The indie voice: The Queen of Hong Kong indie rock, Chris B, chats to Mark Tjhung about her new adventure on the airways
Read it on SCMP.com
Chris B interviewed in Men’s Folio, Singapore edition – October 2010
Apple features The Underground iPhone app! May 2011
Sounds of the Underground By Tim Pritchard | Posted on 16 May 2011
On Rhythm City, we catch up with the venerable Chris B. She’s made her mark on the Hong Kong music scene with her bands and her regular music event, The Underground. Listen in as Chris B. gives us the lowdown on why she does what she does. Widely regarded as the godmother of Hong Kong’s indie music scene, Chris B is the founder of local music showcase The Underground, and one of the organizers of the China leg of the Global Battle of the Bands. The veteran rocker and mother of two joins Penny Zhou for afternoon tea.
To read more click on the photo….
Hey! Look who’s following The Underground twitter updates?
Publication: re:spect music magazine紙談音樂
Date: 15 April 2010
Title: Underground 雜錦專輯＃3, 12支樂隊獻上強烈節奏
The Underground website ranks #7 in the South China Morning PostMagazine
Underground helps boost Uranus
C for Culture, February 2010, issue 22
Title: Web 2.0 的自主音樂平台 ( online version)
The Underground was mentioned at the second last paragraph:
“香港另一個以舉行音樂會為團隊任務的是Underground，每月在中環、灣仔的一些酒吧，小酒館舉行二至三場音樂會，迄今已舉行過九十多場Live Gig。成員Calvin說Underground主要是希望將獨立音樂介紹給平日不會聽這類音樂的人。Underground除了籌備音樂會外，還會錄影演出，找樂評人寫評論，在演出後會與表演者分享意見。Underground一方面為一些新成立，不太為人熟悉的樂隊、音樂人舉行音樂會，另一方面在做場地開拓的工作，現在underground幾個表演熱點也是成員逐個去洽談回來的。Underground成立已有一段時間，在圈內及海外也有一定的名聲，Calvin指間或會有外國遊客向他們查詢節目。 ”
Check out the Underground in Time Magazine, 31 August 2009
And check us out in HK Magazine
We’ve sold out our 2008 Tshirts and are delighted to announce that we’ve raised HK$12,400 for the Hong Kong Red Cross China Relief Fund towards earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation projects in Sichuan and the neighbouring Gansu province.
2008 年的 T恤已經售罄，我們為香港紅十字會中國賑災金籌得一萬二千四百元港幣，幫助四川及鄰近的甘肅省進行地震重建及恢復項目。
Time Magazine online wishes The Underground a Happy 5th Birthday:
Beats Magazine review of
South China Morning Post
Time Out Magazine — First Issue
Chris B was filmed by National Geographic with her new Sony Cybershot camera – this ad is currently being aired on various Star TV channels.
Underground documentary filmed in April 2006 by Anasstasia in Australia whilst on exchange in Hong Kong.
8:54 mins long in English
Features our own Chris B!!
When rock musicians Chris B and Mike Peart formed a band almost three years ago, they were frustrated by the lack of suitable venues to showcase their material. “There was just nowhere,” says B, a veteran of the local music scene.They decided to do something about it and in 2004 launched a night for local bands called The Underground, at the unlikely venue of notorious pick-up bar Joe Bananas in Wan Chai.The Underground has gone on to host dozens of bands, with 33 events at different venues. On November 10, it will reach the milestone of presenting its 100th band – an impressive achievement in a city where live music shows tend to bomb. Some of Hong Kong’s best up-and-coming acts will be showcased, including shoegazers Elf Fatima and laptop rockers Snoblind.Now residing at Edge in Central and Les Visages in Wan Chai, The Underground has been the starting point for many bands of different genres, from metal to prog rock and guitar pop. “Just knowing you can prepare a short set has motivated many bands,” says B.Emilie Lee, a former member of rock outfit Sarasvati, says The Underground was a revelation after playing pub gigs. “It’s totally different,” says the 27-year-old graphic designer. “The experience was amazing because people had come to hear different music. The atmosphere is good. People stand up, shake their heads and dance. In a pub, people keep quiet.”Despite many plaudits, keeping the show on the road has been tough going, consuming the organisers’ money as well as time. The first 19 shows were free to encourage attendance, but as debts mounted a HK$40 entrance fee was imposed to cover running costs. “We approached the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong to sponsor us as they’re Hong Kong’s only songwriting society, but they turned us down,” says B, who spends up to 20 hours a week on The Underground. “We struggled to have 100 people turn up in the first year. This year’s events have seen between 200 and 400 people attending.”Among the regulars is American Lee Hill, a writer who has worked in the southern California music industry, and who regards the night as more than an evening out. “I see attendance as more than personal recreation. It’s a political statement,” says Hill, who was dismayed when he arrived here three years ago to find a formulaic pop scene.”The Underground provides a forum for people who are creating original and non-mainstream music. That’s rare here. Music shops have compilations by Air Supply and the Mamas and The Papas. You can’t easily get those in the US. The local view of western music appears frozen in time and style. What the night reveals is that Hong Kong is in its music industry infancy. But there’s some real talent and the night encourages it.”Some might say B’s passion is a form of community service, offering opportunities to youngsters in a stifling creative environment. “My goal is to improve the live music scene and to encourage songwriting and creativity. I’ve had people ask me, `Where is this band from? They’re really great’, and when I say Hong Kong they keep asking me as if I’ve made some mistake.” The Underground 34, with Qiu Hong, Bereavement, Elf Fatima, Snoblind and Kissing on the Dance Floor, Nov 10, 8.30pm, Edge, G/F, 60 Wyndham St, Central, HK$40. Inquiries: 9486 4648,
August 14, 2006 – Chris B interviewed by Dragon Radio!
