Wow! What a musically stupendous night!! On our 76th numbered show, the talent we have brewing in Hong Kong AND paying us a visit from overseas is just fantastic! Thanks to all the acts for your passion, your creativity and most of all your music!
love Chris B xx
RICHEY LAM (USA 美國)
1. The Dangerous Line
2. Growing (medley)
3. This is my life
5. The Wahoo song
6. Will you still love me? (cover of Carol King)
Richey came on stage and immediately started with a fast paced and catchy number. There was an instant silence in the room as everybody stopped their conversations and turned their heads towards him. All that could be heard were the sweet notes of his voice and the twangs of guitar strings. He gave us a lot of oohs ad ahs as he showed us the range of his talented voice. His voice was very soulful, can I call it RnB with a guitar? I have never seen a performance like this at The Underground that crossed this kind of genre and succeeded. It definitely had all the girls in a daze.
Even in his first song, ‘The Dangerous Line‘, he had the entire crowd clapping along enthusiastically. This song was a mixture of some covers plus some original lyrics. He went onto his next song, ‘Groan‘, and continued to give us a full performance despite only being a one-man band. This song started slowly, working his magic with his guitar. You couldn’t even hear a sound during the pauses because the crowd was so mesmerized by his stage presence. He talked about his flight over to Hong Kong and went on to say how he sat next to a beautiful girl, something that rarely happens to him, and me! He usually gets stuck next to really smelly people, or fat people, in my case. He told us how he went over things in his head that he wanted say to her, but nothing would come out. He pondered if only she could hear the sweet melody in my soul… and he started to sing, “Could you be… the most beautiful girl in the world?” He kept talking about this situation and it became obvious that this song was a medley when he sang “My girl” which even got the soundman echoing the words back to him.
His third song was ‘This is my life‘, a song that has been featured on MTV’s The Real World. This was another mood catching soulful song that had all the girls swooning. It featured a lot of slapping onto the guitar and more thought provoking lyrics. By his fourth song, ‘Ghost‘, the whole crowd was lost in the music as they all seemed to roll into one. He had a great repertoire with the audience. It felt like I was having a deep conversation with an old friend.
His next song, ‘The Wahoo Song‘, was another romantic love song that elegantly rolled off his tongue. It was evident that music was in his blood. The last song of his set was a cover of Carol King’s ‘Will you still love me?’, another sweet sweet song that rounded off his performance perfectly. What I really liked about him was that he always had a smile on his face and played as if there were more than a thousand people watching.
Unfortunately for him, the night was still young and a majority of the audience was fashionably late; rather not to see the first band because they have the mentality that he first band must always be shit. But, those people who didn’t come really lucked out this time. Richey Lam was definitely a highlight of the night for me. And for the people there, he really made us feel like we were the luckiest people in the bar that night.
Cain (F.B.I. vocalist)
1. I Saw Your Eye
2. Concrete Sky
3. I Miss Your Voice
4. Love Hotel
5. Ferris Wheel
6. Lights Are Out
9. Temple Of Smoke
Logo consisted of two guys (James and Chris) and a cute Japanese girl named Akiko. Chris was on guitar and Akiko played bass, while James led from behind on the drums. The two front men, Chris and Akiko, came onto the stage wearing dark sunglasses. Akiko’s sunglasses really drew my attention with their pink rims. I expected one of these two to start singing, but next thing I know, they start playing their first song, ‘I Saw Your Eye‘, and James begins singing from behind. We were told that this was a love song from Glasgow. Their music sounds like British 80’s rock, filled with catchy riffs and bass lines. Though, James was using some kind of distortion to his voice that made it sound retro ‘80s. I was told by other people that they thought Logo sounded like the “Buzz-cocks” and “The Clash” because of James’ super heavy British accent.
Their second song, ‘Concrete Sky‘ started abit slower and was more psychedelic. I thought that James’ first song would be his only one on vocals, but he amazed us by continuing to sing and lead his troupe from behind. He had support with some back-up vocals from Chris, but only a few oohs and ahs. It seemed like the guitarist and bassist just stood there and played their instruments while the drummer held all of the stage presence way at the back there.
