Event Reviews

Check out the latest event reviews here from some of the best and worst nights we have had! If you would like to submit any news to this section please get in touch.

APRIL 8th, 2012

“Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” was the title of one of The Cranberries’ albums and following recent shows by 80s and 90s (take your pick) hitmakers Duran Duran and Roxette, it was their turn to roll back the clock at Wan Chai’s Convention and Exhibition Center on April 8th.

Photos taken at 'Likuid Presents Ministry of Sound with Dan Castro' are now online in our gallery. The club was full the whole night and not even the bad weather that night stopped people queing up to get into the club.

To view all of the photos from the night CLICK HERE. See you all at the next Ministry of Sound night at Likuid returning later this year.

Tom Jones Concert 23rd March 2010

The audience was as mixed as the impressively wide range of songs offered at Tom Jones’ concert: Young people who cherished his new songs from his 24hours album, middle –aged fan clubs with glittering bows on their heads and pompoms in their hands who danced in the isles to each and every song, members of the Welsh choir, white haired and bearded like Tom Jones himself, expats and locals holding up flags picturing the Welsh dragon – the Exhibition Centre was sold out.

For enthusiasts of martial arts, this was an exciting event – the rare combination of Tae Kwon Do and Tak Kyun enveloped in a light- hearted comedy setting which appealed to any age of spectator. 

The performance began with an old “grandfather” hobbling around on a stick amongst the audience, delighting young and old by mixing up spectators –placing young women next to strange men and handing out sweets to those who were willing to play the game.

On a hot Saturday night in Hong Kong’s popular live music venue The Cavern; Rustic impressed the panel of 12 judges with their pure entertainment style that won them the title of best band in China 2009.  Judges included respected music industry figures such as Christine Samson (vocal coach to Joey Yung 容祖儿, G.E.M. 鄧紫棋, Fong Lik Sun 方力申), Davy Chan (Aroom studios, LMF), Silvester See (Ace Hero Films, veteran rocker) and Soler. Each band played 8 minutes consisting of two original songs.

ImageThe climax of the 2008 Global Battle Of The Band competition - the world final, was successfully concluded in London over 2 days in December, featuring the national winners from 26 countries performing to an enthusiastic live audience at the Scala (located in King's Cross and one of England's premier venues)

Great Performers Series 2008

Swedish Pianist Peter Jablonski Solo Recital

29th September, 2008.

Hong Kong City Hall – Theatre

Piano recital is the best way to start with the week.

The repertoire selection was brilliant ranging from music by Haydn to the Romantic composers, Liszt and Chopin, and to the late-Romantic Nordic composer Grieg.  All the repertoires are masterpieces that require high technique, and Jablonski was handling all well in different genres particularly with his smooth rendering of Chopin and Liszt.

As the concert begins, Haydn's Sonata in D Major serves up a beautiful warm up for both audiences and the pianist.  The first movement is undoubtedly very expressivo, though a firmer pace is generally a more common approach for works by Haydn.  The Vivace assai is vigorous and pleasant, but one would ask for even more energy and life in his playing as is required for the main substance of this light-hearted Sonata.

The second part of the programme continues to bring more excitement to the piano lovers.

"En Reve", Nocturne S.207 by Liszt was a supreme performance with Jablonski’s eye-flashing fingering and cross-handed techniques, and his ability to deliver a full range of complex vocal lines filled all around and mixed with the striking of chords and octaves.  Under the hands and some great pedalling of Jablonski, this music is not even slightly messy.  Perfect articulation and intonation were all through the music.  He has expressed his repertoire in its most natural nuance.

Next up, the Mazurkas were all neatly played and were steadily building up the intensity to heighten the night.  To end the extraordinary night, before the encores, Jablonski plays Chopin’s splendid Scherzo No.1 in b minor.  Jablonski's magical touch creates a wonderful atmosphere. Chopin is truly an amazing composer, one who will always provide the pianists with the broadest spectrum to showcase their techniques and musical touch.

And Jablonski is definitely one of the youngest pianists and the most respected pianists today, alive and reign supreme.

(Review by Celina Ho)

 Magnet, Luke Chow and Hungry Ghost and Red Star Rising. Nice Oriental connection with the names - "Rice", "Hungry Ghost" and "Red Star". Good sort of interconnecting vibe. I've arrived early at The Wanch. About 20 people inside. It's not as frisky as Session # 1, when the US Navy showed up to support their shipmate in his set of scintillating strummage, but I' ve got a good seat by the door where I can mumble inanities and scrawl irrelevancies. All part of the job. Young Bjorn from Beijing is opposite me. He's a rock scribe there,on a brief holiday in Hong Kong. I wonder how his review will turn out. We seem to be writing at different times about different things... Meanwhile, "Life Is A Bitch" by The Bastards is on the jukebox. Cool!!!

