Live review from Underground Legends
1. Sex Junkie
2. Gonna Be Famous
3. Rock N Roll Machine
4. Wedding Song
5. I Can’t Quit (cover – The Vaccines)
6. The Stranger
7. Moving On
A great amount of excitement surrounded the entrance of Thinking Out Loud at the Legends showcase, owing to an especially familiar face on stage. Starring The Underground’s own founder and MC Chris B, the band sounded like a bunch of friends jamming at a rooftop party and not taking themselves too seriously.
Clad in PVC and sporting a new crimson hair colour, Chris B was every bit a magnetic performer whose charisma commanded the show. Opener Sex Junkie was awash with 1970s riot grrrl vibes, pairing Chris’s roar of “sex freak honey sexual junkie” with a catchy “do do do” melody.
Gonna Be Famous – written “because we thought we were gonna be famous” – paired Mysterious Mr. B’s saxophone parps with sunny, upbeat surfer rock to sound like the intro music to a 90s sitcom. The eccentricity continued on Rock N Roll Machine, a Roxy Music-esque song with husky vocals, interpretive dance hands and manic cackling effects. Mr. B growled and wailed on the mic while Chris W laid down some groovy guitar licks and Matt gave an impressive drum solo.
Halfway through the set, the band was joined by an elusive new member: a keyboardist known only as Shaun B, who took nonchalantly with a technique that recalled Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Billy Powell on a number of occasions. Wedding Song – written while Chris B was attending a friend’s wedding in Mauritius – was a slinking track with plenty of random elements thrown in, such as gravelly singing, Martha and the Muffins-style saxophone and an outro melody that distinctly echoed ABC’s classic Shoot That Poison Arrow.
Bassist Egg gave a confident vocal performance on a cover of The Vaccines’ I can’t Quit, embellished with a blasting sax solo. For anyone initially skeptical about Mr. B’s contributions, the sax player brought a distinctive flavour to the band’s music, especially on The Stranger.
Chris B’s vocals were powerful throughout, but hit new heights on Moving On, which had an almost proggy structure, shifting through tempos and sounds at speed. After a melee of jagged, rockabilly guitar and haywire sax, the show was over and the crowd came back down to earth. What the band might lack in song-naming creativity, they made up for with oodles of personality and originality; the archetype of the kind of act you’d expect to find on The Underground’s diverse, distinctive and always intriguing line-ups.
Live review from Girls with Guitars #5:
2. Gonna Be Famous
3. Radio Aiplay
4. Little Fishes
5. Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine
6. Two Lips
7. Sex Junkie
8. Moving On
Thinking Out Loud totally rocked the stage with their infectious beat and dirty rock stage presence, highlighted by their charismatic front woman, Chris B ( I especially enjoyed her fish dance moves for ‘Little Fishes’). ‘Gonna be famous’ also ignited the girl-power feel within me, something one always hopes to get at a Girls with Guitars event. The sax also lent an interesting and unique element to the band’s sound, with Mr B’s rapping certainly mixing things up in ‘Radio Airplay’. Special mention has to go to ‘Two lips’ with its overtly sensual sound, which was a surprise for me, having never heard TOL play, but Chris’ stage presence definitely stole the scene! Thinking Out Loud’s catchy beat and powerful vocals proved a very popular set, packing out the venue and igniting the crowd.