The third song, ‘I miss your voice‘, was more upbeat and continued to be psychedelic. It was very trippy music. I was wondering by this stage… what this would be like on mushrooms? It set me in a trance with their music. I could almost imagine seeing spirals and swirls in the background with girls dressed in hippy style clothing dancing seductively as James sang middle-eastern scales. Were they going even further back than the ‘80s, heading into the ‘70s? I could almost imagine Austin Powers jumping into the scene and doing a silly dance. Their music went on like this for another few songs. I was starting to think… when is this trip going to end?
Their sixth song, ‘Lights are out‘, got my attention back with its fast paced riffs and loud music. I was convinced I was getting the intended vibe when James said in one of his lyrics, “picking magic mushrooms, and all the stems turned to giraffes”. Or something like that. Really trippy man! The next song, ‘Escalator‘, brought us back to a lighter side of Logo. I felt like I was in a field skipping merrily hand in hand with my loved one.
Their last song, ‘Temple of Smoke‘, which I misheard for ‘Sample of Smoke‘, had me thinking that these guys must really like their drugs until James pointed out that this song was about evaporating beliefs, not evaporating leaves. For this song, Austin Powers was back on the scene. This time he was on a mission, snooping around for clues and doing what he does best, being groovy.
All in all Logo gave us a good performance for their debut at the Underground. A little bit rusty and not altogether in some parts, but they definitely can set the mood and give us a feeling of deep enlightenment. If they get a little bit tighter I can really see their music being used as soundtrack for Austin Powers, or something in that genre. Groovy man!
Watch their Underground 76 performance on youtube here.
Cain (F.B.I. vocalist)
In Love and Pain
1. Warning from 2024
2. 4:31 sad morning
3. Thunder (Boys like Girls Cover)
4. Our lives in Digitalism
5. 21st Century Exodus
6. On The Road, Into The Wild
7. Letters To You (Finch Cover)
8. Darkest Sides
This was the first time that In Love and Pain! had done an acoustic performance. I have seen these guys before and when I heard that they were going acoustic I wondered how they would pull it off. Generally their music is very loud with lots of screaming. You can almost compare these guys to Rage Against The Machine, and I can’t imagine Zach De La Rocha doing an acoustic set. So I sat there with open ears and an open mind to hear what In Love and Pain! had to offer. The guys from the band sat on chairs side by side, Henry and Kid on guitar, while Marvin and Satva did the vocals. They started their set with a warning from the future and surprised me with their soft, but powerful music. They sound a little like ‘Story of the year’. Marvin sang deep and sorrowfully, while Satva sang back-up vocals.
The second song “4:31” had both Satva and Marvin singing in beautifully harmony. Even though they didn’t hold a guitar these two singers stole the limelight from the other two. I totally didn’t expect a third singer to join the duo. But, then to my surprise they were accompanied by Henry in the next song, “Thunder”, who took the lead vocals for the Boys like Girls cover. All of the guys sang together, giving us a full range of voices, playing off each other in sweet symphony. I had to wonder were these the same songs that they played as a full band? because the sound was so different. Suddenly it was so deep and meaningful. I could actually hear what they were singing.
Then the foursome played one of their heavier songs which sounded alike to Metallica’s ‘Unforgiven’. At this stage the audience was swelling up in the Melting Pot and the band had to compete against the chatter. ‘Our Lives Through Digitalism‘ cut through the murmur of the crowd with its loud, dark and depressing sounds.
The fifth song, ‘21st Century Exodus‘, followed. This time the band got the crowd clapping along to the beat. It had a rhythm that was easy to follow and tap your feet to. Then, they moved back to a slow melodic number which Marvin could utilise his voice. Henry began to sing the next song which was a Finch cover, while the other two vocalists provided the harmony. Sounds like the kind of song that you would listen to if you had broken up with your girlfriend or boyfriend. Very dark and moody music.
They ended their set with ‘Darkest Sides‘ which followed along similar lines to songs that preceded it. There was not much diversity in the style of music they played, but if you like depressing music that you want to cry your heart out to, then this is it. You could definitely feel that this was out of their comfort zone, I think they are more accustomed to thrashing it out on stage, which they do quite well. But this time, they sat down and did not move for the entire show, which took away from their stage presence that they usually have more of. But, it was a good show and they were lucky to have such a great crowd gathered there at The Melting Pot who surely will ask when is their next performance?
Cain (F.B.I. vocalist)
Tai Tai Alibi
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)
photos © Copyright 2009 by ANGUS LEUNG
Poster by Sheli