Live Review from Underground 84:
As the members of Tai Tai Alibi starting setting up I felt like I was in the twilight zone. This was yet another band that I had reviewed previously. I remember saying so many good things about them that I wondered how they would be able to top their previous performance. What more good things can I say about these guys?
Tai Tai Alibi is a band that never disappoints. I have seen them live more than a few times and what sticks into my head is that these guys never let down. They are always on top of their game and tonight wasn’t anything different. They started their set and showed us again why they are one of the best bands in Hong Kong. And as always, I was mesmerized by Tim’s voice.
The only negative thing I can say for them is that a large chunk of the crowd (supporters of the two Chinese bands) had disappeared. Leaving the audience with mostly ex-pats and hardcore underground goers. It really annoyed me because I thought that this was rude towards TTA. They hadn’t even given them a chance, yet shot them down before the first song was played. To Tai Tai Alibi’s credit they rocked the house and I knew that those people who had left were missing out on one of the best bands of the night.
The second song they played sounded like the band ‘Wolfmother’, except that the vocals were totally different. I was wondering if this was a new song. I didn’t catch the name of it, but it sounded awesome. The guys continued to impress me with their skillfulness and stage presence. It wasn’t just one guy in the band doing all of the work, it was every single one of them. How many new songs did they play this night I wonder. I was kind of lost and never quite heard the name of the songs. Was I too stuffed from jumping around to the previous band. Maybe? Their music didn’t get me up and moving, but I could feel the music deep within… in my soul.
The 4th song reminded me of Soundgarden yet again, my type of music. This song had a beefy bass line. I had to breathe in deeply as the music was getting me high. I didn’t want to write any more notes, just lose myself in the music. Their music can make you forget about all your troubles. Next they played ‘Cycle’, which is one of my favourite songs of theirs because I can sing along to it. They finished off with another song I hadn’t heard before, it had a nice beat to it and added a new dimension to the band.
I can’t ever say anything bad about this band. They are bloody fantastic! I always enjoy listening to their songs and I am really looking forward to their album they are releasing later on this year. If only a record company would snatch them up so that they can hit the world stage. I hope they can make it big and show what Hong Kong has to offer.
Cain (F.B.I. vocalist)
Live Review from Shenzhen Underground 1:
A well known and much liked band from Hong Kong, Tai Tai Alibi was an excellent representative from the SAR and certainly raised the bar for the rest of the evening. Opening with Lost In You, the band definitely captured the audience’s attention through the ensuing 20 minutes with its set of melodic guitar rock. As expected from a band which, among its credits, opened for Manic Street Preachers, the band was tight and at ease, and delivered their music well. The music was well crafted and captivating and had the audience swaying and foot-tapping away, and excellent response from the crowd for the band’s Shenzhen debut, which, up to that point, was quite subdued.
Live Review from Underground 76:
1. Lost In You
4. Little More Empty
As soon as Tai Tai Alibi came onto the stage the atmosphere changed dramatically. These guys were veterans to the Underground circuit and this time they came with a new Bassist, Rafe. He fitted in really well, providing some back-up vocals and looking like one of the seasoned veterans. Though, I couldn’t really hear him over Tim’s unique voice which immediately struck a chord with my heart as I became ‘Lost In You‘. I could see why these guys opened for the Manic Street Preachers. They are that good. They had the crowd cheering before they had even finished the first song. Wow!
After a roar of applause from the crowd, the guys went onto play ‘Strawman‘ which sounded a bit like Soundgarden, one of my favourite bands. They asked if the music was loud enough, which it was. I could feel the chords throughout my body. The crowd seemed to enjoy what they heard and even jumped around a little bit.
The guys cycled through their set almost effortlessly and played one of their more well know numbers, ‘Cycle‘. This was definitely a crowd favourite. More than likely many of the people there would have heard this song off the Underground Compilation CD #1. It is definitely one of my favourite songs off the CD. It is full of catchy riffs and lyrics which makes you want to sing along to, “Too late, too late, too late, too late! I’m falling down!”
