Live review from The Underground x Parsons Music Battle of the Bands FINAL 決賽 2015:
1. Big Load
2. Toi Emoi
3. La Makumbreizh
原來一行6人的香港法國樂隊, 決賽前夕樂隊的吉他手兼長笛手意外弄傷手, 能演出但這壞消息無礙他們贏得比賽, 因為Les Gromechkos 充滿地中海風情的hip hop raping實在太有趣。最後的<La Makumbreizh> 將80年代的電子舞曲跟folk 混在一起，非常過引。可惜的是，可能因為缺少長笛手的關係, 他們沒有演出首本名曲<Le cracheur de flute de Sham Shui Po>這充滿香港風味的歌曲。
– Dicky Kwong
The circus is here
Rocksteady with flair
– Brendan Clift
Variety hour had clearly struck as ‘Les Gromechkos’ took to the stage amid deafening levels of applause. With their trademark trilbys, white shirts and suspenders, the Gromechko boys offered up a slice of French musette that was impossible to ignore.
The band were clearly old hat at engaging an audience and appeared to have the largest (and loudest) home crowd. Parading about the stage like some mad ringleader, lead vocalist SebW whipped the fans into a frenzy as the group outstretched their ‘Big Hand’ and welcomed all in attendance.
Pleasantries aside, the French rap/ska/punk/rock machine tore into their next track with a similarly eccentric flute-beatbox intro. Apparently formed around several pints of Belgian beer, the band was clearly focused on the peculiarities of Hong Kong life and how they should be celebrated. The regions were certainly repped tonight as cries of “SHAM SHUI PO” from the audience reverberated around the Backstage venue, as the hypnotising ska melodies of ‘Le Cracheur de Flute de Sham Shui Po’ took effect.
A mellow groove of bass opened next track ‘Le Taximan de Sheung Wan’, but it wasn’t long until the style deftly shifted to full rocking guitar. The band flitted between headbanging, gang vocals and speedy raps, all while pogoing haphazardly across the stage. Their sheer energy was unmatched on the night and had clearly infected the thrashing audience. SebW turned to the crowd, shouting “no time for sleep, this is time for rock n roll!” as they skillfully changed rhythm, ending on a stripped-back guitar solo.
The air seemed to settle before stabs of salsa piano caused an alarming number of audience members to believe they could dance. You could say that the band play too easily to the Hong Kong crowd, but there was no such cynicism as penultimate track ‘La Makumbreizh’ came into view. This is a party band first and foremost, and the hold the group had on the crowd was impossible to deny.
One mass dance later, the band broke into their last song of the set, ‘The Cyberpilot of Nathan Road’. Showing no signs of letting up, a crash of cymbals and blast of keys had the audience back on their feet, enthusiastically matching a rallying cry of “oh-oh-oh” from SebW. A ‘United States of Whatever’-style riff of charging guitar repeated as the final, seemingly improvised cry of “Backstage, you can’t catch me!” soon brought the atmosphere to fever pitch. LG left the stage to a roar of applause, having brought to the stage a much-needed dose of fun.
– Jon Billinge
Les Gromechkos （音：Gro-Mesh-Ko）成立於2008年，是一隊六人樂隊，他們形容自己為「法國人，香港band」，音樂混合了Ska, Gipsy-Punk與French Rock。不止音樂風格具有特色，他們的台風也讓人為之讚嘆，當晚各成員一如既往的有統一的裝束，加上他們別樹一格的音樂，辨識度非常之高。當晚他們唱出了充滿玩味的歌曲，更有心思地把歌詞改得配合Planetrox比賽，氣氛輕鬆歡樂。他們的歌曲亦多加插不同元素，例如hip-hop, beat-box, rap等，樂隊的配合性亦很高。另外，值得一提的是他們當晚大部份歌曲都是先由鍵盤帶入，而鍵盤的彈奏方法和音色正正完美地帶出歌曲歡樂的氣氛，短短十多分鐘的演出讓人彷如置身嘉年華一般。總而言之，Les Gromechkos是一隊非常有趣的樂隊，他們的音樂會讓人不自覺的想起舞，絕對值得一聽！
– Sidick Lam
Live review from Underground 108:
1. Welcome to Gromechkos’ (a.k.a. Big Load)
3. La Gromechkienne
4. Cheung Chau Ergo Sum
5. Wanchai Cowboy
6. Toit émoi
7. Le Troubadour de la Ligne Rouge
8. Roll Pepette Roll
9. El Taximan de SheungWan
10. Le Cracheur de Flute de Sham Shui Po
11. Tai O Fish Market
Clad in old-school suspenders, fedora hats and crisp white shirts, the six very dapper men of Les Gromechkos took the Underground stage ready to deliver nothing less than an absolutely fun and explosive show. Though a look at their music description (ska rock gypsy punk and French musette) would make any show-goer wonder exactly what they were in for, the band’s intention was clear. “I want everybody to dance.”
