Live Review from Underground 54:
Specially imported from Toronto, Canada for the night LEO37 (Three Seven) hit the stage running – and the dance floor, the tables, the chairs, the amps and everything else he could climb onto in the club, his mouth moving as fast as his feet. He is only a skinny guy, cute as a button, but he’s all over it, babbling, jumping, thinking, interacting: I say ‘Too’- you say ‘cold’/ I say ‘Hell yeah’ – you say ‘Fuck yeah’/ I say ‘I brought white’ – you say ‘flowers’. (I could have done that all night…)
Leo37 started up the whole evening’s entertainment even though the audience hadn’t filled out yet. The ones there hadn’t had anywhere near enough to drink and were just beginning the process of altering their states of mind. So… we got there quicker via LEO37’s excess adrenaline levels. Warning that he had scared people last time he was in Hong Kong, he worked his butt off to speed up the change. The aggressive rap spilled out and we got told a couple of times, “Dance! Don’t just sit there like you’re at your grandmother’s fucking tea party!” (Chris B had just downed a chocolate soy milk and a biscuit so she was looking particularly mortified.) A gorgeous group of French people, comprising pretty much the whole crowd at this stage, obligingly got up and grooved.
I like guitar rock bands so I’m not the best person to comment on rappers with all pre-recorded electronic music and backing, but I like this guy’s relentlessly fast delivery and awesome freestyling. His eye-opening energy created just the right jolting effect for many, like myself in the audience recovering from the usual shitty, mind-numbing work day. Though it was a short set we got a good idea of his range of rap and hip hip styles. No turntabling this time though.
LEO37 came back after the final band The David Bowie Knives had finished their set to do a couple of improvised numbers with Hazden, the second band in the night’s lineup. With Hazden’s lead singer Faye, the pair of them let fly in a combo of loud punk and fast rap. It was interesting but I’m not sure the two sounds gelled all that well together. Still it was a rad and unusual idea so that’s gotta be all right. He maybe should have tried this on with Zoundz to create some kind of rapcore collaboration, which could have come across like an early Linkin Park hard rock/ rap fusion. But, being a visitor to Hong Kong, he wasn’t to know what bands were going to be served up on the night, and good on him – and Hazden – for trying to create something original and spontaneous then and there without a rehearsal. ‘Hands up!’ to LEO37.
Isobel S. Saunders
Quote from LEO37: “Hong Kong better cherish what it has in The Underground and Chris B. We will ALWAYS need more of this.”