Live Review from Underground 6:
I must say I find the FOB’s (as they like to call themselves) to bring a breath of fresh air to the HK music scene. They may not be the most technically gifted band in HK, but by God they are the most original. This can be seen from the song lyrics, their unpretentious yet commercial sound, and, of course, those videos. It’s not brain surgery…shooting a few home-made vids on a handycam and projecting them on a screen can be done by all. Yet so far as I know no-one else does it. It is supremely entertaining. The videos are often hilarious (the best being likely Kill Tom Cruise) and yet so technically cool too the media savants drooled over them. Mike Peart’s songs are however so cleverly written that they stand up for themselves even without the videos.
I Love Jennifer Aniston, a new song, went down very well, as did Patriot, Native American, and Pervert in Disguise The rhythm was solid throughout, and Chris Bowers provided some scintillating guitar sounds and eye-candy (keyboard player Shirley being missing). Bass and drums were spot on, and the band were tight, catchy and frankly wonderful. Pity they are playing in HK where they will be struggle to be discovered. They play every 3 months or so. Try and catch them next time. A FOB’s website will be up and running soon, watch this space.
Live Review from Underground 3:
One of the more interesting bands to play at the Underground in it’s first few months has been THE FLOWERS OF BABYLON. The brain-child of Michael Peart, also leader of The PNS, the Flowers (or FOBS to their ever-growing fan-club) are a 5 piece band with a unique sound to Hong Kong. They have been described as a cross-over between Ian Dury and the Blockheads and Joy Division, but that is unfair as they have a sound of their own.
The band is unique in that at most gigs they have a projector and home-made videos showing behind the drummer, made by the band themselves. The prime movers here are Iain Mellors (the sixth member of the band) and Peart, with Mellors responsible for most of the shooting and edting. The video for Kill Tom Cruise is a bit of a classic, Mellors editing a recent Cruise movie with home-made footage of mostly Peart chasing the said movie star.