Think Hong Kong is lacking a music scene? Well, think again! There is, in fact, an array of local talent to suit all tastes just waiting to be explored and plenty of live performances around town where you can rock out in style… so we’ve picked five of our most ear-pleasing Hong Kong bands currently making (sound) waves across the SAR. Enjoy!
Husband and wife duo The Weathering (aka Jeff and Leora Caylor) are a dreamy indie pop twosome. Originally hailing from USA, the band caught Hong Kong’s attention when they released festive ballad December Lights on their YouTube channel back in December 2012 (with a video shot at Shek O Beach!), offering a taste of their soothing and soulful debut album, The Sea Cares For Its Own (now available on iTunes and from their website). Having witnessed their dulcet tones first-hand at the album launch party, there is no doubt that this pair have astonishingly beautiful voices, great live chemistry (they are married after all!) and catchy melodies that will have you humming all the way home. Keep up to date on their gigs via their Facebook Page here.
KESTRELS AND KITES
If you’re in need of something on the sweet side, look no further than Kestrels and Kites. This little folky acoustic threesome create life-affirming music and put on, frankly, bonkers live sets – a genius combination if you ask me! The group consists of Tiffany and Luke from another must-see Hong Kong band, Hungry Ghosts, as well as Freddy from party-rockers Shotgun Politics. Their first EP, Fallen, is a cheeky-yet-charming collection of ditties that would make the perfect accompaniment to a lazy Sunday afternoon or sitting out in the sun. A follow-up six track EP titled For Ben is on the way (with more details yet to be confirmed) so keep an eye on their Facebook page for live gig listings and more news.
The Poubelle International boys are no strangers to the live music scene in Hong Kong. In their own words, vocalist Ben McCarthy, drummer Johan Persson and bassist Zane Stroud produce ‘deceptively simple angular art-rock with a whiff of disco’ which, combined with their boundless energy, humour and camaraderie on stage, brings audiences to their feet… or even knees! Think The Hives meets OK Go (or something like that)! One of the more internationally renowned Hong Kong bands (they joined Sony/ATV Music Publishing in August 2011), we can expect more great things from Poubelle International; if you need a taster, their 2011 EP Sans Contrôle is filled with punchy rock refrains and is well worth a listen. Get the scoop on their latest gigs via their Facebook Page.
A “one man electronic music unit” (as he likes to be known), Choi Sai-Ho is an intriguing Hong Kong musician. A Fine Arts Master specialising in Creative Media, Choi Sai-Ho’s talent as an audio-visual artist and DJ has brought him recognition from far and wide – the Red Bull Music Academy in Australia welcomed him into their fold as their first Hong Kong musician back in 2006. With his blend of drum ‘n’ beat, electronica and eye-catching visual displays, Choi Sai-Ho is definitely worth a watch. If you’re eager to witness the man in action, he’ll be playing at the HKICC on 29-30 March 2013 alongside Modern Children’s (another great local band) lead singer Kenneth Tsang – more details for this and future gigs can be found on his Facebook page. Photo by Mak Ka Wai (BiR).
Based in neighbouring SAR Macau, Turtle Giant consists of António Conceição and brothers Beto Ritchie and Frederico Ritchie, who originally began the project three years ago in São Paulo, Brazil. With their unique recipe of folk rock, Turtle Giant already has a number of EPs under their belt, but we reckon the best is yet to come. The trio’s latest single Orange Grape is an addictive listen thanks to its hauntingly catchy hook and António Conceição’s gruff yet beautiful voice – and the good news is that a full album has been promised later this year! Having joined their fellow HK band buddies Poubelle International on stage recently at Beating Heart, the band headed to Texas and took SxSW by storm; watch the live stream of their show here and keep up to date on further gigs on their Facebook Page. Photo by Ray Granlund.
Don’t forget to check out Fenella’s top five live music bars too!
Fenella is a British expat from Hertfordshire (think Darcy and Lizzy!) eager to discover new sights and sounds in Hong Kong. Follow her musings on Twitter @fenelladale.