Clockenflap 2011 (3/3)

Friday 23 December 2011, 3.00am HKT

(Continued from Part 2)

(Allow time for some animated images to load, please. Worth your wait.)

THE MEMORABLY NAMED Clockenflap 2011 festival on 10-11 December was the only music and arts festival in Hong Kong (at least in my memory) where expats and locals really came together as individuals rather than as disembodied, dislocated and disconnected communities living cheek by jowl in this ex-British/Brutish/now-Chinese colony.

Summer would be the wrong time for this festival. The whole thing had to be in winter. Winter makes people come together — if not for warmth of companionship, then at least for the warmth of surviving the harbourfront wind and 9°c (48°F) cold.

Probably the best part of it all was to see expats and locals clinging to each other, braving the elements together, teeth clacking away, shivering their socks off — and bitching together about how bitchy, ugly, brain-damaged or money-grubbing their sons and daughters are. Any other season, it wouldn’t have worked so well.

The elements = basic crowd control.

* * *

Odd Things that Look Nice

Lunar eclipse while the acts were happening.

One performer on stage told the crowd to stop texting for a second and watch the lunar eclipse that was happening mid-show.

The next lunar eclipse will be in 14 years’ time. Some of us will be too old to see anything by then.

Hello! Fourteen-year-old emos! You’ll be 28 at least by then! You’ll have to put up with your own misbegotten emo goth kids then! Muahahaha! See how you’ll like that when you have to bicker constantly with your brats whether they’re feeling chilly or hungry or thirsty or need to go to the latrines! Muahahahaha!

Go be an hero now if you can’t stand that! Go suck eggs!

(Yes, it’s called ‘an hero’ — because it’s an Internet meme, genius.)

* * *

Fascination with Lights

I’m a big sucker for these magic mushroom seats.

They didn’t blink, didn’t move, didn’t interact, didn’t do tricks. They just sat there like sulking emo kids. But they were lit up and changed colours, and that was good enough.


Sponsors and providers of the mushrooms. Remember to do it for 2012. Please.


It’s meeeeeeeeeeeeee on magic mushrooms! Yay! All ’shrooms and no side effects!

Everybody had to take a picture on the ’shrooms, no matter how dark or silhouettey we ended up. But that’s the point, isn’t it?

  • Notice how well-behaved yours truly had been.
  • Trivia: Purple is my ‘power colour.’ What coincidence.


I kid you not, but this was practically the only littering at the site.

If you leave people well enough alone, and provide the necessary amenities, people will know the right thing to do. All the time, every time.



  • Human beings are natural-born rebels.
  • Everyone, including the most obedient, the most authoritarian, the most establishmentarian, are rebels at heart.
  • Put in an authority figure, and we rebel.

Why? It’s because we know what’s best for ourselves and ours, thank you very much — we need no stinkin’ stranger to tell us otherwise. Especially if you’re one of those shoeshining, piss-pissing, two-timing imbeciles who contributed to The Great Financial Bail-Out-The-Unbailable Tsunami of 2007.

  • People in authority often don’t know what’s best for themselves, much less for us.
  • Look at the state of our world over the past 10 year for proof.

Every one of us have wasted well nigh 20 years following some sort of foolish, decrepit, pointless, lulz-destroying rule — in school, in the home and at work. Rule-following is ingrained in us after those 20-odd years. Just tell us matter-of-factly to behave ourselves, not chuck stuff all over the place, provide the amenities, and we’ll do it. No need to ‘enforce.’ You need to be more responsible in the way you ‘enforce.’

  • Ninety percent of us will behave.
  • Nine percent will follow the 90% out of shame, fear or natural rebelliousness.
  • One percent might need strong-arm tactics, but they don’t count because they don’t come to gigs like this one anyway.


  • Nil bad behaviour (fighting, drunkenness, etc) mainly because of no police presence
  • Nil bad social behaviour (spitting, etc) because of the dustbins everywhere
  • Very small damage to the plants and shrubbery for this size of event
  • Very little littering because of all the dustbins/trashcans everywhere
  • No drug-taking (probably because of the cold weather and because everyone didn’t want to spoil something quite rare like this in Hong Kong
  • No fighting for latrines (because there really were enough of them)
  • Nil bickering over money and change because of the use of coupons

If you don’t provide the facilities, how the hell are we supposed to behave ourselves? Clockenflap did, and we behaved. QED. Derp.

* * *

The Main Event(ssssssssss)

Actually, there are many main events at Clockenflap. This was one of them. I can’t decipher my own handwriting, so take it as it is.


The smurfs. Blue-coloured skin from the cold made bluer by the stage lights.


Told you the main stage wasn’t that small.


Animated gif of the lit hoola-hoop girl lady in between the headline acts.


I was totally mesmerised with the hoola-hooping, I promise you.


The performer revealed, at last!

  • I tell you, she was a helluva lot cuter than this picture shows.
  • Srsly.

* * *

The Peeps Standing Behind Me

This lot ‘stood’ behind me, while the cute little chick in front of me wriggled up and down my front side in a highly memorable way. *Ahem!*

Have fun, folks, you get only one life and one life is all you get. Don’t waste it on unfun stuff.



Thirtysomethings enjoyed themselves the most at gigs like this one more than any other age group. The next age group, surprisingly, was the 50-somethings.


