Underground 64


Thanks to Club Cixi for yet another awesome Underground show, we squeezed in a lot of bands and it was fun having a Punk end to the evening!
love Chris B xx



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Clementine Is My Sunshine


  • 1. Mong Kok
  • 2. Blackbird (Beatles)
  • 3. On One Spot
  • 4. Moments Fly
  • 5. 13 (Big Star)

Casually dressed in a green tee shirt and a pair of beige shorts, wearing an army cap and white sneakers, you just can’t tell this young looking guy is in fact Jon, one of the ex-members from acoustic indie pop group Natural City! Compared to his previous project, Jon, as Clementine Is My Sunshine, diverges from the mellow, confessional tone, notably in Needing You and Dragonfly, and chooses a more cheerful, delicate path.

Not long after he strums the first few chords of Mong Kok and sings, “The past two weeks we stayed in the same place. And you said, how I wish things would stay the same”, his obedient voice creates a calm and soothing atmosphere on top of his country/folk guitar playing. Together with the harmonica, it just feels like Jason Mraz and Bob Dylan are on stage! No joke!



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  • 1. Cry
  • 2. In My Mind
  • 3. Creep (Radiohead)
  • 4. Mother Earth
  • 5. Fever

At first glance, the name of this pop rock quartet reminds me of Little Fat Pig, a local pop punk band which released their debut album entitled “Pork Rock” last December. The convictions behind whimsical names often endow the groups with an extra bit of liveliness. As a band influenced by many different genres of music, Pork performs a mid-tempo set that is fairly diversified and fueled with passion. The lead guitarist stands out in the way that he presents a wide range of UK-influenced guitar sounds, ranging from clean, reverberated, slightly psychedelic picking to angst-ridden, crunchy power chord strumming. With more coordination between members and stronger dynamics in song writing, the band will definitely sound much fuller.



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The Sinister Left


  • 1. Canned Laughter
  • 2. Drive
  • 3. MSG
  • 4. Caped Carnival
  • 5. Timeless
  • 6. The Faux King

The Sinister Left is a skillful band that pays great attention to crafting coherent flows of feelings in their music. The richness of their instrumentation and the subtle yet complex song structures are the main components that moves the audience, leading them from one scenery to another. It is a bit hard to define their style, but this is exactly what makes them different. My closest description would be US indie rock blended with traces of 80’s post punk. Think of Minus the Bear having their signature experimental guitar-tapping replaced partially with The Cure’s sharp bass picking sound.

Timeless is the most remarkable song that explains everything. Each part of it is carefully placed together in the way that a swaying feel unfolds gradually before the fast syncopated part kicks in, bursts out, and cools down again for another resolution.




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The Dummy


  • 1. 3WEM
  • 2. Around
  • 3. Eclipse
  • 4. Garret
  • 5. Sidelap

Darkness and elegance. These two words are probably the best to describe The Dummy’s sound – indie pop rock stylishly laid out with Chinese lyrics. In this new era of Canto-pop, there is no surprise that this kind of repetitive music is most of the time associated with negative connotations. Yet, The Dummy bypasses the cheesiness and the mundanity, takes us back to the early 90’s (aka the golden age of Canto-pop), and glamorizes it.

This time at Underground 64, the foursome shows up with three supporting members – a violinist, a cellist and a pianist. It is indeed a big surprise, since it is hard to imagine how these three instruments could collaborate in escalating the aesthetic qualities of the band even further. And yes, with the help of string instruments, the darkness gets darker, the elegance more elegant, the coldness colder. The Dummy is one promising indie band that shows how Cantonese music should be like.



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Empty Tomb


  • 1. Hold My Hand
  • 2. Through Your Blood
  • 3. This Is You
  • 4. My Friend
  • 5. Everything

If you have never heard of Empty Tomb, it is not uncommon that from the look of their name, you think of them as a death metal band or something similar. But in fact the inspiration of their name comes from the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and they are five incredibly talented, versatile musicians who share the same goal, same ambition, if not the same religion. Having influenced by bands like, to name a few, Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids, Whence He Came and Buddhiston, Empty Tomb’s music is reflective, melancholic and deeply sincere. Their hard work and persistence have also made them one of the most popular bands within the local indie music scene.

Starting off with Hold My Hand, the venue is filled with a retrospective vibe by the serenity of the intro. It feels as if you’re standing on a cliff in front of the ocean, with your arms wide open, embracing and appreciating gratefully all the wonderful things you have had in life. Next up is their hit single, Through Your Blood, which begins with a series of sweet and warm clean guitar picking underscored by upbeat stick-clicking on the drums. The “Let’s go!” that follows launches into strings of anticipatory verses that develop for the emotionally explosive half-time chorus, “I was the one, trapped in the darkness, lost control. You’re the one, rescuing me, through your blood”.

Empty Tomb doesn’t appear to have a fixed setlist for each of their shows, and this is why I strongly request for This Is You. Everything in this track is especially catchy – the drum groove from the verse, the sentimental chord progression on the keyboard, the sustained guitar solo, the vocalist’s beseeching vocal quality, and the refined bass lines. They all merge together flawlessly and reach deep into your soul (at least giving me goose bumps throughout the whole song!).

My friend is a new tune of theirs and has more of a post-rock touch. While Everything, as the vocalist notes, is a love song not for a girlfriend, but his father. It features more emotional variations on the vocalist’s tone, from obedient in the verses to wailing in the chorus. Intensely moving indeed!

Empty Tomb is perfect in any sense, but the only problem they got is that they seem to take forever to produce their debut album! Guys! Please! Hopefully the compilation CD they are releasing with a few other indie bands in late August will at least quench my craving a bit.


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Oi! Squad


  • 1. Work Together
  • 2. 1969
  • 3. Alone
  • 4. Saturday Boys
  • 5. Yer Wrong
  • 6. Fight Back
  • 7. Trendy Cunts
  • 8. Pok Guy
  • 9. Borstal
  • 10. Loud n Proud
  • 11. DIY (Defiant Scum)
  • 12. ACAB

Apart from Defiant Scum and the Squawk, Oi! Squad is one of the very few local punk bands that has the true street punk spirit. Beer, fuck you and Oi! Oi! Oi!, the crowd has already gone crazy and began crowd-surfing in the first few songs. They spill beer; they mosh; they rant together as they lift their fists up high. Every song Oi! Squad delivers has so much energy that just keeps the pit going and heats up the blood temperature of those not moving. Their sound is not just limited to raw, straight, head-on punk though, Pierre (also the guitarist of Defiant Scum if I’m still up to date) brings in some really sick Ska-punk melodies, chords and solos. And this characteristic is what gives the audience a chill break, allowing them to bounce, recharge and sip beer before they go again.

Just when the punkers yell out that their next song is Pok Guy, the whole crowd is aroused by the fact that this Cantonese swear word is uttered by a group of pissed off gweilos. The ordinary cheering rhythm at the intro functions to kick-start the build-up of the real climax of their set – DIY, the local street punk anthem written by Defiant Scum.

As a considerably new punk band that has only played several shows, Oi! Squad exceeds everyone’s expectations. Oi! Oi! Fuckin’ Oi!


photos © Copyright 2008 by ANGUS LEUNG
Poster by Sheli

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