Their fourth song, ‘Little More Empty‘, was a song about people buying shit that they don’t need. Definitely a crime that I am guilty of too, so I could relate. This song started with some heavy drums that put us into jungle mode, until the guitar and vocals kicked in. Then it had a totally different feel. 90’s grunge with beautiful guitar solos and a great drumbeat. Matt on drums gave us a great performance. What I noticed about him was that he was full of expression and had a good rapport with Chris, the guitarist, who would turn to play to him and get him in on the action. Tai Tai Alibi have a great stage presence, all the members of the band, and it is really obvious that they enjoyed performing on stage for us. They all had smiles on their faces and moved along to the beat.
The next song started slowly, but soulfully, with another dramatic drumbeat. Tim continued to keep the crowd enthralled with his superb voice while he sang ‘Run‘. But, we did not feel the need to run away.
In their last song, ‘Today‘, they asked the crowd to “Throw your hands up” and the crowd did so enthusiastically. But, by this stage people were filtering out of The Melting Pot, having been musically exhausted by the band’s unrelenting musicianship. The guys really beat it out at the end and finished with a huge climax that tore the roof down. Drummer rolls and all. Really a great performance by all the members of the band. I don’t have anything negative to say about these guys, except that when the crowd cheered for one more song, they didn’t answer the call. It was a long night. But, oh what a night.
Cain (F.B.I. vocalist)
Live Review from Halloween Underground:
Tai Tai Alibi won’t scare you unless you have a phobia about well crafted rock wearing it’s grunge influences well. The band play uptempo rock and kicked off their set with two of their best known songs from the Underground compilation CD, ‘Cycle’ and ‘Autocrat’. Things are going well for this band with a debut EP and a spot as support act for the legendary Manic Street Preachers when they play HK this month.
Tim’s voice is well suited to the self- penned material about 21st century urban living. Standout songs were ‘A Little More Empty’ and ‘A Million Miles Away.’
The band had the longest set of the night by popular demand of their many fans in the crowd.
From Tai Tai Alibi about CD Launch Party A:
“Tai Tai Alibi had a wicked wild and wacked-out time at the Underground’s CD launch Party A. Go The Underground!”
Tai Tai Alibi
Live Review from Underground 61:
- 1. Cycle
4. A Little More Empty
5. Lost in You
6. A Million Miles Away
This was Tai Tai Alibi’s first Underground gig and their 6th or 7th gig ever, but they came across as old hands. The crowd instantly liked this band made up of HK-bred ex-pats. You can tell because people stopped talking and started really listening. Their whole body language changed as a seriously-good mind-fuck took over. Heads nodded appreciatively in time and lulled limbs swayed. This is a band that demands a lot of itself, blending the dynamics between instruments, lead vocals and backing masterfully.
Tim Hills, who skillfully writes all of TTA’s songs, cites the bands influences as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, Jeff Buckley, and Guns N Roses. Their post-grunge sound is completely influenced by Seattle, but it still has lots of innovative edges. Like all post-grunge vocalists they’re some of the most versatile in the alternative rock arena and Tim is no different. Somehow he manages to sing, soar, growl and howl in all manner of subdued, melodic and screamed ways.
The band has a great alternative style. They intro’d with the darkly melodic Cycle followed by Autocrat featuring a menacing and thunderous rhythm section and a singing lead guitar. A little More Empty is about materialism and that dark, nauseous place inside you that shopping – and MORE shopping – and MORE SHOPPING – and the sickness of materialism brings. Concreted, skyscrapered places like Hong Kong and Tokyo have made me feel like this with limited access to other types of leisure activities besides shopping and the panicked feeling of being completely removed from the natural world. “Just a little more,” Tim entices… the seductive desire to have more…when desire itself can never be satiated. Funny thing this because TTA’s songs are also supremely irresistible, too. Pleasure is the drug/ desire is the withdrawal?
The band apologized for Lost in You saying it hadn’t been rehearsed with their drummer before, but it sounded great. In fact, the beats boldly led and never let up. Some intricate guitar solo work, too, which continued in their final offering for the night, A Milion Miles Away.
Tim mentioned Tai Tai Alibi has a CD in the works and would possibly have it out by September. I’ve already decided I’m going to camp in line overnight to buy it.
Isobel S. Saunders