Have fun NOW! Expat fella enjoying his youth when it counts.




Girls who can have fun without going overboard often end up with nice guys who are successful. Guys want girls like that — for keeps — because they know they can be mothers of happy, successful children. Who wouldn’t want that for descendants?


The final headline act: Santigold and crew in their frilly dresses.


Nooooo, Santigold’s not that kind of act … not even close.

  • Notice the piss-bored look on the minder’s face.
  • He’s wasn’t bored.
  • He was paying 100% attention to security.
  • Talk about dedication to the job.

* * *

And much fun was had by all

Me and stage manager Chris B (she’s actually a ‘local’ local who’s a semi-expatty local).

Yes, I know, it’s a terrible picture of me. The winds were blowing hard, the cold was setting in, the want for latrines was pressing, the moustache wasn’t one of my better efforts (something in the water in Hong Kong), and it was getting late. Please be understanding of my predicament with lovely Chris. She has that effect on guys.


Me and my ‘Predator’ cap.

(Or was it ‘Preda-hamster‘? Anyway, it’s been a long time since the last wearing.)

  • It’s stupid
  • It’s vaguely funnee
  • It’s doing nothing for my reputation
  • I can’t pull chicks with it on
  • But I get lots of people (especially chicks) wanting pictures with me with it on
  • Oh well, you win some, you lose some

This is my signature motorbike helment cover. I represent Hong Kong in an official capacity at all motorbike gigs internationally with this cap. If you see this cap anywhere, you’ll know it’s meeeeeeeeeee.

I am the motorcycle champion of Hong Kong at the Dakar Rally many years ago, and this is neither the beginning nor the end of my story.

  • Bizarrely, nobody knows that — or me — in Hong Kong town.



  1. If you’re wearing something funny, strange or just out of the ordinary, always let others take pictures of you. Otherwise, what’s the point of wearing it?
  2. Don’t expect others to email back the pictures to you afterwards — they’ll sober up (eventually) and never recognise themselves in photos, much less you.
  3. They shoot you, and you shoot yourself (via them) at the same time. You never get to see their shots of you again, ever. Double the exposure, namsayin’?
  4. If you wear a cosplay outfit (in any weather, but especially in 9°C/48°F weather), it is morally indefensible to refuse being taken a picture of by others.


Oh, yes, I’m officially an adult — but you probably wouldn’t have thought so by the way I ramble on ‘comme un crétin sur les stéroïdes idiote’ (‘like a cretin on idiot steroids’).


  • It’s not a Rolex
  • It’s an automatic, 21-jewelled, gilt-anodised Seiko 5 mechanical wristwatch
  • Price HK$500 (or US$64.25 or £41)
  • Works like a charm
  • Works better than the HK$38,000 one I also got lumbered with as barter payment for a print job

* * *

Comments from the crowd

  • One in three festival-goers said that had the ‘local’ locals handled the arrangements, the festival would have failed.
  • The government would have been the worst-possible organisers.

One bearded American guy from Guangzhou (Canton City) said there is ZILCH anything like this anywhere in mainland China, mainly because of the warped politics and social politics ‘overr therr.’ The Yanks living across the border have it good because it takes them less than two hours by train to come down to Hong Kong for something like this. The expats in (say) Beijing or Shanghai are just lumbered with overpriced, shoddy entertainment activities inside hotels. Muahahaha!

“Most of the expats here today most likely are those stuck in Hong Kong for some reason and can’t make it back home for Christmas or New Year. This is perfect timing. Let’s hope the organisers or the government don’t f@#k with it next year.”
— Irishman Mickey with Canadian schoolmistress (Jenny?) 

Self-plug: I wore a black velvet dress jacket, blue Palestinian scarf and the Preda-hamster cap. Two tall, dishy Euro guys with perfect physique (and waistlines!), one with a military peak cap, wanted to have a threesome picture.

‘Bridge’ (in the peak cap): We must take a picture together, like we don’t get to see somebody’s who actually cool here.

Michael: Put your arms around my shoulders.

Me: No way. Let me put my arms around your waist!

(Relax, ladies, I’m straight. We do this faggoty thing all the time in Europe. We just wanted to see Americans shatting bricks at the sight of that.)

  • Kate from London who spent the first seven years of her childhood in New York City said something really insightful and important. Alas, I can’t decipher my extraterrestrial handwriting. Sorry, Kate, we’ll leave that to the archaeologists then.
Self-plug II: One German-sounding guy at the Magic Mushroom Seats told me he really liked my black velvet jacket because “it shows style.” Thank you.

Hong Kong skyline

And much fun was had by all.

And so to bed.

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011. All images by me.
And you thought I only pilfer images.

5 Responses to “Clockenflap 2011 (3/3)”

  1. NiubiCowboy said

    These write-ups were incredibly fun to read! I laughed a lot, I nodded vigorously, and I even mm-hmmed a few times. Your expat classification system is spot on! More importantly though, you describe perfectly practically everything one would experience at a music festival, so much so that I feel like the subtitle for these entries could be “The Phenomenology of the Concert Attendee.”


  2. Ed Hurst said

    My only comment would be I’d like to have seen all this spread out over several days. But it was well worth reading.


  3. Kagi said

    Very entertaining series of posts! Hope it did go off as well the next year(s). You make some very excellent points about crowd control and people behaving themselves.


Comments are closed.

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