Live review from The Underground Summer Festival 夏季音樂節:
2. Help Is On The Way
3. Whatcha Gonna Do?
4. Sun Shines Down
As rumours swirled about the identity of Chris B’s “surprise act”, it was unclear whether a truly famous artist would be unveiled at the last moment. No one should have doubted for a second The Underground’s power to pull a cracker out of the bag. Jun Kung entered the room to the fullest room of the night, as every other band on the bill assembled to catch the former Canto-pop star’s electric under-the-radar set.
Kung has long shaken off the squeaky-clean pop of his youth, favouring a whisky-soaked blues sound that worked beautifully in such an intimate venue. From opener Sailing, Kung’s gritty baritone melted into Rayvaughn Covington’s fudgy slap-bass sloop, before the singer battled personal demons in the soul-oozing, reggae-tinged Help Is On The Way.
In a break between songs, Kung thanked The Underground profusely, describing the experience as “a real privilege”. The whole band looked overjoyed to be there, and they earned a rapturous reception. Derrick Sepnio’s bluesy guitar licks squealed Hendrix attitude on Sun Shines Down, a sun-soaked, surf shack track. “Light me up another bowl”, sang Kung, echoed by Covington’s sonorous backing vocals. Drummer Padget Nanton was magnetic throughout; his stick twirls and funk flourishes gave his pristine time-keeping an effortlessly cool character.
Grimy blues closer D.O.B (Dirty Old Bastard) crowned an immaculately-executed rock show, with the elephantine stomp of pudgy bass waddling alongside twanging hobo guitar. Kung is a big name and formidable talent, who pulled off a tight performance with his dazzling band. But that doesn’t mean other festival acts were dwarfed. In a night full of high quality sets and exceptional stagecraft, all musicians stood shoulder-to-shoulder to deliver an unforgettable collective extravaganza.
– El Jay