– Sophia Chan
第二隊演出的樂隊是Thinking Out Loud，成員包括The Underground的創辦人Chris B，為樂隊的主音兼結他手，還有結他手Sean、低音結他手Will、鼓手Jon及薩克司風手Mysterious Mr B。他們的演出無論是歌詞及音樂的演繹都是意想不到的鬼馬生動，Chris B的演出尤其突出，她的歌聲帶有一點點的沙啞，很有個性，時而帶點嬌俏地唱 “Gonna Be Famous”，時而有爆炸性的演出，如唱 “Star”一曲時那一聲的狂野大笑，或放下結他時，帶點神秘色彩地演唱 “Two Lips”，演出收放自如。而演奏“Radio Airplay”一曲更有Mysterious Mr B的聲音演出，他以讀歌/說話聲錯落有致地配合於歌聲及音樂中，難度高但他們配合得相當出色，可見樂隊成員很有默契。最後一曲 “Morning On”中更有兩句中文歌詞(是當晚唯一一首有中文歌詞的作品)，其實Chris B的中文很好，但還是帶點尷尬的表情演唱，十分有趣，且令人驚喜。Thinking Out Loud是一隊很有幽默感的樂隊，從觀賞上會被Chris B的台型吸引，而細聽之下又會會心微笑。
Live Review from Girls with Guitars #3
2. Radio Airplay
3. Little Fishes
4. Sex Junkie
5. Gonna Be Famous
6. Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine
7. Two Lips (Encore)
These guys had the weight of expectations and reputation weighing heavily on their shoulders, and not without good reason. With their solid tunes, and engagingly fun performances you begin to expect that experience every single time, and this can be a task for some bands. Well, if this is the case with ToL, it hasn’t begun to show yet – the combination of personalities on stage is such that they always seem to have that crazy buzz going. It helps that they have a very outgoing frontwoman in Chris B, whose deep voice and powerful delivery are supplemented by an effusive yet assertive presence (plus she looks damn good too). Mysterious Mr. B always seems to have a bunch to say, despite the smooth calm of his sax, and his venting of thoughts at the end of Radio Airplay was as much of a spectacle as always. Guitarist Angus serenely noodles away at some very pop-funky licks that have a definite Frusciante-era-Chili Peppers-like sound to them. In particular, his ability to top off a verse with finessed guitar accents is really noteworthy. Their newer members have settled in seamlessly, and it’s a plus for any band to have a drummer who’s as effortlessly groovy as their drummer Jon is. Their sound is thick, smooth and bouncy, and often irresistibly boppy, much like the best bubblegum pop songs of the 60s and 70s. They are really tight and really know how to hold their audience – but then again, that is how they built up their rep.
They started off after the lucky draw that night, with the very alt-soundingPeople, during which the protracted process of Chris B tearing off her shirt also began. This continued into Radio Airplay, and the shirt was fully ripped during it (unfortunately for anyone who hoped otherwise, she was wearing a PVC top underneath, so…). The Clash-like song was immaculately done, with its mildly droning feel and repeated refrain drilling into your head. Its intensity was really built up well, culminating in the chaotic crashdown and Mr. B’s evangelical preacher-like spoken-word bit. Sex Junkie was appropriately titillating and dedicated to all the present nymphos. Gonna Be Famous is possibly the most complete embodiment of their sound, with its theme of humorous empowerment (leaning towards girl-power) added to the already mentioned features. Their set really got people going, and there was dancing all around. Predictably, they were cheered back on for the encore, and people were treated to the more 80s pop (minus the synth) Two Lips (which is also an album by Dan Castellanetta, for those interested, hehe). There was plenty of suggestive straddling of mike-stands in the song, and built up to Chris B playing out an orgasm on stage, while the relentless sax and harder feel of the guitars filled in the holes in your imagination. A synaesthetic performance if there ever was one. It was a tremendously enjoyable set, and as Chris B’s voice led the night to its conclusion and people scrambled away, there was a feeling of satiety in the air. Any points to be made that night had been QED-ed.
Live Review from Underground 90:
2. Little Fishes
3. Gonna Be Famous
4. Wedding Song
5. Radio Airplay
6. Sex Junkie
7. Rock n Roll Machine Part 3
Three words… Oh my god!I am ashamed to say that I have never heard TOL live before this night. I know, what a travesty! I had however heard them on the Underground compilation CD no 2. And they are one of my favourite bands off the album. And I am not just saying that to suck up. Lol. Anyway, I kind of knew what to expect. Chris B is a performer and having seen her perform in other bands, I knew that TOL wouldn’t be anything different. She would give us a show. It would be the same leading lady with a different bunch of blokes or girls. But, this time Chris had some really good fellas with her. And two are from the band Good Fellas! (They are Egg on bass and Angus on guitar.) Bren plays drums, while the icing on the cake is definitely the sexy sax of Mysterious Mr B.