All the bands will play about 45 minutes. Up first are Rice Magnet, a power trio comprising Dave Ma on vox/gtr, Ken Ling on lead guitar and Eric Ng on drums. I'm wondering where Simon is. Not like him to miss his own magazine's showcase. I'm writing this down as he walks through the door. Co-Incidence? Cause and Effect? Wishful Thinking? Instant Gratification? "You've missed about 10 seconds of the show, mate"!" Dave has a deep, sonorous voice. I'm thinking a little bit Nick Cave, some Pete Murphy (Bauhaus), but the style is more nu-gothfolkdelic with a touch of Southern rock in the guitar solos, bit of Allman Brothers Band perhaps. Meanwhile, Steve Cray sidles up and remarks on the singer's sort of similarity to Elvis. Whatever, it works. Steve also likes the way Dave treats his vocals, using effects and overdubs of sorts to create a choir sound. Something like that, I was kind of drifting off in an ethereal bliss at the time.  A shorthand review of the set would be in a similar style and mood to Reign Lee, albeit more macho and muscular. Songs include "End of the Affair" (the opening song), "Mood", "Losing" and "The End" from their debut CD "Never Let Go". There's a Chris Isaak cover, "King without a Castle" and a new tune called "Forget".

It's been a good start,but not entirely adhering to the Unplugged Concept. I'm thinking that this could turn into the Bruce Springsteen type of Unplugged Session (where "un" is XXXX'd out) as Hungry Ghost amble up, turn on, tune in and slowly get an improv groove growing. This is the first time I've seen Luke play since his laid-back set at Clockenflap. Certainly, it's the first time with Hungry Ghost, minus their drummer. Luke and Paul Lam on guitars. Tiffany L. on bass It's a 60's sort of mellow glide, part Grateful Dead noodling and part Kevin Ayres/Roy Harper shades of whimsy folk. It conjures up images of a vivid floral field, scampering kids entwined within. Picnic hampers and pipes. Boats punting on a river. Day-glow flashes. Riots of pulsing colours. Sounds merge. Notes coalesce. Long camera pullback over a field and river, across a road, over a wall, across a quad, up to a window and within. Fade to grey and a shot of a little boy in school, KNOWING  the grass is definitely greener and greater out there. That's sort of how Hungry Ghost sounded. Provided an evocative dreamscape with pale echoes of what once was. A very pleasant chill out set. "Songs" included "This noise", "Internally External", "Chinese Families" and "Man Waltz". Not having their drummer did allow the remaining three to experiment. I've been told that when the mood is upon them, they're capable of dislodging your genitals, so to speak. Looking forward to hearing that sometime, but this was a great expectations deleter of a set.

Haven't seen too many recent Red Star Rising or Steve's solo shows, because he will be a gentleman and let all the other acts precede him. So, it's usually "...twang-g-g-g..." (fade out). "So long Steve. We're off to catch the ferry..." (usually yelled out of a taxi window). Tonight, though, there's time. It's also the first time I've had a chance to see Drummer Neil handling the twigs. Steve says welcome to "the semi-plugged night. We've got such a good crowd so rock it, let's fuck". The band crashes into a mighty rendition of "Megaphone Man". Alex and Drummer Neil lay down a solid drum/bass foundation and Steve goes all fingerblurry on the opening solos. "It's Stevie Cray Vaughn" (Nice One, Luke! I was momentarily miffed that I didn't think of that, but credit where it's due!). Steve, Alex and Neil have been playing together since January and they are tight. Drummer Neil is more 4-to the floor precision rock beats, with occasional flurries. Hugh the former drummer was more whimsical, shall I say? In and out of styles and tempos like a gifted amateur, while Drummer Neil is professional. Think of Ten Years After doing "I'm Coming Home" at Woodstock '69. Alvin Lee is in full on why-play-5-notes-when-37-will do-mode. Leo Lyons on bass and Ric Lee on drums are tweaking new extracts out of minimalist performance. Doing hardly anything that shows while maintaining a relentless beat throughout the 9+ minute performance (on film. They played about 40 minutes on the night)

