Live review from 20th Anniversary Festival Day 1 星期五:

3.W/O U
4. Hotel California (cover)
5. ⁠壞女孩 (cover)

I didn’t know this act before tonight, so wasn’t quite sure if it was the singer or band that is called Sailor Candy Ng, but no matter! Sailor Candy, as I shall refer to her, is clearly a seasoned performer on the circuit, judging by her great voice, eclectic style and on-stage charisma. She gave us a set of original and cover tracks tonight, offering a lovely smoky, jazzy sound but very contemporary, with backing band of guitar, baby grand piano, muted drums and bass combining gorgeously, distilled by that smooth, sweet vocal.

She sometimes has an almost scat-rap delivery, but this just speaks to the versatility of her voice. “You make me feel a better person, you make me feel beautiful” she purrs on original track ‘2.22’, which has the feel of the kind of song in rom-coms, when the beautiful couple are walking in the countryside and it starts raining, and they run, laughing, hand in hand, for cover. Slow and sultry, there’s an engaging sweetness and purity to her voice.

‘W/O U’, another original track, has more of a Canto-rap feel, but still there’s that refined hotel lobby lounge jazz band (in the best way). What it lacks in originality it makes up for in style. ‘Hotel California’ is a bit of a leftfield choice but the quasi-jazzy feel again kept it fresh. Just remembering the lyrics on it is an achievement in itself, as a million pub bands have found to their cost.

She closes the set with a spirited version of an Anita Mui classic, of which the main refrain is “why why, tell me why”, which will be familiar to most Hong Kongers, whether fans of the much-missed Canto-pop star or not. This was a great interpretation, with superb piano and guitar contributions from the band.
– Dan Creffield

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Performances by SAILOR CANDY NG: