I love live music. I love going to shows. I love to shake my booty. Hong Kong generally totally sucks in all of these categories, offering cover bands, arena shows at an arena far far away, and suspect club music in shitty venues like Drop. However, this is a generalization and the great thing about generalizations are the exceptions.
There are a a few very excellent local bands in the Kong these days. And I finally went to a show that rivaled the kind of shows I loved seeing back home. [And this is not just me plugging for home… while watching the third band, a friend who sings for the first band, and who is American, said, “God, don’t you miss this? Remember when every weekend was a show like this?” – Yes. Yes, I do. There are somethings that are simply better in America and I would say restaurant/bar service and live music are a couple of them.] The show was at a bar, Grappa’s, that made enough room to jump around, shake your booty and drink beer – moderately okay beer – but cold beer. The vibe was friendly and fun and it was a great time.
Plus a big huge shout out to Fun Bobby K. for coming out!!
The first band was Transnoodle (they also have a FB page, but FB sucks for music) and they are great fun and they sing a bunch of songs about living on Lamma Island and being in Hong Kong, which I find especially cool. I dig ska-reggae-funk and so, here you go – a great combo band.
Next up was El Destroyo, who I have blogged about before… it’s like Dick Dale for the modern age. And since I have a well documented fetish for bass players, I should tell you, Maggie C. rocks… If I had any musical talent whatsoever, I’d wanna be like her. This band got the most rave reviews from people I spoke to – and not just their friends. I am impressed by the musicianship, which I think can be measured by the fact that they are instrumental and still get people totally dancing, which is not always the case. And they wear fabulous shoes. Total bonus.
The next bad was a band from the States, the 50th State to be precise… and they were so totally what I was wanting to hear… Go Jimmy Go is on an Asia tour and was a great add for this show [ska-rockabilly-ska-rockabilly]. They have great original stuff and did some EXCELLENT covers including a mash-up that included The Tide is High and a couple other songs that after my beer consumption I am not going to be able to recall… perhaps someone has a review? Fun band, fun music and ultimately danceable…
Next up were the headliners, who had just played at one of our local pubs on Lamma (!) the night before, all the way from Italia – The Astrophonix. Think Stray Cats but a little edgier. There was a slight shift in the crowd at this juncture because the last ferry to Lamma was gonna be leaving and so a lot of the Island people had to head out… those of us in Pak Kok are used to never having a ferry, so we stayed opting for the late night sampan. And I was so glad I did stay because one of the best parts of the show may have been the final number when all the bands got back up on stage together.
This wasn’t really meant to be a music review – and that is probably a good thing as I lack the jargon (and focus) to really pick apart a show. But this was a great night and something I wish there was more of in the Kong. I got to dance until my jeans were sweaty and my hair was wet. I came home tired, groovy and smiley. And while I am fortunate to have a great life in Hong Kong and do lots of fun stuff… I was so glad to see a show that made me feel at “home”!!
My advice to you? See any and all of these bands if you get the chance – support local music –
And have a good time!