What an amazing night! The HUB was packed with eager live music fans ready to watch the four bands who were gracing The Underground stage for the first time. Thanks again to the Hub for usage of your great venue. Thanks to P&B Studio & Thomas for the sound production. Thanks to Singha Beer and Jack Daniels Cola for providing the refreshment to the bands and audience! Thanks to Leon for the photos. Thanks to our reviewers: Dan, Cain & Danice. Thanks to Ally & Wing for video duties. Thanks to Martin for the awesome artwork. BIG round of applause for the team members working so hard that night: Bun, Raymond, Holly and Sophie. I couldn’t have done it without all of you guys.
嘩！好精彩的晚上！The HUB 當晚塞滿左好多為了一睹首次在The Underground舞台上演出的四隊樂隊而到來的樂迷！再次多謝 The HUB 為我地提供舞台！多謝 P&B Studio & Thomas 的音響控制！多謝 Singa Beer 同 Jack Daniel Cola 為樂隊同我地樂迷提供飲品！多謝 Leon 為我地拍攝！多謝 Dan, Cain & Danice 為我地寫樂評！多謝 Ally & Wing 為我地拍攝影片！多謝 Martin 精美的Artwork! 最後仲要多謝我地一眾的團隊成員：Bun, Raymond, Holly 同 Sophie！全靠你地我先可以搞到一場Good Show！
❤️ Chris B xx
1. Midnight Summer
4. Days of Poison
5. Seek & Destroy
6. Winning Days
這可能是他們第一次在the Underground所以有些緊張吧，主音想表演獨特的台風卻顯得力不從心，其中更有忘詞的情況出現， 曲風以alt rock來說足以令觀眾享受其中，一些嘴巴唱法更讓筆者想起［Alexandros] 的歌，當中在Escape 一曲中更分享背後的感動故事，這一連串不同類型的歌曲都反映Cry!Romeo想向觀眾表演了自己的所有，但歌詞上卻聽不太清楚，令到筆者不太分辨到歌與歌之間氛圍和內容的不同，這也是美中不足的地方。
– Danice Yan
Kicking off the Underground was four-piece HK Indie band Cry!Romeo. Heavily influenced by British pop rock, these guys looked the part with their stylish vintage clothing and Egg sporting the Union Jack on his Gretsch guitar.
The band members are not new to the Hong Kong indie scene, they make up parts of Velvette Vendetta (Jacky), Good Fellas (Egg & Jim), and The Train (HK) (also Egg & Jim). So, you know before they even start their set that they have got the goods, as these bands I just mentioned are all worth a listen.
Their first song ‘Midnight Summer‘ fit their attire and gave it a feeling of Hong Kong meets Kasabian. It had a catchy chorus that was sung by both Egg and Jacky who are the guitarists/dual vocalists of the band. The rhythm section was solid with Jim on the drums and Vinz playing bass.
In the next song ‘Voices‘ the lead vocals were swapped and this time Jacky took the lead, or was it Egg? Then they both combined for some great harmonies which were soothing and yet foreboding. It led up to a crescendo that, once hit, made you feel like you were on a carousel and you didn’t want to get off.
‘Escape‘ was dedicated to a friend who passed away and had a more sombre mood to it. The vocals weren’t as clear in this song and I struggled to understand what they were saying because the music was overpowering the vocals. If I could hear the lyrics I think I would have a stronger connection to the song. Musically it was great and it had a middle break that lead into an intense theatrical crescendo. If you told me that this was a theme song for an anime, I would believe you.
‘Days of Poison‘ took a little steam off their delivery, but still kept that dark and sombre feeling. The song really catches you with the ‘ah, ahs’ that make it easy for you to sing along to.
Up next Cry!Romeo got back to their Signature British pop rock with ‘Seek & Destroy‘ which had a bassline akin to something from Pulp Fiction. Then, the chorus developed into a rock symphony that said baby, "I want ya!"
The boys were onto a winner with ‘Winning Days‘. The bassline in this song was so cool which morphed into a bit of a march, but then pulled back into something more groovy and pleasing to the ears. "Where do we go now?" were the only lyrics I heard in this song which ended with a moshpit on the dancefloor.
Cry!Romeo were great and by the end of the set the Underground was packed to the brim. I loved their look and style, I think it worked in their favour to improve their stage presence. The crowd was warmed up and the chorus of ‘Winning Days’ was still echoing in our heads long after the band finished their set. They would be a hard first act to follow.
– Cain McInerney
1. Roll ’til the brink of dawn
2. It’s on my mind
3. Mouth of the juggernauts
6. Title Fight
7. Head Electronica
雖然這次也是 佢哋首次係underground嘅演出, 但已經表現出成熟的台風。即使和觀眾交流唔多都能以音樂 吸引不少觀眾選擇佢哋當晚最有印象的樂隊，主音在結尾 大吼 嘅聲音更讓我 聯想起某些gun n roses既歌，完show後更 貫徹以音樂說話嘅作風，沒有什麼後續話便離開了，但仍給筆者留下不少深刻的印象。其中更是讓我驚豔到兩位主和音的聲音之相夾
– Danice Yan
It is easy to think that they might have called themselves Diamond 6 because they are like diamonds in the rough in the Hong Kong music scene. Peter (guitar), Gavin (bass) and Matt (drums) team up to form the next Grunge sensation.
‘Roll ’til the brink of dawn‘ is a very aptly named song which brings you back to the good ole days of Grunge. Peter’s vocals combined with the dirty rock made me reminisce about a good Australian band, Grinspoon. "Dead Cat!"
The next song ‘It’s on my mind‘ was nicely built up by the drums, adding bass, then guitar. It was a rocking riff that had everyone’s head bopping. This song made good use of guitar effects and wahs. It takes you to this trippy moment with some ‘oohs and ahhs’ that leaves your ears feeling satisfied.
Loving the names of these songs… ‘Mouth of the juggernauts‘ was exactly that. It was a rock encounter that I could imagine being the soundtrack of a fight scene in X-men. This was another chunky riff which was so beefy. It was an all-out war on the dancefloor as the audience could feel the intensity and acted accordingly. Phew…
‘Lotus‘ started off very similar to the previous song that I had to wonder whether it was an actual song change. The riff was similar and actually all the songs kept the same mood which reminded me of the album "And Justice For All…" which the songs meld into one and some riffs resurface during the album. This made me feel like watching Diamond 6 was more of an experience than just listening to one single song. It felt arranged in this way to bring us on a journey and it did a great job.
You could’ve thought ‘Tonight‘ started off with some kind of piano accompaniment if you weren’t paying attention, but it was actually Peter plucking the guitar strings which created this mesmerizing sound which begins to warp your mind. Then… ‘add oil’ the song gets that grunt you have been expecting and waiting for. You are out on a date and things are about to go down, yeah, you know what I am talking about. The harmony of Peter and Gavin in this song is perfect, they really complement each other well. At this stage, I am starting to regret writing this review as I just want to be an audience member free from writing notes about everything I see and hear (because I will forget later!).
Their best song of the night for me was ‘Title Fight‘ which had an uptempo explosive start. This song was great for me because it went through many different stages. While it had a similar grunty riff in the verse, the chorus brought my mind images of Mission Impossible and Tom Cruise attempting to get onto a moving aeroplane. People were noticeably moving and rocking to the beat, whether they liked it or not. It was contagious.
Diamond 6 finished with ‘Head Electronica‘ which had a different feel to the other songs they played and was maybe more suited to earlier on in their set. One thing I did notice in this song and others was that Matt was so super relaxed on the drums. The songs had the right amount of percussion in it, he didn’t overplay the drums which helped keep him and the band in time. As he told me himself, he was so calm because, "Practice makes perfect."
D6 were great! Great harmonies and rocking riffs which bring you back to the Grunge era. There is definitely really good synergy between these guys, who also have been in other bands including: Gong Wu (Gavin), Papa Jack (Gavin), This is Ammunition (Peter), The Dragon Army (Peter), and CHRANG! (Matt)… just to name a few. As with the previous band on tonight these guys are really on the ball and they never drop it. Grunge isn’t dead! ‘Like a D6!’