Each song they played was infused with infectious rhythm that made it hard not to move along with the music. Making fun out of the absurdity of everyday situations, Les Gromechkos took the crowd on a crazy journey from Central Europe to Hong Kong, from the MTR’s red line and the streets of Sham Shui Po to the corners of Tai O and Wanchai.
The band was loaded with an inexhaustible supply of energy on Saturday night -you never knew what was up their sleeves until they busted out their next instrument. Lead singer SebW was a fireball of stage presence, sometimes swapping out singing to rap along with guitarist/accordion player NicoJ. Drummer SébCé played in killer style, whilst bassist Guewen doubled up as a flawless back-up singer with his fellow members.
Guitarist NicoG-A revealed a flute out of nowhere, and played some alluring melodies (even simultaneously beat-boxing during La Cracheur de Flute de Sham Shui Po!). Most impressive however, was keyboardist José who proved to be something of a quintuple threat! Apart from mastering his keys, he sang back-up, jammed on a tiny trumpet and was a real character amping up the crowd. If I’m not mistaken there was a harmonica in there too. Finally, he surprised the audience with a resonant baritone in Tai O Fish Market.
The best thing about seeing Les Gromechkos live is that you never know where they are going to take you next, but it’s one big dance party of a journey that you definitely want to be on.
– Natalia Bodomo
Live review from Underground 105:
1. El Taximan of Sheung Wan
2. Le Secretaire
3. Wanchai Cowboy
4. Power Ballad
5. Toit Émoi…
6. Le Cracheur De Flute
7. La Gromechkienne
8. No Country (Club) for Cleptomane
9. Tai O Fish Market
10. La Makumbreizh
11. Bye Bye
首先想說各成員的表情已帶點喜劇感，配上一身Two Tone服飾更顯得他們有趣。另外相信很多現場觀眾應聽不懂Les Gromechkos歌曲的大部分歌詞，可是Les Gromechkos頗擅長以音樂「擺佈」觀眾，看台下有觀眾以口琴回應其歌曲便可見一斑。而當觀眾隨著一段快Fill In跳動揮手時，Les Gromechkos又會冷不防地急速放慢節奏，頗有點玩味。想在沈悶的生活中添點生氣，不妨一看Les Gromechkos的表演。
Les Gromechkos are easily one of the most different bands I’ve seen here, primarily because the gypsy-punk style (and its kith) just aren’t done very often here. And these guys do it well too – their combination of African and European anad Romani rhythms, perhaps best exemplified in Toit Émoi…, was potent, and well comparable to the giants of the genre, like Gogol Bordello or Motherhead Bug. They also had the heavy-handed loucheness of the early Elvis Costello kind, which made their songs even more forceful than gypsy punk usually is. They do rely on the plinky honky tonk piano much more than bands of this sort do, which leavens the sound in a good way, making it brighter and more ska-ey. Indeed, there is a bit of Mighty Mighty Bosstones in Le Secretaire, for instance) in their sound, if only because the songs sometimes got very intensely rocky. The same was done by the flute, but in a more winding and playful way, that actually formed the melodies. Their songs’ undulating pace was in interesting contrast with their choice of wearing a uniform, making each song as different as each band member looked similar.
They also themed their songs explicitly in HK, which was nice. Wanchai Cowboy was a perfectly kitschy, plinky saloon song to start with, and moved into that low budget spaghetti Western sound, before actually becoming slightly Latin; the ease with which this transition was achieved speaks to the band’s abilities as song writers. Le Crecheur De Flute had an almost jazzy feel to it, before the intense gypsy rock tune kicked in – and how, because this one had people singing along to it (not something that happens often, and certainly not to bands that people are unfamiliar with).
[At this point, I’d like to say that the crowd that night were just brilliant. They were more open and willing to participate in the show as a group than nearly any I’ve seen in HK. Very, very heartening.]
There was some Run DMC-esque hip-hop thrown in with La Gromechkienne, followed by some very heavy rock indeed – it almost sounded like Flipper’s I Saw You Shine. Bye Bye was a great closer; a potent earworm, it had some very frantic guitar-work indeed. The song sounded a bit like Muse, if they were interesting. These guys had the crowd going all the way through, and seemed to enjoy themselves as much as the dancing crowd (which is saying something). It was a terrific set, and one of the most upbeat notes I’ve seen gigs close on. These guys are quite something, and well worth your time going out and watching.
– Shashwati Kala