Live review from 15th Anniversary Party

1. You know you want me
2. Electrocity
3. Unfaithful (Rihanna cover)
4. Happy Birthday
5. Dirty Desires
6. Vote For me
7. The Last Song

The fourth act on the bill at The Underground’s birthday, Bliss rocked up with LED lights, a big crowd of friends and aviator sunglasses to hand out to the audience. What they lacked in originality and cohesion, they made up for with oodles of personality and energy, raising heart rates after previous act Per Se, who could barely be heard in the busy room.

Frontman Thomas had a strong stage presence, channeling several different personas during the band’s set. On opener You Know You Want Me, he employed a bizarre gravelly vocal tone that may have been trying to emulate Lemmy, but came off sounding closer to Oscar the Grouch. “This is gonna be a sick show,” the singer said, joking: “That’s a disclaimer because two of us are actually sick.” He gave a more breathy performance on Electrocity, yet, gratingly, kept putting his hand over the metal end of the mic, causing a painful scream of feedback each time.

While the more unassuming of Bliss’s two guitarists, “Man of Charm”, was more content laying down rhythms, his counterpart “Man of Mystery” hammed up his lead role, smashing out Slash-like solos and leaping down to the dancefloor. The band even sneaked in a happy birthday singalong serenade to The Underground, bringing a flattered Chris B on stage.

Rihanna’s tear-jerking track Unfaithful was rendered toe-curling at the hands of Bliss: Thomas came in flat and gave the cover a flavour of bad karaoke. From an inaudibly soft start to a cacophonous climax, the resulting muddle sounded like two separate bands competing for airspace in the same room.

Dirty Desires and Vote for Me evoked the rapidfire punk of The Clash and The Sex Pistols with fast and loose guitarwork and bolshy vocals. Though the group had plenty of style and stage flair, there was less substance to back it up. “They sound like someone dropped Franz Ferdinand,” one nearby punter quipped. While another, kinder, onlooker said Bliss reminded them of being a teenager in Manchester during the 90s.

Finally, The Last Song drew from the 70s prog rock of Pink Floyd and David Bowie – Thomas even assumed a British accent – as the drums and bass joined in a heavy thrum and Mystery shredded another solo.

Bliss’s show was a whole heap of fun, though lacked some of the structure and coherence that would have elevated their performance beyond the level of parody band. Nevertheless, the chemistry between members and their enjoyment of playing together was clear in a set that sounded like a band trying on lots of different hats and struggling to decide how seriously they wanted to be taken.
-El Jay

OCT00285 (1).JPG Live Review from Underground Rocks!
1.You Know You Want Me
2. Electrocity
3. Unfaithful (Rihanna cover)
4. Regrets
5. Dirty Desires
6. Vote For Me
7. The Last Song

筆者在觀賞是次BLISS的表演,一直認為標明自己為Rock n roll 的樂隊且加上BLISS主要都唱出英文歌,其曲風可能唔多唔少都會找到一些外國著名樂隊例如pearl jam, queen等所影響的影子。 然而 有趣的是當晚樂隊的表現卻讓我想起香港本地樂隊溫拿的影子,不但是全場最受歡迎的一支樂隊,還有多名fans 配合他們 戴上太陽眼鏡 炒熱了現場的氣氛 當晚多首歌曲主唱也有鼓勵現場觀眾跟佢哋一齊唱 , 雖然筆者對他們的歌曲並不熟悉 但係主恩嘅領領導之下 多首歌例如vote for me dirty desires 也能記起當中的歌詞。 不過筆者認為 當加插unfaithful係多首歡快重節拍的歌曲中並不合適,聽者也不太集中到,好像在等待下首歡快的歌曲讓他們擺動。
– Danice Yan
Guys, quick heads up – when considering an outfit theme for your show, maybe set up a group WhatsApp or something so you can coordinate? Judging from the various outfits on display – rock ‘n’ roll, West Coast hippy, full Clint Eastwood circa “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (yes, really), not everyone got the memo.
But this just adds to the manic, crowd pleasing fun that is BLISS. So when singer Thomas announces “We’re going to rock the house tonight!” the band’s substantial following went even crazy(er). Thomas explained that the set list for the night was going to follow a kind of sequential storyline, kicking off with “You Know You Want Me”, then “Unfaithful”, “Regrets” etc – get the picture?
Launching into the first track as advertised, it’s classic Saturday night down the pub fare – hints of AC/DC, Billy Idol, The Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz” – so far, so rawk. Until track three when Thomas declares “We’re gonna party!” – and then they play a downright downbeat cover – Rihanna’s “Unfaithful” – huh? Anyway, that’s the charming lack of logic that is BLISS!
The next track “Vote For Me” was something about Donald Trump I think, but I couldn’t make it out too clearly, and the last song was called “The Last Song” (what would happen if they decided to do it at the start of the set?). Anyway, it was all a bit like having your mates playing for you at your party (which it kind of was, really), and with more singalongs than a Kowloon Tong kindergarten. They may not have been the best band musically on the night, but they certainly were the most entertaining, and their legions of fans had a ball, and that’s the most important thing, right?
Dan Creffield

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