Fantastic Day

IMG_0456.JPG Live Review from Summer Serenade

1. Promises
2. Morning Train to Chesterfield
3. California Girls
4. Are You Coming Back
5. The Icicle Works
6. I’m Not Supposed To Meet You
7. Tomorrow (New Order cover)
8. Disappointment
9. Awful

Fantastic Day has the jollity of Beach Boys and a dream-like quality that adds a smoothness and keeps it from being too in-your-face bubblegummy. Each song dripped with the influence of C-86 and new-wave – after all, the group did meet at a Primal Scream concert. The chiming guitars, synthesizers, and sweeping keyboards are unmistakable, and they all come together to produce overwhelmingly sunshine-y vibes – particularly in their second song, ‘California Girls’.

These guys are fast, loud and powerful, if the three guitars weren’t enough of an indication – Ah Dee working his lightning fast strumming, Chi Wai’s frantic picking, and Sherman on rhythms. The band joked about being old, but the level of their stage theatrics is not to be underestimated. During ‘California Girls’, the vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Dee strummed the guitar with both hands in a sort of frenzy, and later on during the last song of the night, ‘Awful’, he ran over to harass the drummer by clanging his tambourines onto the cymbals. There was almost a synchronized sort of choreography: their hair in eyes, heads down low, bodily movements subtly charged with beats – then without warning, they broke out of their trance to leap in the air, as Chi Wai had done in the beginning of “The Icicle Works”. Ah Dee had a permanent death stare, a guitar swung across his shoulder as he belted out the words of the song, occasionally jamming his hand on the keyboard, almost as if he didn’t have to look at it. The only thing that I thought needed a bit of work on was the vocals; while Dee’s voice in itself was very distinct – somewhat like a cross between Bobby Gillespie and Liam Gallagher – it was rather disorienting melodically, and there were times when I was unsure whether he was in the right key.

By the end of their set nearly everyone was dancing in the room, and they were the only band of the night that the crowd demanded an encore from. And well-deserved too; it was certainly one of the most fun sets that night. We heard it was the band’s last show before they head back into the studio to record their next album, so they’d be missed for a while. But even after the show the echoes of their songs remain in your head long after – a sign of the craftsmanship in their songwriting, and I look forward to the pieces they’ll concoct next.
– Karen Cheung

Fantastic Day在去年推出了大碟《Innocent》,獲得不少好評,這晚他們第三隊出場,把觀眾情緒推到更高。主要玩British Pop的他們,以較多人熟悉的《Promises》一曲開場,節奏感強烈的歌使觀眾很快便投入在他們的音樂中,觀眾們瘋狂的跳著舞,整個場子瞬間變成嘉年華一般。Fantastic Day的編曲也挺豐富且有層次,主唱的聲音純真直接,不造作不刻意賣弄技巧。其第三首歌《California Girls》music break中的keyboard十分搶耳突出。而第五首歌《The Icicle Works》的特別之處在於主唱和結他手交換了角色。在表演中途結他手更彈斷了弦,不過亦無損台上台下的熱情,他們更是觀眾當晚唯一一隊大喊encore的。整體來說,Fantastic Day的音樂聽上去有色彩繽紛的感覺,讓聽眾們很歡樂,而他們亦會在歌曲加入不同的聲音元素,如synthesizer的選聲十分多元化、也會加入搖鼓等的樂器豐富歌曲的編曲,唯主唱在聲線控制方面可再加強,他的聲線聽著似乎有點不穩,在假音位尤其明顯,若這方面他再稍加強,相信整體感覺會比現在更Fantastic。
– Sidick Lam


Live Review from Underground 46:
Fantastic Day are a hard one to categorise. I saw them first at one of the early Rockit concerts and I thought they were a real standout act. Since then they’ve gone through a few changes, but they still have an interesting and varied sound.
The band set up and launched into the first number in an amazingly short space of time, although they didn’t announce any of the song titles, so I’ll do my best to describe them musically. The first was a guitarry wash of a pop tune which made you feel like a sunny Sunday afternoon. There were shades of Boo Radleys and Dream Parade in there. Switching to the synth, and setting it to wurlitzer mode for the second track, the sound changed a bit but still retained the sunny pop vibe. Although the sound was good, the vocals weren’t too hot on these first two tracks which spoilt them a bit. I found out later that this was the one band who hadn’t bothered with a soundcheck. Do one next time guys!
A change of style brought the third song in a menacing, grinding tone, and a small keyboard malfunction at the end was taken in good humour. Then back to an ambitiously uptempo fourth number which sounded a bit like the Housemartins. By the fifth and sixth tracks the vocals were sounding a lot better, and these were the strongest songs of the set. The last track had a New Ordery buzz about it — mainly due to the bassline — and the sweeping keyboards. A great finish. A couple of the tracks can be found on the band’s


Live Review from Underground 27:
First time I’ve been to Underground and this band kicked off with a leap by the lead singer onto the guitarist which had them rolling on stage – not sure if it was meant to be cool but it certainly kept me watching from then onwards! Musically this was probably the best band of the night, their songs are melodic and catchy and refreshingly innovative for the HK music scene. Who do they remind me of? Perhaps early Blur or early Suede, I’m glad I caught “HK’s premiere homosexual rent boy cum gothic band” – no gothic in there but shades of New Order. The keyboard were impressive. Only weak point may be the singer needs his vocals tuned into the melody a bit – but the music is strong enough for us to forgive this! I’ll be back for more.
Phil Hedges


Live Review from Underground 6:
I walked through the open doors of The Venue last night at 8.30 for the first Underground of 2005. Apparently Joe Bananas said the U was not quite their image (they are right there) and thus declined the U’s kind offer for the New Year. In stepped, rather eagerly, the Venue, and all present were looking forward to a rather fun night. First on were Lamma’s answer to A Flock of Seagulls, namely FANTASTIC DAY.I saw them at last year’s Rockit festival and thought them cool. Their haircuts were not so poncey this time. To be more accurate, I think they are aiming for more of a Pulp/Talk Talk type sound, which when it works sounds very nice. The sound was excellent, as it was all night, and each number received warm applause. Their band name comes from an old Haircut 100 number and you can hear their influence too. A good start to the night.
William Sickey

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