Underground 77


Thanks to the five bands that made Underground 77 a real fun show to watch. From new bands to veterans to China champions, we had a great mix of musical styles to really prove that the Hong Kong live music scene is thriving and shows like The Underground are pure entertainment. Thanks to California for hosting, thanks to JD for doing the sound. Thanks to the audience. See you at the next show!
love Chris B x


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Kowloon City Strike Force

A relative new band making its Underground debut, this 4 piece band opened Underground 77 with a set of moody melodic guitar rock tunes that somewhat resembled the Strokes. The songs were generally well crafted, the two guitar parts were particularly pleasant. However, the band’s inexperience showed through – they were probably somewhat nervous and that translated to uncertainty in parts. The vocalist could perhaps pay a little attention to his delivery given that he has quite a ‘drony’ voice and the songs could probably benefit from a bit more vocal dynamism and dare I say, clever use of vocal effects. To sum up, as the band gains more musical and performance experience, Kowloon City Strike Force has the potential of becoming a highly entertaining band.


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Killer Soap

This is Killer Soap’s 4th appearance at the Underground, and the first since their return from GBOB’s global final in London towards the end of last year. The band opened the set with a cover song of a well known Hong Kong band (itself no stranger to the Underground) – Audiotraffic‘s Happy?, much to the amusement and surprise of the audience because it was so unexpected. The rest of the set consisted of a few well known numbers which had helped to take this superb band to UK last year, as well as 3 new songs, all of which were seemed to be based around lost love and moving on in the Soap’s signature punchy yet smooth J-rock style with feet tapping grooves and haunting guitar. I have been following this band since I first saw them at a competition almost 2 years ago and despite having seen them many times and having heard their songs over and over again, I never seem to get tired of them as their songs are so interesting and well delivered. Armed with a new material, I hope this band will keep entertaining Hong Kong and beyond for the foreseeable future.

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Helium3 (formerly named “Skindeep”)

Again making their 4th appearance at the Underground, Skin Deep kicked off with the song “Moving On”, their first live performance of this number. What followed was a upbeat set of wholesome rock and roll, tightly delivered. The music, on the whole, was melodic and swingy although with each subsequent tune one was hit with a feeling of ‘deja-vu’… nice music, but nothing particularly inspiring and sounded very much like the last one – nothing wrong with that, the formula has been tried and tested and has helped them to secure a strong fan base. However, one is left with wondering what this band of accomplished musicians is capable of should they diversify a little.

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This long standing alternative band started on the wrong foot with sound problem but more than made it up with a mixture of dark, atmospheric shoegaze psychedelia and upbeat post punk rock that completely mesmerised the audience. The band’s sound was expansive and the music led one wanting to close one’s eyes and contemplate life, universe and infinity. If I had a negative comment then it would be that for such an experienced band, the sound set up could be better done – excessive volume on the amps on stage were creating some rather nasty feedback against the PA system.

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Sushi Robot

Although Sushi Robot was making its debut at Underground 77, the members of this electronica duo were certainly no strangers to the show, consisting of 2 members from Violent Jokes, another local drum and bass outfit. The set kicked off with an excerpt from what must have been (I’m guessing here) a John Barry composition, a pleasant way to cajole the audience back from the UNiXX inspired reverie, then shifted gear into some serious trance inducing drum and bass sound. Shadow, the lead singer from Violent Jokes, came on stage to do an impromptu improvised performance, followed shortly by the official guest MC, Cain, the lead singer of F.B.I. , making what must have been his debut as an D n B MC. A fitting end to a varied Underground show.

photos © Copyright 2009 by ANGUS LEUNG
Poster by Sheli

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