Live review from The Underground Summer Festival 夏季音樂節:
1. Brian emo
4. Machine 2
5. Susie exciting
6. I can’t
7. Another soul
8. Suicide pop
It might have been something to do with the air con, but being part of a 20-something person semicircle with one leopard print wearing punker in the middle directly in front of David Boring, with their disjointed, haphazard, spastic noise-fuelled alternative brit-punk literally gave me chills. And I don’t mean that lightly. A not at all boring band, David Boring starts with the melancholic stare of teal-haired singer Laujan. Staring straight ahead with dark eyes set in her and a stone cold expression, I could have sworn she was staring right through me.
There’s a certain clique that David Boring appeal to. I’m no hipster, but I get it, too, since the bands I grew up around were alternative/indie/punk UK bands of the millennium. The kind of sound you hear when you’re angsty, angry at everything but still apathetic to do something, yet you feel a compulsion to lash out, giving up on all hope and letting yourself be battered by the noise and strangulation of harsh brit crunch sounds. Starting with “Brian Emo”, LauJan’s slightly British twanged voice (described as ‘leng mui voice’ by my friend) called out to the crowd, giving the set an air of gloomy teenage angst. Not wasting any time they immediately lead into “Machine#1”, a hit song they did an MV for last year, and probably their most well-known.
Honestly, I think there were too few people there to appreciate it, but at the same time I thought the lack of people (or the abundance of space) turned their set into something else – through the short, jerky “Loosefuck”, the driving “Machine 2”, and guitarist Cheng Yat Wa on the floor, bare-footed passionately strumming the hell out of “Susie Exciting”, the band turned their performance into something of an art exhibition. Yes, I’m not afraid of sounding pretentious, but I genuinely feel that was the case – Laujan’s hypnotizing movements and heart-wrenching shouts were a sight to behold, but you could see they were pouring their hearts into what the songs meant to them, which is something that matters to me the most when I see a band.
After the dangerous “I Can’t”, the set slowed down to “Another Soul”, a half instrumental, half spoken-word haunting epilogue that again, gave me chills. I’m not joking when I say that. The band heated things up again with their finishing wild song “Suicide Pop”, abruptly thanking the audience and leaving the stage promptly.
To me, David Boring’s set definitely stood out the most to me. Not just because they weren’t run of the mill Rock, user-friendly sounds, but also because they had so much fire in their performance, even if there weren’t that many people. I mentioned that the singer’s voice had a ‘leng mui’ (‘Teenage girl’) sound to it, but that’s precisely what I liked about them – the youthfulness, the energetic, the rashness, and the disparaging sounds clashing together to make you feel what they feel, so that someone standing in front of them may finally understand their passion. I think the Underground scene definitely needs to put more of these bands on because it’s so different, it will definitely put some colour into the scene. So if you’re looking for something different and not cookie cutter, go and look up David Boring. It’ll change you.