Live Review from Underground 98:
This is definitely a group of very, very talented musicians. As they were doing their sound check, each one was busting out different riffs and tunes and I told myself “this is going to be good”. And it was! They are unique in more ways than one. To start off with, they definitely had that ‘mysterious’ factor with the guitarist and lead singer in shades (and mind you, it was 11:00 pm and we were indoors). They weren’t afraid of being themselves; being different, which I respect very much.
The flyer was not lying when it categorized their music as “funky”. The singer had a little tambourine that he played to the beat and the saxophonist (yes, they had a saxophonist. how cool is that?!) was definitely a bonus treat for the audience when he churned out one solo after another. What I loved about this band was that each member was given the chance to shine and show off a little, and it was all good taste and not over-the-top at all. They had so much stage presence, and knew how to have a good time.
Their sixth song entitled “Down in Mong Kok” reminded me of a hoe down. It was funky, and the crowd got into it by dancing and bouncing around. During their next song, I clearly remember this one part where they all start playing their own thing (at different rhythms) but they still managed to stay in time! That was impressive. They were cheered on when they asked if they could play another song, and even after they finished the crowd was still asking for more! They were great musically and technically speaking, and a band that I would definitely come back to see.
Live Review from Underground 92:
1. Straight Jacket
3. Let it Go
4. Razor Dreams
5. Chilled Out People
6. Down in Mong Kok
7. Win and Yang
9. Grandma’s Chair (encore)
I’d ambled in at 9 to find these guys doing a soundcheck, and the tantalising prospect of the bottom-heavy (YAY!!) system blaring the melodic stylings of some very expensive equipment was immediately engaging. Later, when being introduced, we were all thrown the googly that apparently this was apparently their first outing together as band. They immediately proceeded to make that claim seem highly dubious by launching into Straight Jacket, beginning with the sax, proceeding to launch into a chordy, mellow, groove-based set, with overtones of funk, and even some shades of calypso. Some influences were evident, as there were some Hendrix-esque melodies, especially in the opening to Let it Go, pleasantly reminiscent of his “Hey Joe”.
Razor Dreams saw keyboardist Anita joining on vocals, and the contrast created by her throaty voice and lead singer Jason’s bluesy croon was effective, but at points seemed a tad under-developed (can’t really blame them, though). Down in MK had, cleverly, one guitar strummed with only upstrokes, and the other only down, simultaneously, profiting from their Les Pauls’ wont to just sing when plugged in to some good amps. The very funky closer, Hype, was capped by the (startlingly) undramatic throwing of seemingly pristine white undies on stage, followed the band’s (highly deserved) recall onto stage for their encore. They were a success musically, a tight live act (especially for a debuting band), and really set the tone for the crowd that night.