Ten things I learnt about clubbing in Hong Kong

Thursday 12 May 2011, 1.17pm HKT

I USE THE WORD ‘clubbing’ as in clubbing + the act of going to gigs + a night out. It isn’t right, but then again, most things aren’t in this town.

1. Clubbing in Hong Kong is way, way more costly than any other place (perhaps with the exception of Tokyo). If you’re not loaded in some way, just read 100-word gig reviews, preferably online.

2. People are dead quiet at gigs, which makes it pretty eery at a metal rock gig. “Paranormal Activities” doesn’t even come close.

3. People are still more interested in texting and playing games on their portable consoles WHILE the band is playing. When the band finishes their stuff, heads lift up and you hear, “Hey, what’s up? When’s the band going to come on?”

4. You never know about the events until the last minute. No, I lie. Usually by around 2.34pm (it’s always 2.34pm for some strange reason) through email or Facebook.

5. Nearly all the local Hong Kong acts are watered-down variants of British punk rock of early 1970s vintage, trying to imitate Johnny Rotten and The Sex Pistols but with elements of Death Metal Head or Whatever done in a Canto-pop way.

6. Prancing, overaged, over-imaginative but under-promiscuous chicks (who are not in their teens or twenties) dress in cosplay gear of the Hello Kitty or Pikachu sort — at a hard rock gig!

7. The more accessible gigs are always on the 20th floor.

8. The ‘wilder’ (?) gigs are always in a semi-disused factory building in an ex-industrial estate at least 20 miles away from city centre. Whatever wildness you could work yourself into, quickly dissipates afterwards when you go on a deathquest to find transport home in the middle of the night.

9. They’re not shiny lights streaming out from a disco ball or the stage lighting. They’re just reflections of light bouncing off of all the prescription eyeglasses that the partygoers are wearing.

10. The best gigs are inside casinos in the neighbouring enclave of Macau, or even in Beijing or in some other country like Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam (in that order).


11. The latest gig reviews online are at least three years old.


12. There are no Teddy Boys, Mods, skinheads, genuine punk rockers or New Wave types in this town. Subculture here is defined as those who go into forex or property speculation on the quiet.

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011.

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