Live Review from Underground 93:
2. Sunday Morning
3. I am Standing
4. What a Waster
6. I Feel Fine
7. Leaving on a Jet Plane (John Denver cover)
8. Ride with Me
Even before these guys had started, the prospect of an all-Fender axe attack (two beautiful Telecasters and a P-Bass) was tantalising. The vista was made even more enticing by the rapid-fire bass notes emanating from the stage. Looking every bit the Brit invasion-inspired young Turks, they began with a solid, bassy opening, with a lot of distortion and a mean salvo of downstrokes (a.k.a. heaven) in the form of the Intro. Singer Po Kei, with his penchant for jumping around, combined exceedingly well with the ball-of-energy bassist, and were quite the spectacle. There was a fire-and-ice dynamic among the axemen, with Jonathan standing gentleman-like aside, hammering away at his strings. Po Kei was increasingly reminiscent of Billy Idol as the night progressed, leaping and headbanging with a cheeky smirk, while with their wall-of-sound, with delayed and heavily fed-back solos, hearkened back equally to the early days of punk and bands like the Banshees or the Damned, as it did to the Kinks and the Yardbirds.
What a Waster (with the appropriately punky title) featured some prodigious, Geddy Lee-esque bass work, while some powerhouse drums formed the rock solid foundations for the distorted riffs. There was a small delay when Donald busted his bass jack and had to have it replaced, before Opinion, which was marked with a cool walking bassline and semi-jungle beats; notably, at the end of their songs, they all let the feedback continue just long enough to make listeners’ ears pound with anticipated pain before stopping. Their rocked-up cover of Leaving on a Jet Plane, was graced by some near-ska upstroked chords (a la The Clash). The guitars on (sadly) their last song had some near-atonal chords, in the vein of (the late) Bob Quine of the Voidoids, before they almost ran off stage. If you hadn’t known that this was a one-off show they were doing after a very long time, you’d never have guessed it; their chemistry was alive and well, with the playing fluid and electrifying.
Message from F.T.T. about CD Launch Party B:
In my mind :
Koya san is a role model for wearing bandannas, I tried at home but I looked gay in it, so I wear it around my neck instead.
Chris B once inspired me to dye my hair green, my hair stylist didn’t let me do it, he told me it wouldn’t suit me.
The lucky draw at CD 1 launch party provided me a free hotel night in “Jia CWB”, Shadow gave me the prize on stage.
Asahi beer provided me a good excuse to mess up my guitar solo and vocals on stage, i don’t want it to happen you know?!
Underground tee shirt makes me look so cool on stage.
But seriously :
Regular Underground shows allow good opportunities for exchanging ideas between bands, fans and whoever.
Different venues provide wonderful stage experience, and big thank you to all the sound men.
Mark-1 gave me the first recording experience in my life, and I am not sure if there will be a second chance!
Listening to the Underground CD with my mom and dad, they finally understand why Po Kei is always missing on Saturday (for band practice).
To all The Underground crew, Mark-1 crew, friends, Jonathan, Edmund, Kimmy and Donald, thank you, I have a wonderful time in the CD launch party.
Po Kei – F.T.T.
Thanks for my friends coming over to see me on stage…I never had so many friends to see my live, & they ask me for signature on the CD…touching…
Glad that we can work it out even with only 3 of us, but of course we hope Jonathan would be here playing…
Like the song “Leaving on the Jet Plane”…I don’t know when we will be back again…I hate to go (for business trip, I am in Germany for business now)…
What next for F.T.T.?
Donald – F.T.T.
Live Review from Underground 62:
This was the second time I’d seen FTT. The first was from a greater distance with, I think, a bigger crowd at a previous Underground. Vocalist Po Kei has an eager-to-please demeanour that for me works better in a more crowded room.
Either way, FTT are completely and winningly guileless in every respect. Chirpy, poppy, guitar-driven pop songs where boy meets girl and pretty much nothing else happens. Po Kei’s singing often doesn’t stand up to the songs, but his delivery has charm to spare. Good stuff.
Musically, FTT specialize in compelling intros and using two guitars, bass and drums with maximum efficiency. If the Strokes were from industrious, no-nonsense Hong Kong – and still practicing in their bedrooms – they might sound a little like this.
My highlight of the set was their cover of karaoke classic Leaving on a Jet Plane. Better than it had any right to be.
Live Review from Underground 52:
The 4-piece band F.T.T (Po Kei, Jonathan, Donald + Edmund) – 3 guitars and drums – played fast and loud. Set list:
- 1. Sunday Morning
3. Nobody Does it Better
5. I Feel Fine
6. Ride With Me
F.T.T. are real live wire performers, delivering totally spastic Attention Deficit Disorder–levels of energy with a fun, infectious sound. You get the urge and dance whether you want to or not.
Sunday Morning featured a clear, jumping rhythm guitar, which reminded me of an early 80’s UK Mod new-wave sound. Nobody Does it Better was in the vein of sillier UK punk songs, like Toy Dolls’ Nellie the Elephant. Lead singer Po Kei was happy to do the silly antics to match the mood and the band generated copious amounts of feedback to layer further the effect.
Opinion was fast, fun and well played, performed with F.T.T’s own touch of insanity. The lead singer knows he’s a bit of a wag and throws in funny lines constantly. We eventually found out what was written on his T-shirt… These guys are good musos with a whole heap of silliness and weird personality thrown in to boot. I Feel Fine was a self-penned number and a good one at that with driving and fast punk rock rhythms unleashed. Again F.T.T’s great, fast, insane sound, was not unlike, say Stiff Little Fingers. The last song of the set was a tribute to the guy’s motorbike with a nice loud guitar intro and supported by a driving, steady drumming throughout. Melodic vocals, strangely reminiscent of 70’s soft rock, worked brilliantly with the blasting instruments, creating that great unlikely mix that often defines interesting indie music.
That Nat. Geog. crew popped intrusively into this poor band’s set as only a TV crew shamelessly knows how. The skinny lead singer guy can jump, though it’s probably not recommended on a stage the size of Club Cixi’s. The danger he was going to go through the front of the bass drum was imminent quite a few times. And he should never apologise for ’not playing well’ …What, mate???! You do!
His last comments were far more indicative of this band’s worth. He said he plays because he loves music. Well, my friend, we come and listen because we like your music.
Isobel Shahzneen Saunders
Live Review from Underground 32:
The presentation could use a little polishing, but the core is solid. Vocals are unskilled but otherwise good. It’s almost a relaxed type of rock. You get the feeling they’re not really trying all that hard, and the result is already great. These are a bunch of guys doing what they enjoy and having fun doing it. I think they’re playing more for themselves than the audience. The music itself is fairly standard, but sprinkled with pixie dust. Their final song, a cover of “leaving on a jet plane” almost in ska-style, was a wonderful parting gift.
“There is a light of Indie Power that never goes out at The Underground” – Po Kei, F.T.T.