Endeavour 民藝復興

IMG_1948.JPG Live Review from Underground Reunion

1. Underground Mood
2. Man Oh Man
3. D4664
4. You Never Cry
5. Rite of Youth
6. Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover)

The night began appropriately enough with, I think, the oldest act that obliged us all by reuniting for the show. Endeavour was formed in the 80s by essentially film-school/university friends who wanted to play some underground indie music. One of the more serious (in tone) acts that I’ve come across, they generally deal with subject matter such as freedoms of all sorts, the contours of civic feeling, political unrest, etc.; i.e., very different from the things that the vast majority of bands tackle in their songwriting. They have mostly explicitly political songs such as You Never Cry, written with reference to Nelson Mandela, and Rite of Youth and its theme of student protests. Indeed, I found their performance to be somewhere between a poetry slam and a set of live music; the words and music aren’t intrinsically connected to create a flowing, unified rhythm like with most pop music, Instead, the words, which are often not sung, and the music operate on different planes and only interact occasionally. This disconnect, as may be expected, is equal parts interesting and off-putting; however Endeavour, I think, manage to come up on the ‘interesting’ side more often than they do the other.

They have all the signs of a band that has been around for a long time; they touch on many different styles in their songs, including some that oppose each other. They name-checked Genesis and Joy Division during their set; the proggy keyboards with plenty of effects in most songs, and the almost-leading basslines for many songs and the feeling of separateness that the bass has with every song attest to both of these. There are various aspects of electronic music intermittently strewn about in songs (which I humbly admit I don’t have the vocab or know-what to address); however, this is done judiciously, and not every part of every song had an overpowering beat. In fact, despite how excessively avant-garde descriptions of their music may come off as, their songs can be surprisingly dancey (at least in parts). Indeed, despite its serious theme, You Never Cry had the feel of an old, very early-U2 song.

At times this combination feels almost like Hawkwind’s science fiction-y style, with the spacey atmosphere and effects and slightly odd timing of lyrics such as in Man Oh Man and D4664. However, as much as their choice of song must’ve endeared them to their fans and music aficionados alike, I must opine that I think their interpretive rendition of Love Will Tear Us Apart could’ve used some tight editing and a slight rethink. With a band that’s already teetering into weird territory like Joy Division was, merely adding a couple more unusual, non-rock elements doesn’t a better song make. Still, it was an intriguing set which created a terrific feeling in the room, and gave us all a glimpse of the sort of aesthetic that pop and rock music often benefit from bringing into the fold.
— Shashwati Kala

當晚為音樂會揭開序幕的,是資深文化人黃志淙、Makin Fung和Thomas Chan所組成的Endeavour民藝復興。Endeavour民藝復興是和Beyond、達明一派同時期的樂隊,也曾推出過兩張專輯,他們自稱主要玩experimental rock(實驗搖滾),Endeavour民藝復興當晚不但是他們三人的重組,他們更帶來兩位年輕樂手作supporting player。他們先以歌曲 “地下情懷”作開始,歌曲一開首以guitar effect和keyboard syth營造出混亂焦躁的氛圍,剛烈的結他聲加上不斷的slide做出有點storm-like的感覺,然後黃志淙引用讀出世界人權宣言,整首兩便這樣唱和讀交織著。第二首 “Man Oh Man”是一首關於自由的歌曲,有著很長的intro,像是把觀眾慢慢吸進這歌曲的哲學世界中。 “D4664”,是講述為理想和目標犧牲青春,這一首的搶耳點在於bass line,而vocal的echo也使歌曲十分有feel。最後他們以cover Joy Division 的Love Will Tear Us Apart作結,獨白時的竭斯底理,使人更投入歌曲,也增歌歌曲所帶出的情緒。整體而言,黃志淙在台上拿著小小的本子,讀白出哲學性的篇章,十分有feel,雖然音樂技巧上沒有特別出眾,但也彷彿有觀眾回到那時代的搖滾樂,聽著也更像一個宗教儀式,替觀眾們上了一堂文化藝術課。
– Sidick Lam

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Performances by Endeavour 民藝復興: