Ewan Ho & Movement

Live review from Playful Palooza:

Movement (牧民樂隊)


Full credit to Movement: they had a daytime slot at a funfair, performed to a front row of toddlers in an arena dotted with bizarre fibreglass animals, and followed two (albeit talented) teenage bands, but showed no sign of ego during their fun set. Seasoned performer and frontman Ewan Ho has a profile as a soloist, but appeared with a dapper band of strong musicians as the pop-rocking Movement.

Ho had a natural ease and relaxed performance style, which, along with his band’s equally fine musicianship and cheerful demeanour, made the set a highlight of the carnival. 老司機 was a catchy “city folk” track about a taxi driver on which Ho switched between Cantonese and Mandarin. On 漢記書店 “Hong Kee Bookshop”, he whinges about everything under the sun and how life is hard but friends have each other’s backs. The percussion here stood out as particularly effective, with subtler elements like stick shakers and chime bringing greater dimension to songs.

Sentimentality shone through on 聽阿嬤唱歌, “Listen to Grandma Sing”: “clouds make me think of my grandmother’s face,” said Ho. “If you’ve got time go and see your grandmother, and maybe go and buy her a beer.” After a spaghetti western guitar intro, the track built slowly with a pulsing tribal feel to the progression. One section was even sung into a beer cup still foamy with dregs. This long and surprisingly emotive piece culminated in the guitar and bass being strummed in unison.

“I’ve got some CDs, you can exchange one for beer or money,” he introduced 給你唱一首歌, “I’ll Sing You A Song”, a kind of acoustic punk ode to spreading love and supporting others. For sign-off song Donkepele, the band called on local fan “Michael” to clamber onto the stage and join them for a singalong refrain. It was a sweet, spontaneous touch in a deftly crafted, feelgood show.
– LJ

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

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