What an absolutely fantastic night! HUGE thanks to Volcom Brand Jeans for working with us on this event and supporting the live music scene in Hong Kong! Thanks also to Monster drink for keeping us fuelled all night! Congratulations to our competition winners – Dixie Lynne, Four Quarters and The Pansies for sharing the stage with our friends ToNIck and ChoChukMo. Hangout made it all sound great and we’re already looking forward to hosting more events there in 2016. Last but not least, THANK YOU to The Underground team members who worked tirelessly that day and night to make sure everything ran smoothly, we couldn’t do it without you!
love Chris B xx
實在係太精彩嘅一個晩上啦! 好多謝Volcom Brand Jeans 再度同我地合作,一齊支持本地獨立音樂! 重有唔少得Monster drink為我地當晚増加唔少體力. 係呢到再次恭喜我地比賽得獎者 – Dixie Lynne, Four Quarters 同埋 The Pansies, 贏得同ToNick同埋觸執毛同台演出嘅機會. 當晩咁靚嘅聲全靠蒲吧!嘅幫忙, 希望黎緊2016年會再喺呢到搞更多show! 最後當然唔少得 TheUnderground 一眾幫手嘅工作人員啦,冇左你地真係唔得!
Love Chris B xx
1. Rip Tide (Cover – Vance Joy)
3. Me & Bobby McGee (Cover – Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster)
4. Electric Love (Cover – BØRNS)
5. Three Sixty
It’s always nerve-wracking to open a show, especially when the succeeding acts foster sounds designed to give the listener a headache the next morning. But when Dixie Lynne Lonergan takes to the stage on her own and begins to sing, the bustling Hang Out gymnasium shuts up and listens.
This pitch-perfect singer-songwriter and guitarist has all the makings of a major star. Performing a carefully-picked mix of country pop covers and originals, she leads an enraptured audience into her soul and invites them to stay for five electrifying songs.
She opens with Vance Joy’s emotive ‘Riptide’. His lyrics “I was scared of dentists and the dark/I was scared of pretty girls and starting conversations” take on a new gravitas at Lynne’s lips, before she introduces her first original, ‘Crown’ – a soft song oozing with romantic languor.
Lynne’s voice is stunningly clear. Without a hint of the shrieking, rasping or warbling attributed to many female soloists, her crisp, earnest vocals deliver thoughtful lyrics that send shivers down the spine.
‘Three Sixty’ shows a startling songwriting maturity and musical wisdom rare for even most established country artists. A simple lyrical hook and tender themes makes the set closer one of the evening’s standout performances.
There’s a sharp inhalation of disbelief when Chris B reveals that Lynne is just 14 years old and somewhere in the crowd, her parents chuckle in recognition. It’s inevitable Lynne will be likened to Taylor Swift, whose own career began aged 14, but with such stage presence and emotional dexterity, it’s a trajectory this promising new star may well follow.
– El Jay
5. You Won’t Know (cover of Brand New)
在True To This 的第二炮, 迎來了年青的Four Quarters, 他們的開場曲<Tiffany>用較簡單的Power Rock向觀眾展現了他們的年青。但之後的歌曲卻表示他們的搖滾音樂不只是年青的Power Rock。<Rita>既雜亂又有清晰的文路。在快速兼沙啞拆聲吉他和貝斯節奏下, 主音結他手Harmeet Bhatia清脆的結他Melody給了聽眾一個很好的關注點。主音Zubia Issac的唱腔亦有其特色, 隨意之餘又帶控訴的情緒, 有時候甚至有Robert Smith的影子。最後Cover Brand New的<You Won’t Know>, 全樂團在快慢節奏的轉捩點都拿捏得恰到好處, 順滑地變調, 同時亦帶動了全場氣氛。
– Dicky Kwong
It’s fitting that Four Quarters have named their upcoming EP “Songs About Girls” – real or not; ‘Tiffany,’ ‘Rita’ and ‘Annabelle’ are all name-checked in a string of searingly confessional post-hardcore songs.
Four Quarters attack their set with a fist-balling aggression that has fists pumping and fans fighting. The smart lyricism and shrewd emotional observance of modern emo bands La Dispute and The Front Bottoms is felt throughout lead singer and guitarist Zubin Isaac’s astute verses, but there’s no space left for the same down-tempo style in the music, which is relentlessly heavy and charged with scorn, indignation, angst and passion.
It’s an angry onslaught, but bassist Andrew Shearer and drummer Aaron de Guzman’s meticulous rhythms pulse beneath clean-cut guitars without distortion – a testament to Hang Out’s superior sound techs. Opener ‘Angels’ has the same tragedy and choked-up heartbreak as ‘The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows,’, so it’s fitting that the quartet would choose Brand New’s gut-wrenching ‘You Won’t Know’ to close.
The Pansies Miggy de Leon steps on stage to play guitar for Isaacs, to allow the lead singer to unleash an incandescent vocal performance. Hairs stand on end as Isaac screams with greater intensity than Jesse Lacey and all three guitars swoop in on the blistering finale.
– El Jay
4. Go 4or it
相信當晚有不少他們的樂迷到場，看場內有不少人穿著他們的演唱會t-shirt就知道了。蒲吧這場地對於他們一點都不陌生，更可算是他們的發跡地，因此與音控也頗有默契的，沒有在調音上花上太多時間。ToNick這晚以一首不常玩live的”跳制”作開始，頗適合當晚show的氣氛的，之後直接接”趕客”，把氣氛進推高，也聽得觀眾很過癮。接下來的”撐”是他們今年的新歌之一，一首蠻不ToNick的歌，但當中的隱喻想必聽過的大家都明白，亦有讓觀眾氣血起來的感覺。setlist上最後一首歌是”go 4or it”，但最後也encore了”3ree”，如主音恆仔所說的，唱完4也不妨來唱一下3吧，筆者一向覺得”3ree”是一首既溫暖亦有活力的歌，用來作結剛好。
– Sidick Lam
Fans clamoured around the backstage entrance as soon as local rockers ToNick arrived and began setting up. The home crowd grew fevered as the ebullient rockers took to the stage with a short set of witty and energetic pop punk songs.
Regularly compared to Blink 182, Fall Out Boy, Green Day and (local faves) Hard Pack, ToNick’s hook-laden sound and singalong, mostly Canto lyrics make for a fun show. Upbeat rhythms, jangling riffs and angst-laden lyrics give ‘跳制’ the flavour of such early noughties emo-rock as The Get Up Kids, while the acoustic-led ‘撐’ has the high school wistfulness of ‘What’s my Age Again.’
For most bands, it’d be a faux-pas to launch into a lengthy monologue between songs, but lead singer Hang Jai elicits cheers and laughter as he wonders openly about how to make HK’s future better, how their university tour allowed them to connect to students, and how The Underground’s Chris B is now the mother of two nine-year-olds as drummer Sun Hei celebrates becoming a first-time father.
Then it’s back to business. With a simple, shouty chorus, single ‘Go 4or It’ is a pop punk party-starter, blending dense verses with speedy guitarwork and undulating rhythms. “Ok bye,” Hang Jai teases, turning to walk off the stage. They may not be the last band on the bill, but the crowd isn’t about to let them leave without a encore.
‘3ree’ is ToNick’s parting shot; a classic rock ballad progressing from gentle intro to tightly-wound riffs and lyrics to inspire. Guitarist Siu Gwai’s fretwork shines brightest here, with shrieking, almost cheesy 80s solos. Pure, joyous, rock ‘n’ roll fun.
– El Jay
1. We Know Who We Are
2. Sonic Reducer (cover song – Dead Boys)
4. Nervous Breakdown (cover song – Black Flag)
5. Suff Punk
6. New Rose (cover song – The Damned)
7. All This And More (cover song – Dead Boys)
8. We Don’t Like You
The Pansies年頭在Battle of the Band 重製了70年代的英倫朋克,贏得學生組冠軍。當時的一大特點是有點放任,憤怒並操英倫的光頭主音表演時,實在有年青John Lydon的感覺。接近一年過後,光頭主音原來已到外地讀書, 原本的鼓手Gabe Hackman繼承了主音的位置。表演之前,我承認有點失望, 因為沒有光頭主音的關係。但在表演開始後,發現原來Gabe Hackman又是一個會把時間帶回70年代英倫朋克光輝歲月的人。但他一頭長卷曲金髲,妖冶的黑眼影加上紅黑的緊身褲Glam味甚濃。相比剛陽的光頭主音, Gabe Hackman繼承了不少英倫男主音的嬌豔, 懶洋的唱腔有時有Carl Barat的感覺。歌曲方面, 他們的歌曲繼續忠於70年代朋克, 又Cover了多首歌曲, 觀眾從開始第一首歌時像被這股懷舊的氣氛征服。舊式朋克歌曲特點在於節奏急速和歌曲時間短, 觀眾根本沒有時間休息,只有一同跳動至最後一首<We Don’t Like You>。全場大嗌We Don’t Fxxking Like You實在過引。
– Dicky Kwong
Unhindered by technical difficulties, an outspoken individual complete with eyeliner introduces The Pansies with a raw guitar sound, a lot of attitude, and a good amount of angst, The Pansies appeased my initial though of “I hope that’s an ironic band name” – starting with ‘We Know Who We Are’, the band blew away audience’s expectation of a softly spoken band. A couple of groupies behind me waves along as they continue with a cover version of The Dead Boys’ song ‘Sonic Reducer’, a rebellious song with a couple of screams. The coat comes off with the song ‘Scumbag’, revealing his own band’s name on a ripped up shirt. The hair-metal style reverb comes out in his vocals, as the crowd gets increasingly pogo-inclined, with the band keeping it tight. A fourth song revealed itself to be ‘Nervous Breakdown’, a cover