Listen as a ‘Podcast’ or download the mp3!
Dragon Radio 044 May 22, 2006 – Underground mentioned in CNN TRAVEL ARTICLE!
A week’s worth of travel ideas in Hong Kong
It’s time to head to the Wan Chai district to watch local pop and rock musical acts at the Underground, a regular event dedicated to nurturing local groups and providing a window into the future pop musical forces in this part of Asia. Updated Interview with Underground founders translated into Chinese:
ROBOT Magazine – The ADDICTION Issue 08 (Nov – Dec 2005)
Interviewed by Y. Z. Li
Addicted to Bad Music – The view from the Underground
With her own band’s contributions ( Guitars and Panties) and by providing her monthly forum for new and alternative music (Underground), songwriter, music promoter, music publisher and Rock-Babe Chris B is launching a crusade to rehabilitate Hong Kong’s popular music scene.
Caroline Li from Standard, interviewed us about Underground in July 2005, we don’t know when (if ever!) it’s going to be published but thought “What the Heck!”, lets put our answers up on Underground Press Section! 1. name? association with the underground?
The Underground came into being in April 2004. In our view at that time the music scene, certainly on Hong Kong island, was a bit staid, the same old bands playing the same old venues. We knew there were a lot of exciting young bands in Kowloon and the New Territories, and we wanted not only to give them a chance to play before a big audience, but also to promote live original music. Many people doubted that there was an audience for original music, but the Underground has proven them to be wrong. We called the club “The Underground” as the bands we were hoping to promote were mostly exactly that…unknown, and from the underground of the Hong Kong music scene. Plus, it sounds terribly hip and cool! 2. how long have you been living in HK-orginally from?
The Underground was started by Mike Peart and Chris B. Mike was the founder of the legendary PNS and more recently the Flowers of Babylon. He has lived in HK for the past 16 years, although he is presently setting up the Thai Underground in Koh Samui. Chris B is best known through The Sisters of Sharon. She was born here. Although Chris B is the face of Underground, there are many others involved including the website designer, the reviewers, the photographers, the MCs and most of all the bands themselves! 3. why do you think listening to live music is popluar among those who come to the underground?
The Underground crowd is generally 50% Chinese, 50% foreigners. Live music in HK island has generally meant cover bands. As an international city, we believed it was an abomination that original music was so badly catered for. The huge crowds we are now getting is proof that our concept was right. Our bands range from punk to heavy to experimental to blues to pop. People know on an Underground night there is bound to be at least one band they like, because we deliberately place diverse bands on the bill. Plus, people just don’t listen… a lot of the bands have worked very hard on their stage show too. At present we have one show a month, which we are planning to increase to fortnightly. We know from talking to those that attend that they want more original music, and not coma-inducing cover bands. 4. how would you compare the live music scene of today in hk to before the handover?
Getting better. There are more bands, more competitions and more opportunities for bands to play. 5. what makes the underground different from other live music venues?
The Underground is an ‘event’ and not a venue. “The Venue” bar in Wanchai is currently kindly hosting some of our nights there and we have held them in Joe Bananas in the past. We plan on hosting events at other locations in the future. Why? Because this gives the bands exposure and experience in performing in different places and to different audiences. Plus it prevents the bands, the audience and the organisers from resting on their laurels. More venues means more fun. Also we specifically look for bands from attending concerts, listening to demos, etc. And as I have said, we deliberately mix the genres at each event. It’s actually more interesting to watch 4 or 5 different bands playing different styles of music than watching 4 or 5 bands all playing one style. We provide a stage, PA, amps, video screen and light/sound engineers free of charge for each band. Bands get professional photos taken and reviews on their performances. We are planning in future to video each performance and to give each band a DVD of their own gig. And…to blow our own tumpet… we’re pretty much the only free entry music event in town and we’ll maintain that as long as we can. 6. why do you think it’s important to keep it going?
Creativity, giving bands a place to perform and improve. For new bands, they can test their material as sets are only 20 to 30 minutes long PLUS get more experience. Many musicians also come to Underground as there are so many different genres of music, that bands have formed from members meeting at Underground so it’s also an ‘unofficial music trade convention’!!
Chris B was interviewed over the phone on Phil Whelan’s show “Morning Brew” on Monday 25 July – she’s talking about Underground 11 AND some new all girl band called “Guitar & Panties”!! Save this mp3 to your computer and have a listen! Underground 11 interview on Morning Brew – 25 July 2005
Tales from the UndergroundBy Clare TyrrellIT’S A GOOD bet this was the first time a band from Mongkok had dressed in drag and donned gas masks to play goth metal at Joe Bananas. The audience was stunned by the heavy makeup, PVC garb and post-Sars accessories – and now word of that May 20 performance has spread.News of The Headhunters’ antics prompted me to head for Wan Chai on a rainy Thursday to examine Hong Kong’s emerging band scene in the last place you’d expect to find it…..For four months now, an alternative, live-music night known as The Underground has been bubbling away at Joe Bananas…..
read more below!