Live review from FWD Mellow Yellow Music Festival
Ewan Ho started his set by charmingly revealing that his band was ‘city folk.’ It was cute, charming and unassuming. It also made sense. Although all three members of the trio (a singer/ guitarist, bongo player and bassist) were from an urban setting, their Ray Bans, white shirts and checkered pants gave them the hometown feel you might find at a farmer’s market. With that said, their music was anything but folk. I would put it more in the category of ‘indie rock pop’ with standard chord patterns and simple, family sing-along lyrics.
During their first song, 你食飯未, they invited the audience to sing and clap along by innocently confessing, “Your clap not good enough. Try again. I trained my whole life to speak English.” The audience laughed and the lead singer knew he was charming. As for the musicianship in the song itself, it was equally jovial and catchy, and made me think of a group of good friends riding horses through the Mongolian steppe. Their second song 老司機 sounded exactly like their first but featured a cute call and response between the lead singer and bongo player. I would have liked to see a b- section or bridge in this song, but unlike the first band, Ewan Ho clearly valued fun and audience interaction over musical virtuosity. And why not? The audience seemed to love it.
最高級的讚美 featured a slower tempo and actually had me anxiously awaiting a more creative melody. But alas, Ewan started with the same “la la las” featured in his first few tunes. I wouldn’t be surprised if song writing sessions for the band featured a group of close friends sharing cheap beer in a makeshift garage.
給你唱一首歌:, their fourth song finally deviated from the predictability of the first four melodies as the guitar held longer chords and the verses slowly built. In 等待, their fifth song, the singer broke into a rap mid-way. If you snapped a photo at this point, it would capture the band’s vibe; earnest, honest and genuinely wanting to connect their songs to more universal themes. Give them some time and they just might reach that goal; however it’s gonna take at least 1,000 more song writing sessions in the makeshift garage to reach a larger audience. Their biggest hit ‘Donkepele,’ came at the end of their set and resembled a similar feel and chord progression to Jason Mrazs’ ‘I’m Yours.’ The one exception was the melody, which as mentioned in the beginning fit the band’s theme of ‘family sing along.’
A great band for fraternity parties and sports bars.
– Kyle Wagner