of the Black Flag song that got a lot of heads singing and chanting along. A short interlude and the drums lead into the groovy song ‘Suff Punk’, a frantic song with fast vocals, again shining with the spirit of rebellious, angsty youth. Near enough all the crowd get moving to the sixth song ‘New Rose’, a The Damned cover– the guitarist jumping wildly, and the audience cheers from every line. The next song, ‘All This and More’, another Dead Boys cover features a star spangled solo, with the crowd lapping it up. Ending with spits of “Go Fuck Yourself!” in their super angsty song ‘We Don’t Like You’, the power chord heavy band punked out on stage like never before, the lead singer certainly put his all into moving about the stage, thrashing his hair around. It was nice to see an attitude-heavy band in the Hong Kong scene, a refreshing change to the namby pamby pop music that’s played regularly.
– Sherman Leung
2. One O’Clock
4. Number One
6. King of My World
7. Love aint red
當晚壓軸的是Chochukmo，相隔七年後第六次踏上The Underground 的舞台，的確讓人期待。
和ToNick一樣，蒲吧對於Chochukmo來說一點都不陌生，因此在這場地表演駕輕就熟。他們先以”sister”開頭，緊接之後的”one o’clock”，兩首都是觀眾熟悉的歌曲和編排，因此一開始他們便能進入狀態，氣氛非常高漲。這一次唱了最近不常在live唱的”alcohol and cigarette”，一首筆者超喜歡的歌！接下來也是今年的”the King of the world”，竭斯底里的演出讓全場的情緒都推到最高，mosh的mosh，跳的跳。而一向不encore的Chochukmo竟然在這一場encore，以”good night”作一個完滿的結束，為觀眾留下美好的夜晚，是underground的榮幸吧！
– Sidick Lam
The infamous ChoChukMo gave the True to This a hell of a show – that iconic fringe introducing the stage as the crowd claps along to ‘Sister’, the band decked out in Volcom apparel with the singer in a Volcom T-Shirt and the guitarist in a Volcom Hoodie (perfect for a chilly venue). The band skillfully conducts the crowd’s clapping technique as they guide the crowd to clap faster and slower for different sections of the song. Jan’s musical-style singing induces lots of hands in the air as they lead on to the second song ‘One O’clock’, this time the crowd swinging their hands in rhythm to the seemingly musical-inspired band. A few verses in and he starts to rap, turning the venue into a hip-hop show, before plunging back into the song. By the third song ‘Number One’, the hand-in-air action still hasn’t stopped, this time with added jumping to go along with the upbeat rhythm. With a slow interlude in the song, the crowd swayed to and fro to the music, leading to an intricate guitar solo, with dramatic laughs and lots of alto singing. A wide range of influences is showcased in the song ‘Alcohol’; a good song to go with “drinking and cigarettes”, the interesting song structure gave the feel of a jazz bar, with sleazy feeling in the singing style and lyrics. The sixth song ‘King of My World’ had a bit more of an angry sound to it, whilst still keeping the band’s musical style and sounding a bit like Mars Volta, featuring catchy hooks, and getting big cheers from the crowd, the singer’s tongue sticks out for the majority of the song giving them a wild appearance. Huge cheers from the crowd come as they interlude with the singer talking about their experiences with The Underground, a few plugs for Volcom, and a big thank you for a crowd and leads them into ‘Love Aint Red’, the crowd going wild for the chorus as Jan sings with a very strong voice. Of course, the band has to come back with their most well known song for their encore, the hit ‘Goodnight’ with the crowd chanting along to “Goodnight” (A fitting song for the end of the night), their avid fans jumping about and a multitude of hands and phones up in the air, whilst the guitarist taps away relentlessly for bridges and solos. ChoChukMo definitely ended the night memorably, providing a spot on tight performance that penetrated the hearts of the audience.
– Sherman Leung
Photos by Angus Leung.
Poster by Sally Chan