These Heavy shows are building momentum, the heavy mosh lovers are coming out for the first Thursday of each month, to Lan Kwai Fong to dance, apparently! We had dancers for every band at Heavy 13, it was so much fun. Big SHOUT out to Carr, amazing soundman at Orange Peel. Big big thanks to The Underground team who were managing the event. Huge applause for the audience who openly and excitedly enjoyed each band’s performance. Last but not least, thanks to Jack Daniels for supporting our Heavy nights!
love Chris B xx
Heavy 系列真係越來越實人歡迎！每月嘅第一個星期四都有好多rocker黎到籣桂坊同我地一齊享受！意想不到嘅係每次都有好多跳舞愛好者喎！ 好多謝Orange Peel 嘅sound man 丫Carr！重有唔少得就係The Underground嘅一眾團隊。各位觀眾更加令活動變得更有聲有色！最後多謝Jack Daniels 每次都為大家解渴！
Love Chris B xx
2. Brink of War
3. Invisible Enemy
4. Way to Die
5. I Don’t Care
Thirteen may be unlucky for some but Underground’s Heavy 13 night at Orange Peel was one of the most successful yet. A blend of hardcore rockers and intrigued music fans made for a great atmosphere, while every band brought their finest act in a night of headbanging, fearsome riffs, and singalong rock ‘n’ roll.
Fresh from an RTHK session, Underground favourites Other Theories set a cerebral tone with a dark, brooding, almost Arabic-sounding introduction. The band is heavily influenced by ’90s hard rock, including Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam and Audioslave, with two Gibson SGs rumbling in unison around heavy basslines and raspy Cobain vocals. The addition of a female singer, Liz Cook lent a soulful new angle – though the vocals should have been louder in the busy mix.
Charismatic lead singer and guitarist Kyle Haynes delivered an arresting performance with powerful lyrics evoking Chris Cornell and Scott Weiland, while bassist Eric Ferreira barely blinked as he alternated between funky slap styles and a much heavier, downtuned sound throughout the set.
Reminiscent of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Way to Die stood out, allowing guitarist Reinhart Adick to become the star of the show with impressive fret wizardry rising like a phoenix from sludgy riffs. Not for long though: drummer Aabhas Khanna then claimed the spotlight on penultimate song I Don’t Care with an amazing drum solo, before each member gave it their all for last song Procyon.
Wan Chai Warriors
1. Darkness Dawns
2. Dog Eat Dog
3. Park Bench
4. Waiting For A Sign
5. Don’t Let Go
6. Lost Soul
“I don’t know the words,” said Wan Chai Warriors singer Cain McInerney sheepishly as he started to soundcheck. It was a rare moment of bashfulness for the shaven-headed rocker, more accustomed to onstage mischief and thrusting to the music. The Heavy show was one of new bassist Tommy Chu’s first outings and, though he played with precisely half the strings of the band’s last bassist, he seemed like a good fit with the other musically skilled members.
Though McInerney has always been a natural frontman, this set showed him to be a skilled and magnetic entertainer. Who cares if his singing was occasionally off-key? His dancing, facial expressions and onstage shenanigans – particularly during the sordid singalong, Park Bench – were proof of his showmanship. Vincenzo Nardelli – surely one of Hong Kong’s finest metal guitarists – set his neon axe to stun with finger-blurring fretwork and a heavy sonic onslaught.
Opener Darkness Dawns combined jagged guitar rips with steadily building Nasheed-style moans that built to a roar. It was darkly brilliant, and set the tone for a more serious kind of WCW show than they’ve become known for. Then it was business as usual with the biker rock Dog Eat Dog and its guttural Eddie Vedder vocals, and the raucous Park Bench. The softer Don’t Let Go allowed for a moment of contemplation, before the roaring Warriors, a triumphant ode to the movie 300 and fist-pumping closer.
1. Ready to Roll
2. Don’t Turn Around
3. Believe in our Memory
4. Bad Romance
5. Breaking Limits
By far one of the most fun shows Hong Kong has seen for a while, Bamboo Star’s set was a hair metal wet dream of crazy fretwork and high-pitched histrionics. The HK rockers played songs from their heavy metal debut (Broken Hearts & Bleeding Parts), plus Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance; a perfectly theatrical choice for this high energy quartet.
A hilarious and dizzying performance of whirled hair and riffs as tight as the trousers side-stepped towards the more serious when the band dedicated the slower, sombre Believe in our Memory to the late Orange Peel manager Victor Cheung. The crowd became reflective and many bowed their head in respect or raised their glasses to this poignant Cemetery Gates moment.
In the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, the energy bounced back with signature BS tune, Breaking Limits, a cheesy ode to ’80s hair metal and decibel-pushing stadium rockers X Japan. It was a tremendously fun show and made the case for Bamboo Star as one of the city’s most capable live bands.
– El Jay
1. River Of Blood
2. When The Hell Was Calling
3. Freezing To Death
4. Running Before Dawn
5. Future In My Eyes
Headliners Cursed Eyes took to the Orange Peel stage with the kind of heads-down diligence that tells you to expect something technical and very, very heavy. It was only last December that the band played their Shazza show, but they turned enough heads in the meantime to be rewarded with a Heavy headline slot.
The ferocity began with the velvety riffs and gurgling vocals of River of Blood, one of the least dramatically named songs in a five-song of pure death metal theatrics. Big-haired frontman and guitarist Benjamin Cheng tortured his tonsils with a formidable growl that didn’t let up for the whole set – an impressive feat considering his simultaneous intricate fretwork.
Blending influences from The Faceless to Slayer to Fleshgod Apocalyse to Necrophagia, the band layered its music with surgical precision, before blasting through it all with walls of distorted, downtuned riffing. After the sinister When Hell Was Calling, it was time for the first live outing for Freezing To Death, a hornet’s nest of tremolo picking and barked vocals.
“I want you to go crazy for me,” ordered Cheng before introducing closer Future In My Eyes with a demonic roar. Naturally, the room obliged in a maelstrom of thrashing limbs and wind-milling hair to the tune of melodic riffing, crashing drums, frog-croak vocals and a shrieking Iron Maiden solo. “Wow! I’ve never seen so much dancing at a Heavy night,” remarked Chris B at the end of the set. It was a rip-roaring finale to a knockout event.
– El Jay
Photos by Kei Ho.
Poster by Ryan Chiu.