Live Review from Underground 97:
2. The Chase
3. The Red Light
4. The Sell Out
6. The Battle of Trafalgar Square
7. The Suits
A late replacement for tDBK, Poubelle certainly added much merrymaking to the night, as expected. In their 1-2-3 tees, and fresh after an afternoon playing at the H&M store, these guys did not miss a beat when it came to entertaining. Their lone guitar was plenty to assault the ears of the crowd with, its sound being reinforced by a Tube Screamer (among others), making it sound just heavenly. With their clever and catchy adaptation of the Johnny Ramone school of guitar-playing to their more quirky Noughties rock tendencies, theirs is a deceptively simple sound. In terms of stage presence, these guys don’t even have to try – they exude energy at every moment through their set and are always an interesting to watch playing. Clearly, everyone present agreed with me, because the revellers were really living up to that title during their set (it was suddenly difficult to take notes, so engrossed were people in their dancing).
The set began to the petulant sounds of Ambassador, with singer Ben’s yelled vocals a little reminiscent of Eugene Hutz from Gogol Bordello (wait a sec – he has the same moustache too!) The bass was quite immense throughout, and more than supported the rollicking drumwork. The Red Light was a shuffling, dancy number with a teasing melody and spoken word bits too, while The Sell Out had a hook in every line and very hummable vocals (and a video released later the next week too). They were joined by Zane on sax for I.T.B.N.B., and the song accommodated his smooth stylings in its lively folds excellently. The following songs were as insolent and full of attitude as any others, especially The Battle…,which features something of a lyrical tantrum. But, they don’t have a rep for being a terrific live act for nothing, now, do they? They only thing that surprised me was that there weren’t more people singing along- that’d be really fun to see (not to mention only fair, seeing the amount of energy and effort these guys put into performing).
Live Review from Underground 89:
This was Poubelle International’s fourth Underground and they didn’t disappoint. It is great to watch a band who ooze such infectious enthusiasm on stage and throughout there whole set. There songs capture there on stage energy being both upbeat as well as entertaining. I for one thoroughly enjoyed the set, it is very refreshing to watch a band that don’t take themselves too seriously. Having said that they clearly thrive off performing, with a successful measure of thought and playfulness put into each track. Bens interaction with the audience created a great atmosphere amongst the crowd and the chanting for an encore at the end perfectly captured the bands contagious appeal. As a side note, they also gave the money they made from playing to charity…isn’t that nice!
Message from Poubelle International about CD 2 Launch Party B:
On behalf of the three hairy gwailo contributors of this band of unpronounceable French name, I’d like to thoroughly thank the wonderful people at the underground for facilitating this genre defining recording of ours. We couldn’t have done it without you. – obviously – But as a matter of fact, it may interest you young readers to learn, that at the time of our application for the aforementioned cd, we hardly had a band. Armed with an early demo, several hundred pairs of ear plugs and more ambition than Stalin, we presented our concepts to the underground and were delighted to be accepted into the underground musical institution – and so began to weave our slender musical threads into the rich tapestry of hong kong musical splendour.
In the capable hands of Koyasan, the all seeing oracle of the hong kong recording fraternity, we comfortably went about our business of documenting our fine indie anthems, The Battle of Trafalgar Square, and The Red Light… Yes, you heard correct old sport. The Red Light! – which is in fact absent on the final CD, and oh there be an explanation!
On the day of recording, the young Japanese man perched precariously on a dangerous excuse for an office chair behind an ancient, smoke stained computer, had us so inspired, feeling so audacious, overconfident, and possibly drunk, we attempted to record a third song, The Chase, which at the time, had no name, no lyrics, and no structure, having only been written the evening prior.
By all accounts the launch party was another feather in the cap of this already successful campaign. Our set, complete with the makings of a David Bowie Knives cover, shot us into the record books, as the only band to have played 3 songs off a given cd at any underground launch party (thank you).
While we do apologise for the pyrotechnics display, cut horribly short by over regulated health and safety policies, we assure each and every one of you, that your humble narrator, and his accompanying musical collaborators, give no less than 100% on stage, and it was indeed a pleasure doing so for this philanthropic venture.
Always a pleasure,
Live Review from Underground 73:
I would not like to be any band having to follow the set Transnoodle played. However Poubelle International were definitely up to that task, and boy did they bring their A game. As PI were setting their levels, Chris B informs the eager audience that “the last time they played the UNDERGROUND, someone had sex on stage” Needless to say, if I had ears like a dog, they were stood at attention to that statement. Like Transnoodle, PI had brought their gang of buddies and or fans out. Sound check done, vocalist steps to the mic and questions “Are you ready?” before exploding into their 6 song set. For you classification Nazis, I guess you could say PI play garage indie pop rock. I always say its important for a band to remember they are there to perform to the paying gig goer, and a performance was without a doubt what we got. The matching outfits of white t shirts with the numbers 1,2,3 on the trio was a great touch. They also all wore matching Buddy Holly, black rimmed specs. They also seemed to have mates wearing black t shirts with the number 4 on , playing things like tambourines and shakers. PI have great dancy songs, where some even involve audience participation. In one song, the audience were asked “Who drinks Asahi?” to which the correct response was “I drink Asahi” (Here’s me waving my fourth bottle in the air screaming F*** ya! Oops) Its obvious PI’s preparation for the gig was well thought. That or they are just that damned good.
Tim – Hong Kong Independent Music Blog
Live Review from Underground 67:
I never make empty promises. The next evening after Underground I met them again at Fringe and said I’d write a good review for the guys (I seem to say it to every band). I did not miss any part of their gig except the guest tambourine player having his nipples licked by a hot Thai lady. It’s their second time playing at the Underground (previous one please check Underground 59 review) and they clearly had gained some fame – check the crowd in front of the stage and the Underground chart. I wish Rockit was still organized in town, the group’s powerful rhythm session should make them all the way to any festival – they are garage-sounding – imagine the crowd jumping with the beats when the Subways are playing “Oh Yeah”. However, as a band with only one guitar, I would hope it would sound thicker – more driven and loud. Another reviewer Bun told me there aren’t many garage bands in town, Jesus, why not? Let Poubelle International play a couple of more U gigs and people will start following them and play garage and turn away from “emo” – just like when they turned away from punk/hardcore.
Live Review from Underground 59:
Wow, what’s it with the names? I never appreciated the name of the previous band because even if I’ve introduced them to a typical Chinese friend, he would hesitate in pronouncing it. I think you know what I’m getting at.
Does it mean Poubelle International caters for the English-speaking audiences? Three gweiloes; nothing is more obvious. But the key thing is, P.I. music has its roots in the 60s 70s garage rock. I have a feeling this is definitely not your local favourite sound. If you had surveyed the most common band shows in Hong Kong, you would have concluded Hong Kong gig-goers want Brit-pop and Metal. I think that’s why something as great as The David Bowie Knives is still not getting so much attention, whilst Audiotraffic is king. Now, I certainly think Audiotraffic deserves to be king, but ?
Back to the P.I., by the time they were on, the floor was packed. Whether it was because it was Poubelle International’s first gig, or because someone is indeed nervous, the guitar loudness was quite out-of-control. But in all due respect, the songs had a very good balance in sound because you could get to appreciate guitar, bass and drums all sharing the stage. As I mentioned before, the sounds have a very garage feel, and uplifting bordering on pub rock. I am very partial to this kind of sound. Having said that, I keep thinking to myself they are full of album tracks, if you know what I mean.
I would think they love to play in front of us. “1” is the guitarist, “2” is the drummer, “3” is the bass player. If someone cares so much that they would clarify that for me, I think they care. Check the photos.