Live review from Summer Festival 夏日大派對 2023:
Just Like That
Good Morning, Hard City
Love You More Than Anyone
Best Part (Daniel Caesar cover)
Overyjoyed (Stevie Wonder cover)
Questions & Doubts
An artist who has been around for a while, having been a member of a number of great bands, written a few songs for big Canto Pop stars, did a stint with a major record label, and now runs his own label.
Like everyone else, Adrian had not played live for the last few years, and admitted to being rusty and nervous. The set kicked off with a few of Adrian’s recent numbers, which made perfect entertainment for the revellers present, many of whom had already spent a few hours there. The moment Adrian started playing, the venue went quiet as the audience gradually became absorbed by the music.
Having been described as “the Elton John of Hong Kong” and I could see why, not so much in terms of the songs sounding similar but rather Adrian’s signature soothing and melodic piano playing, beautifully arranged with clever progressions strategically placed in all the right places. Adrian was supported on stage by Malaysian artist Adam Sang, whom he just met on the day, who added an additional dimension with his beatboxing and “faux” instruments (the trumpet was particularly impressive). A side of Adrian which was totally new to me was his ease of switching between head and chest voice, and indeed his head voice (one of his songs was a duet where Adrian convincingly did most of the female part)!
All in all an excellent performance and a fun set, and I would heartily recommend anyone into the likes of Elton John, Billy Joel and Ben Fold to catch one of Adrian’s performances: I assure you you will not be disappointed.
Live review from The Underground Summer Festival 夏季音樂節:
3. Take Me To Church (Hozier)
This boy has serious talent. Channeling the power of Elton John, Billy Joel (a frequently covered personal favourite of his) and Rufus “Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk” Wainwright, Adrian gives this everything. No wonder he’s signed to Universal Music Hong Kong – not only does he have the chops, he’s got the songs and the delivery. Oh and the looks as well – he’s charmingly nerdy in his flat cap and white glasses.
And don’t let anyone tell you that piano can’t rock! Well, there’s no way you can really stop them saying it, as it’s impossible to guess what people are going to randomly say to you, but if they do say that, you can tell them how wrong they are. At times Adrian seems to transcend his piano, it’s such a huge noise he produces.
It’s hypnotic as well – all you can do is stand transfixed while he simultaneously charms and besieges you with his wonderful music. In several languages as well. It’s tricky enough to work out what he’s singing in English, but it’s totally mystifying in Cantonese and Mandarin. But who cares? He could be crooning the phone book, it doesn’t matter – once he hits you with that rich, sonorous voice you just start smiling and nodding vacuously, like a Castle Peak escapee on a musical mission.
Although he only performed only three tracks: two originals (無非一聲掰拜, 路…一直都在) and a cover – an impassioned version of Hozier’s anthem against homophobia “Take Me To Church” – this felt very much like a ‘proper’ show, from a consummate showman – nice work Adrian!
Live review from The Art of Music II:
1. One Take
5. New York State of Mind (Billy Joel cover)
6. Don’t Dream It’s Over (Crowded House cover)
7. Good Morning, Hard City
8. Please Walk Away (unpublished demo)
9. Moving On (Anthony’s Song) (Billy Joel cover)
符致逸一直有為主流歌手作曲，如陳弈迅的<我們都寂寞>。而他自己亦為不少台灣劇集, 如籃球火和犀利人妻創作並主唱插曲。由於大部分的歌曲都是國語歌。在開場曲One Take後亦打趣地說，現場觀眾今晚要學國語了。對於現場的外籍人仕來說，國語歌曲實在是新鮮事。但對香港人來說，符致逸的台式國語歌曲應該算是正常的流行曲吧。
當晚符致逸只是單人上陣，沒有其他樂手的輔助下，唱了9首歌曲。第一首中版的One Take編曲都偏向主流流行曲。有著容易上口的副歌。即使之前未有聽過, 最後都能把副歌唱出來了。第二首的<孤獨天使>跟<One Take>的曲風相約，中段符致逸亦表演一下自己的假音技巧，此曲的起伏亦比<One Take>多。<終點之外>的鋼琴部分有很多重音，彈出了籃調節奏，現場亦為之而歡呼。但原來此曲的CD版本是一首Funky的歌曲, 並且沒有鋼琴音軌，這個現場的另類版本在有限的人手下, 實在相當不俗。之後的<恃愛行兇>有九十年代國語歌的感覺。之後，Adrian自己打趣地自封為Elton John，但Underground 主持人，音樂會搞手Chris B就說他比較像Billy Joel, 引起全場大笑。不知道是否即慶，Adrian彈起了Billy Joel的名曲<New York State Of Mind>。 之後又Cover了Crowded House 的<Don’t Dream It Is Over>，不過是籃調版本。接著Adrian唱出了自己大碟的點題歌曲，Good morning hard city，此曲亦是台灣電影<我的自由年代>的片頭曲。林夕的填詞沒有完美的表達出城市人迷失的心情。Encore時Adrian玩了一首未發表的新曲和Cover了Billy Joel的另一首歌Moving On (Anthony’s Song)。只有Adrian一人自彈自唱，沒有Back Up Band，實在令歌曲有點失色，原本一些不錯的Bass和Guitar部分都未能看到，這是當晚演出的一些美中不足之處。
– Dicky Kwong
If you shut your eyes, you would swear you were back in time with Elton John crooning to you during the 70’s. You open your eyes and who do you see? Adrian Fu on keyboards, entertaining the crowd with his voice, playing and easy-going banter. He sings passionately with a good voice, although there were times he was straining to hit the high notes which was more noticeable on the first few tracks, perhaps his voice had warmed up after that.
Unable to understand Putonghua, I can only comment that 終點之外 is exactly how I imagine Billy Joel would sound like if he sang in Putonghua. I personally am not a fan of Crowded House, although the crowd seemed to be singing along. “Good Morning Hard City”, the intro reminded me of Air Supply (maybe this is not a good thing). The new demo “Please Walk Away” didn’t have enough hooks to keep my attention (unlike Good Morning Hard City).
Clearly Adrian is a friend of Chris B, as she got to choose whether he covered Billy Joel or Elton John. Luckily she chose Billy Joel. A nice way to kick of the evening.
– Benjamin Ko