– Cain McInerney
1.You Know You Want Me
3. Unfaithful (Rihanna cover)
5. Dirty Desires
6. Vote For Me
7. The Last Song
筆者在觀賞是次BLISS的表演，一直認為標明自己為Rock n roll 的樂隊且加上BLISS主要都唱出英文歌，其曲風可能唔多唔少都會找到一些外國著名樂隊例如pearl jam, queen等所影響的影子。 然而 有趣的是當晚樂隊的表現卻讓我想起香港本地樂隊溫拿的影子，不但是全場最受歡迎的一支樂隊，還有多名fans 配合他們 戴上太陽眼鏡 炒熱了現場的氣氛 當晚多首歌曲主唱也有鼓勵現場觀眾跟佢哋一齊唱 ， 雖然筆者對他們的歌曲並不熟悉 但係主恩嘅領領導之下 多首歌例如vote for me dirty desires 也能記起當中的歌詞。 不過筆者認為 當加插unfaithful係多首歡快重節拍的歌曲中並不合適，聽者也不太集中到，好像在等待下首歡快的歌曲讓他們擺動。
– Danice Yan
Guys, quick heads up – when considering an outfit theme for your show, maybe set up a group WhatsApp or something so you can coordinate? Judging from the various outfits on display – rock ‘n’ roll, West Coast hippy, full Clint Eastwood circa “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (yes, really), not everyone got the memo.
But this just adds to the manic, crowd pleasing fun that is BLISS. So when singer Thomas announces “We’re going to rock the house tonight!” the band’s substantial following went even crazy(er). Thomas explained that the set list for the night was going to follow a kind of sequential storyline, kicking off with “You Know You Want Me”, then “Unfaithful”, “Regrets” etc – get the picture?
Launching into the first track as advertised, it’s classic Saturday night down the pub fare – hints of AC/DC, Billy Idol, The Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz” – so far, so rawk. Until track three when Thomas declares “We’re gonna party!” – and then they play a downright downbeat cover – Rihanna’s “Unfaithful” – huh? Anyway, that’s the charming lack of logic that is BLISS!
The next track “Vote For Me” was something about Donald Trump I think, but I couldn’t make it out too clearly, and the last song was called “The Last Song” (what would happen if they decided to do it at the start of the set?). Anyway, it was all a bit like having your mates playing for you at your party (which it kind of was, really), and with more singalongs than a Kowloon Tong kindergarten. They may not have been the best band musically on the night, but they certainly were the most entertaining, and their legions of fans had a ball, and that’s the most important thing, right?
– Dan Creffield
1. Safe and Sound
3. Canadian morning
4. Welcome to the Family
5. Bad Ink
6. You Didn’t Cry When Chris Cornell Died
Bass, drums and guitar three-pieces à la Cream, The Police, Nirvana, Green Day – it’s a well-trodden path with little left to offer, right? Well nobody told that to The Ryans, who have taken the concept and made it their own. If it were a CD, I would describe their sound as “a grower”. In person, it similarly creeps up on you, but faster, and with much greater immediacy.
As a three-piece every element is vital, and the drums and bass naturally form a huge part of the sound. Totally locked in, they provided a mesmerising backbeat. Add the wash of fuzzy guitar and you have a big, hypnotic, grungy, classic rock sound, at times a little reminiscent of bands like The Pixies, hints of Shoegaze but unquestionable distinctive and original. I also hear wafts of The Velvet Underground and The Jesus and Mary Chain. At times though it’s almost jazzy, with elements of bossa nova; so cool, so spacey, so effortless.
So I wasn’t surprised to discover that two of The Ryans are also Deer, aka Hong Kong-based Mexican duo Adriana Martinez and Miguel Bastida, whose excellent Portraits EP this reviewer was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to evaluate some months back. While that release is primarily trip-hop meets techno-indie, the talented twosome can clearly apply their genius to other musical forms. What’s next? Classical? Bluegrass? Creole? Whatever it is, I’m putting my order in now.
As established on the Portraits EP Adriana has a great voice, which gets into your head and under your skin. She’s also got some clever device providing harmonies for her (unless her band mates were doing it ventriloquist style, and without the aid of microphones), which added another layer of emotive energy.
Heavy yet delicate, tribal and intimate, The Ryans conjure a slinky and sinuous magic, and everyone in the venue feels its power.
– Dan Creffield
由Leon Che’ Clark攝影。
Poster by Martin Ng.
海報由 Martin Ng。