The first song, ‘People’, started out much like I would expect TOL to sound like. For a few seconds I was wondering if this was one of the songs off the CD. But, it wasn’t. Mr B jumped around during this song while the sexy Rock mum held her rock pose. I was listening to the lyrics and I thought wtf? ‘Masturbating to a magazine’? Her lyrics are always quite humorous and catchy. As if you didn’t know what the response was going to be… the crowd loved them and rooted loudly for them.”We love you Chris” was shouted from guys and girls.‘Little Fishes’ started with the sax. Mr B held the whole song and all of the attention in his saxy hands until Chris started doing some fish dances and vocals. Wait a sec… fish dances? Yes, it could only be pulled off by the Rock Goddess herself, and should never be tried at home. In the chorus Egg joined in with some ‘oh’s’ and the song ended with some more awesome sacks work. Apparently this was a song about the environment. I didn’t get it.
TOL’s third song of the night was off the Underground Compilation CD no 2 and is my favourite song off it. In this song it’s not so much the music that is the hook for me. No, it’s definitely the lyrics. The lyrics in the verse are great, so contemporary and catchy. “I could be a centrefold edition, bigger than Pamela Anderson… I could be any woman I want to be, yeah!” I especially like it when Chris sings the oohs and ahhs and holds the notes for a long time. The crowd especially liked the song and gave them lots of praise.
Chris announced that Angus hadn’t played this next song before. It was called ‘Wedding Song’ and he played along fine to me. I think this song was supposed to be directed to married people? Don’t know. Anyway, this song had more of a funky beat and was really groovy. I kept on being impressed by Mr B, and Angus’ solo in this song really rocked. And I always thought he was a bassist? We didn’t know where to look as the whole band competed against each other for the spotlight. Chris joining in with some self choreographed hand movements.
TOL’s fifth song is a song that they wrote with the newly acquired Angus. It’s called ‘ Radio air play’ and had a great drum beat to start the song. It made me want to steal that beat. Then the vocals kicked in and I thought “Hey Mr. DJ” is going to be stuck in my head all night! Mysterious Mr B butt in and did a little bit of singing, while Chris’ vocals crept back in… getting louder and louder until his voice was to be no more. This got the biggest applause of the night.
The next song was dedicated to all those people who like sex and the whole bar roared in agreement. ‘Sex Junkie’ was a fitting name for this song, which started off with yet another awesome drum beat pumped out from Bren, followed by an equally seductive bass line. Then the seductive vocals of the Rock Goddess. When listening to the lyrics I have to wonder where her inspiration is coming from. Is she the ’sex freak/sexual junky’ we are hearing about? Though half the people in the room could be sex freaks for all I know.
The last song, ‘The rock ‘n’ roll machine part 3′ is also another song off the Underground Compilation CD no 2. What I liked about this song is how Egg’s bass sounded. He really tore up the stage in this song. Again Chris’ movements were mesmerizing. She even gave us some head banging action with her black and pink tinted hair. During the song you could see the whole band getting into a frenzy, really enjoying the music and rocking along. They finished their song with much gusto and a welcoming audience erupted in applause once again. Before leaving the stage she still remembered to plug the Underground Compilation CD, the sign of a true Muso. Truly a great performance! Already we are three bands in and we have had three completely different styles and all of them rocked the stage.
Cain (F.B.I. vocalist)
Click here to watch Thinking Out Loud playing their original song: Radio Airplay!
Message from Thinking Out Loud about CD 2 Launch Party A:
Thank you so much to The Underground (!), Koya & Mark 1 music Centre for making it possible for us to be on Compilation CD 2!! We had great fun recording our 2 songs for the CD and we really enjoyed performing and kickstarting Party A! I am really looking forward to seeing our video filmed by Wain. I really really wanted one of my friends to win the Thai Airways tickets to Seoul hahahaha Thanks to BC magazine for such a cool 2 page article about CD2 as well, it feels like we really are ‘going to be famous’
The sun had barely set when the denizens of the Underground took the stage.
