The Champs Band

final140.JPG Live review from Uncovered: Not your usual cover bands 原創翻唱音樂會:

1. Delilah
2. Sophisticated Lady
3. Have You Ever See The Rain
4. Golden Slumber
5. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
6. Total Eclipse of The Heart
7. Love Potion #9
8. Crying Machine
9. The Letter

The Champs Band是灣仔The Champs Bar的駐場樂隊。60年代已開始夾Band, 他們可能是The Underground中最夠資歷的樂隊。

在出場唱第一首歌曲時, 我才發現他們的男主音原來是7,80年代著名歌手 “大L” 張孝武, 當他用最為人熟悉的沙啞聲音唱出Tom Jones的名曲Delilah, 強而有穿透力的聲線頓時讓全場觀眾精神為之一振。接力的是由女主音唱出Motown Funky版的爵士經典Sophisticated Lady。女主音續唱Creedence Clearwater Revival的Have You Ever Seen The Rain亦十分精彩。大L再次出場演繹Beatles的Golden Slumber和Elton John的Sorry Seem To Be The The Hardest Word, 原本Elton John版本的Sorry Seem To Be The The Hardest Word是鋼琴主導, The Champs Band卻把它變成Blues Rock版本, 斷續又富節奏感的電吉他Fill In令人難忘。之後的Total Eclipse Of The Heart可能是比較低音域, 女主音好像有點走音。尾二的Crying Machine是電他手的Solo表演, 順道一提該曲亦是8級電結他考試的考試歌曲。
The Champs Band表演時甚有80年代酒廊樂隊的風味, 壓場感十足。他們是最符合當晚主題, 經改編的翻唱表演。他們的每一首歌都經改頭換面, 實在是一群非常值得尊重的Band壇老前輩。
– Dicky Kwong

The Champs start off their set with a tribute to Tom Jones. The beginning sounds somewhat different to the original which is good since this is the point of this show… to play covers in an original way. The guitarist shows off his skills as his fingers make its way back and forth down the frets of the guitar in seeming less ease. This guitar solo to start the show was similar to something you would hear on the From Dusk ‘til Dawn soundtrack. At this point, I still had no idea what song they are playing. When the vocalist, Big Al, combines with the guitarist, Nelson Kwok, for an awesome lead up they are applauded by the crowd before the beat kicks in. We get to the chorus which is when I realized that this is a Tom Jones’ song. Big Al does Tom Jones justice with his magnificent voice. Lots of people are swaying to the music and the song ended in a beautiful vocal crescendo and a huge applause. Then Big Al says, “We don’t do originals. We do covers. But, a little bit different.”

We get a change of lead vocals for the next song as Dorinda Ma takes centre stage and asks us, “Are you ready to dance?” Dorinda has the diva vibe going from her stage presence and amazing vocals. She reminds me of a female Bon Scott because of the hat she was wearing. The crowd enjoyed the song and returned the favour with their applause.

Dorinda also sings on the next song which starts off with piano keys by Eddie Chu. She is sounding as strong as Tina Turner as she sings her version of “Have You Ever Seen The Rain”. Tony Cheung on bass and John Bucks have such solid performances that you don’t ever notice one slipup, though compared to the other three they are in the background.

Big Al asks the crowd, “Do you like the Beatles?” We all agreed. “Well, this is kind of like it.” he said. Golden Slumber started to put people in a sleep and how couldn’t it after the previous songs just shocked our systems? It gave the crowd an opportunity to socialize some more as they became more of a backing track. What was great about this song and made it Beatles-esque is that it had good backing vocals which created a beautifully harmony. The drum solo put the crowd in a frenzy and upped the tempo. The drummer was so good that he sounded like a professional Kumquat squasher! Or so someone told me.
Big Al sings an Elton John song and in it he sound more husky and gruff. The guitar sounds cool in this song. A friend points out how ‘glasses John Lennon’ is stealing the show. Who is that? Well, that would have to be Nelson on guitar again.

Everyone’s favourite song of the night would have to be “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. This song was more recognizable from the lyrics and put a smile on everyone’s face. Dorinda sang this song with a strong Chinese accent which definitely made it different. Not quite right. Something needs to ‘Turn Around, Bright Eyes!” There is another opportunity for ‘glasses John Lennon’ to show whose boss as Total Eclipse wound down and The Champs band received a huge applause again from the crowd who were previously stuck into place.
“Love Potion #9” was a hip swinging song which also got a huge applause. This version was cool because it went so quickly we didn’t even notice it. That and I had had a few Jack Daniels and cola by this stage.

They said that they would do their next cover for the night a little differently. It was a song for level 8 guitar students apparently? There he goes again… stealing the show. Guess who it is? It’s ‘Glass John Lennon’! Don’t know the original so I don’t know how different it was. Just know that the guitar sounds awesome in this song. Level 8 hey? I wonder what that would be on Guitar Hero?

The Champs ended their set with a ninth song. Big Al sang “The Letter” in his gruff voice. It was one of the kinds of songs that summed up the whole night’s performance. It was an awesome version that sent me on a trip and reminding me of good times and good times to be had. ;)
- Cain McInerney

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