday camp image – the neon shades, the flowery shirts, the trademark top hat – onstage shenanigans have tapered now there are enough songs to fill a full set. Nevertheless, idiosyncratic bassist Shum goes down a storm when he leaps off the stage with the giddy dancing Shumking shows are famed for.
Devo without the pop discipline; Nirvana without the overdriven guitar – they’re pushing the boundaries of music without pushing the decibels, and having a hell of a good time with it.
– El Jay
1. My name is Glen
2. My House
3. Matzo Ball Soup
4. 8 Bit Killah
5. I Remember
7. Somebody Teach Me How to Dance
8. Another Friday Night
9. Muthaphukka I will Stab You
10. Fuck You, You Fuckin’ Fuck
JUNK! 在表演當日的前一晚剛成為一個小女孩的父親, 可能是高興的關係, 他帶同了一個朋友做他表演時的舞蹈員。這位舞蹈員, 在我來說, 有點圓潤版里安立度‧狄卡比奧的感覺, 而他在表演前已經好像喝得半醉, 但他在台上的忘我演出卻令我覺得他喝得半醉是必須的。但當晚的主角始終是剛為人父的Glen (JUNK!)。他用第一首歌 “My name is Glen” 跟觀眾打招呼, 順便介紹自己。之後是富工業味的My House。 “8 Bit Killah”有趣的地方在於這首歌曲靈感來自經典遊戲並以8-Bit命名, 但這首歌卻不是8 Bit。8 Bit電音卻出現在之後的 “Julie”。演出的高潮出現在舞曲 “Somebody Teach Me How to Dance”, Glen要求觀眾跟隨他的動作舞動, 帶動起全場氣氛。可是興奮過後卻發生一段小插曲, 之後Glen邀請當晚客串Beatboxer, Hugo一起演出 “Another Friday Night”, 但預設的聲效卻不太聽使, 只播一小節就停了。幸好Hugo的Beatbox技藝高超, 足已彌補沒有了的聲效, 在歌曲完始後Glen亦感謝Hugo拯救了他的演出。最後的兩首個人感覺純粹是胡鬧式的發洩歌曲。觀眾在表演過後, 興奮依然, 一直跟著Backstage播出的80年代舞曲起舞近一小時。算是跟The Underground在Backstage畫上一個長長的句號吧。
– Dicky Kwong
Why put on a one-man show when you can recruit a friend in a crotchless Pac-Man babygro to gyrate alongside you? Crass, crazy and Cacophonous, JUNK! is the brainchild of MC Glen Lloyd, who furnished Backstage’s Summer of Music with the musical equivalent of a kilo of acid-soaked smarties (before Nestle ruined things by taking the blue ones out).
As the second act of the night to twiddle a keytar, JUNK! ups the novelty factor with said dancing friend Lee Jay Heller and a multimedia experience unlike any other. It’s the 80s-tinged electronica of Daft Punk, the madcap sonic experimentalism of The Go! Team, the crude comedy pop stylings of Electric Six, and the shouting rap onslaught and sample-laden beats of the Beastie Boys all blended into one bonkers show.
Lloyd sings, raps and beatboxes over a pre-recorded whirlwind of 8-bit bloops, chip-tune chirps, and bass heavy hip hop beats, with occasional effects pad looping and improvisation. Despite all the foolery, swearing, scratch ‘n’ sniff CDs, and glittery leggings, JUNK! shows a shrewd instinct for catchy dance tracks and lyrics sparkling with humour, while recruiting the more sophisticated beatboxing talent of Hugo Sohm for a final Backstage blow-out.
Laced with songs such as ‘Fuck you you fuckin’ fuck’ and ‘Muthaphukka I will stab you’, JUNK!’s oeuvre is largely anecdotal and belted out with as much respect for the eardrums as an electric drill. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most wholesome live experiences to be found in the city.
When miniature tambourines are passed out to the crowd, it could have been the recipe for a headache, but the result is harmonious and pleasingly cathartic. Later, the crowd are invited to pick from a series of videos, including Blondie, Phil Collins, Rick Astley, and He-Man, to accompany another dive into a wonderful portal of weird.
The show closes with Four Non Blondes cover What’s Up. “I just had a baby yesterday,” Lloyd announces. Playing a show on the back of newfound fatherhood – now that’s dedication.
– El Jay
Photos by Angus Leung.
Poster by Alison Lau.