The inevitable effects of the 2-4-1 Asahi deal kicked in
Fire, fights and police raids,
So let us proclaim
Go Baby Go into The Cavern
AKA, AKA, AKA, AKA
No incidents, no incidents, “great success!
”You enjoyed this strange new experience and found enlightenment
A rare opportunity to check out the Little Fishes
We hope our lyrical concerns
Debut a full house once again,
Go Baby Go into The Cavern
AKA, AKA, AKA, AKA
No incidents, no incidents, “great success!”
Bren C & Mysterious Mr. B
I drank herbal tea , and really enjoyed my evening out, it was a stupendous playing with TOL again…a real treat!
Click here to watch Thinking Out Loud playing their original song: Gonna Be Famous!
Live Review from Underground 62:
Noticeable difference in class from the rest. Tight, tight, tight. Awesome lead guitar. Chris B doing windmills. Great bass sound and guitar effects used unobtrusively, both for the first time this evening. Right and proper use of saxophone. Never having seen any of Chris B’s previous bands, her voice and presence are a revelation.
While discipline and musicianship are undoubtedly virtues at the Underground, several of the songs seemed way too short – most are easily good enough for an extra chorus. Along with this quick-fire delivery, the sheer variety of sounds, subject matter and, for that matter, language made it a little hard to pin the band down.
Tongue-in-cheek pseudo pop of “I’m gonna be famous” was followed by a textured, powerful number sung in English and Cantonese (not at the same time, obviously). Then straight into a frantic Fratelli’s cover, sung by the talented, Bowie-vocaled bassist Egg, proceeding into a SteelyDan-ish white groove thing.
Undoubted, err, climax however was the penultimate number, introduced by Chris B as “that song”. It quickly became clear why. True to the bands name, it was the uninhibited sound of the excitement and commitment of really excellent sex. While I imagine this came primarily from Chris’s thoughts, the rest of the band seemed to have enjoyed similar experiences. Excellent number.
It certainly doesn’t sound this way when I’m doing it. But then, I’ve never had sex with Chris B. Or the rest of the band.
Live Review from Underground 55:
It’s been a while since I last saw Thinking Out Loud play at their breaking up gig in July 2005 when a couple of band members wanted to leave to pursue other interests. However, as all good bands typically do, they’ve reunited and come back … with a new drummer. For those not familiar with them it’s Chris B on lead vocals and guitar, Chris W on lead guitar, Egg on bass guitar, Mysterious Mr B on sax, and Bren their new drummer. Well, what can I say? It was good seeing them back with their familiar mix of original and cover rock pop. I recognised nearly all of their songs, having been a fan of theirs for a while, they were playing well and enjoying themselves on stage. It was like they’d not been away. Though I did notice one thing. Chris B’s voice sounded sweeter, or should I say smoother and better given the songs she sings. I even thought Mysterious Mr B’s voice was better too during their “Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine” number.
Hey, fun band, good music and I like their blend of rock and pop.
Chris in Hong Kong at Underground 55
Click here to watch Thinking Out Loud playing their original song: Rock N Roll Machine!
Live Review from Underground 4:
No Underground would be complete without an appearance by Thinking Out Loud. Led by the Eurasian guitar goddess, Chris B and the amazing versatile fingers of Chris W, this band played as a foursome at the recent Underground 4 and surprised the audience with their diversity; from pure pop numbers (one was about “Random Men” that Chris B involves herself with) building up to an extremely seductive song that dripped in the apex of passion. Freely interchanging from English to Cantonese and back again; this band is most exciting live.
Chris B is inspiring to watch as she personifies each song and has attitude & stage presence; she somehow reminds me of Patti Smith; albeit younger and much prettier. Thinking Out Loud proudly proclaim that they play ‘Pop with Attitude’; yes indeed they do.
“Underground was a blast, we got really drunk and played some raunchy numbers, ask Chris B for more info – Chris W (lead guitarist/songwriter)“