The pace doesn't relent until Steve breaks a string during "Footsteps" and takes a little longer to replace it than he usually does, because he's enjoying the inter-riffery between the other two. The set is a stripped down Greatest Hits. Tunes include "Red Claw", the grinder blues-rock of "Walking With The Devil" and the quirkiness (somewhat overused word at times, but it still fits) of "Escalator Girls". "Dollar Arcade" and especially "Shopping Malls". These three songs form a triptych of cultural, fiscal and sociological observations of the increasing importance of Mall Culture. (And they rock, dude...) I've always heard "Shopping Malls" as their "Dark Star". Their Grateful Dead moment to stretch out for 20-30 minutes, segue into other material, mash up other hits, give everyone a solo etc. Perhaps, I should tell him this one day. You know, be discreet and obsequious and see what he thinks. Or on the oth..., hey, wait a minute, where is everyone? Oh, Drummer Neil's still here. "Great show. Very enjoyable. First time, I've..." Isn't your ferry leaving about now?" "What's the time?" "12:28!" "G'bye"  Taxi, Tardis, whatever. Get me to the ferry in 25 seconds. The digital clock in the taxi reads 12:23. It's accurate. "Made it, Ma!" (That gig was) "Top Of The World"  And as the California Governator once said when asked which classical musician he would like to play in a film. "I'll be Bach" See you next month.  

Review by Nick The Bookman

Well, this is it. A hat trick of head trips with the Hed Kandi Experience. I missed the first 3 shows. My first gig was Andy Warburton. Great night out. Reviewed elsewhere. The second show was Andy Norman. Turned up at JJ's after Underground # 55 and watching England beat Ireland in the rugby. Am in a good mood. Arrive. No ticket, It was misplaced.

The lovely Lisa gets me in anyway. Upstairs, DJ Andy Norman is laying down the beats and Shena has just started her second set. She reminds me of a scaled down Jennifer Hudson (from "Dreamgirls"). She sings well, but it's not what I want to hear. Andy Norman is good. He has a radio show tending more to the smooth and sophisticated (I think). He can mix, except when he changes to a pre-mixed backing CD for Shena's brief outings. The reactions I overheard ranged from "chilled" to "boring" and "too damn sweet". I found him a bit "vanilla" in the DVD sense. No special features or interesting extras. Straightforward r n' b vocals overlaid by soulful easy beats. I was hoping for an "I Am The Walrus" digi-delic overload type of evening. Instead it was more like being in the presence of The Walrus of Love. Fine if you like the Barry White/ Al Green/warbling divas etc.

Wrapped up in user friendly layers of house beats and rhythms. Spiced with little hints of 70's disco and 80's poptronics. Not that they're bad at what they do. It just ain't me, babe...

Review by Nick The Bookman

So, it's 21/6/08 and David Dunne is touching down at JJ's with a twisted bag of Kandi-land krackers. He's accompanied by the mighty Ian C. on Roland electronic drums and more traditional percussion. They've been playing about 20 minutes by the time I get inside. The place is rammed. Same old Hed Kandi visuals from the previous show. Volar has vibier visuals. There's some nice proggy bits going on underneath while mutant disco and New Romantic melodies are layered on top. The bass is twangy elastic at times and there are bouncy bubble beats here and there. On top is Ian's frenetic drumming. He's a veteran of many live gigs and has played on some of the top mixes. He and David are meshing very well. Sometimes, Ian forces the pace. Explodes into flurry-bursts of percussive action while David selects the next choice number. Other times Ian chills out. Leaves the stage on occasion while David lets the mixes play out. Some are played nearly straight for about 7-8 minutes. Others are layered into long segues. Even the vocals, which are the most Andy Norman part of his set, don't grate on me tonight.

The styles vary from deep tech salsa  at one point to disco snippets and Chembros style big beats. Some nice grungy noise, meets tinkly Italian house piano. There are freaky synth squalls, bursts of what sounds like Viv Stanshall's Bonzo's on bad acid. There's some technoir Scorsese movie music and some delightful displays of darting digidelix. Um, me likey. Hell, I think The Sixties would have loved the set. The Fillmore/Avalon/UFO/Round House trips updated, remixed and remastered in full on swirly sensurround. One ringing anthem chant of "Freedom: rings out over the syndrums while another tune "Rock the DJ", washes in and out of the mix. Jaw-dropping aural fun. David does the same trick later with a long tease using part of "Sweet Dreams" before playing the remix. There's echochords bouuncing round the room and other progtastic trickery. Back to soulful stuff with "Music is the Answer". His set seems to peak and alter about every 20 minutes or so. Much like Andy Warburton. I'm Having A Good Time Now.

All too soon, (about 3 hours), it's over, Tai Pan Dan is rounding down the night and it;s time to go. DD is on my list to see again. He's shown a lot of tricks and styles. He says that Lamma-based DJ Nipper taught him to mix and they hosted a radio show together. Nipper sends his regrds. Thanks Nick W. and Manek for turning me on. See you at the next one.

Review by Nick The Bookman

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