Underground 55


What a cool night!! We had the biggest spectrum of variety ever; from instrumental jazz to electro-pop-punk with smatterings of pop and rock in between. Thanks so much to The Cavern & the sound guys for their hard work. Thanks to the bands for taking so much effort to create their music for us. Thanks to our wonderful photog Willem and our big doorman Cliff! Big thanks to all those musicians who turned up to see me ‘redebut’ after a two year break.
love Chris B xx


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Topao is a nine member, or should I say piece, jazz fusion band. That’s two saxophones, two trumpets, one trombone, three guitars and a drum set all on stage. As you can imagine they can create some pretty big sound and do sound like a big marching band during one of their songs. At other times they’re more jazz, have slower numbers and songs fusing their instruments together in a mixture of slower to more upbeat songs. I call them songs but there’s no actually singing. The lead member plays guitar, introduces the songs and band members and even does extra duty conducting the band off stage during one song. They play original numbers as well as a few covers. They’re pretty accomplished individual players but I still think they’re working on their sound. They’re most of the way there though and already have a distinctive sound. Just a bit more tweaking lads and it’ll all come together! That’s no mean feat given the number of different instruments they’ve got.
Chris in Hong Kong at Underground 55


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ChoChukMo are a fun band and I liked them. It’s your three guitar and drum line up and they were dressed in coordinating hot pink shirts for the guys and a bright pink skirt for their female guitarist. Hairdos and ties were also matching with the rest of the look. Visuals aside they play well together and have established a comfortable rapport between themselves, their instruments and their music. They also have fun on the stage. You can hear their Franz Ferdinand influenced music in their earlier numbers of their set but they’re more than that. They can be louder, have a 80’s feel to them at other times, and their first self-penned number “Strawberry” went down well, even though they professed to having not practiced for a long while. It’s probably true as one of their members couldn’t remember which song was next at one point. They were pretty darn good already so I’ll just have to imagine what they’re like when they really get into it. Definitely worth checking the next time they play.
Chris in Hong Kong at Underground 55


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Thinking Out Loud

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


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The Yours

At first glance you might think this band looks a bit strange. There’s Jack on vocals and guitar in his Robert Smith, lead singer of The Cure, inspired hair and jacket and tie outfit, though not as black. He even uses Robert Smith type singing vocals. Then there’s Nic, guitar and vocals, floppy hair, t-shirt and jeans. He’s tall and thin this guy. And then there are their two identikit girls in identical black outfits, hair, make up, all red-lipsticked looking and sullen, on occasional guitar and tambourine. As with The Cure, they don’t look like a particularly happy lot, with members sometimes turning away from the crowd to sing and play guitar.
While you can see and hear The Cure inspired look, vocal mannerisms and lyrics, their music is quite different. Strong rhythms pervade their songs and there’s good use of wall of sound with their guitar riffs. I was a bit taken back when they just stopped playing at the end of the gig not saying anything. With music this good I think they can perhaps tilt the edge of their mouths up just a little, in private.
Chris in Hong Kong at Underground 55

Above photos © Copyright 2008 by Willem
Poster by Sheli

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