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.

&

INSIGHT #15

  • 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.
&

THE FACTS

  • 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.

&

INSIGHT #16

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.

*

&

INSIGHT #17

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.

&

PROTIPS

  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’).

Trivia

  • 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.

Clockenflap 2011 (2/3)

Thursday 22 December 2011, 11.00pm HKT


(Continued from Part 1)

SOMETHING ABOUT Clockenflap that could throw you off-balance a bit:

  • Four-fifths of the festival-goers (expats and locals alike) spoke perfect English and seemed completely Westernised.
  • One-fifth were merely people from non-English-speaking countries, so they spoke with funny but adorable accents.

Now, because of that, you’d probably think this was primarily a ‘gweilo’ event. You’d be wrong — it was pretty chockful of our locals there.

(‘Gweilo’ or ‘gwailo’ (rhymes with ‘high-low’) is Cantonese for ‘devil-person/fellow’ and means ‘foreigner,’ usually white-skinned. Rather like the Mandarin ‘laowai’ — literally ‘old outsider’ — to mean the same. Mostly, ‘gweilo’ or ‘laowai’ are not hostile or racist terms, but a lot depends on the context and intent. It’s like ‘Yankee’ — it depends.)

Which sort of confirms my own observations down through the years and across different continents that when a person speaks fairly solid English (or any other European language), his or her musical tastes tend to broaden considerably.

Trust me, the best parts are now a-coming. It contains insights about people in general that aren’t necessarily about this crowd, but only using it as a springboard.

* * *

The Crowd

The nice thing about Clockenflap was that there was an even balance of ages — from toddlers to grannies. It’s much more enjoyable like that than having a crowd skewed to one age level. Most ‘local’ musical events tend to be age-skewed — either all-young, all middle-aged or all-geriatric. But then again, most Chinese tend to clump together like that.

*

INSIGHT #4

  • It isn’t actually how old you are.
  • It’s how you come across at your age that gets you through to others.
  • Presence and young-at-heart are most important, especially if your physical features are on the oldish side.
  • Youth is always desirable, especially in the old.
  • If (as the British would say) you’re a well-turned-out 60 year old, with a glimmer in the eye and a partiality for nice, cool, young-at-heart stuff appropriate for your actual age, then you’re always ‘young’ in other people’s mind’s eye, be you 40, 50, 60 or 70.
  • It is easier to be young-at-heart than it is to pretend to be.
*

The girls knew they’re being checked out, and they made sure we had ample space and time to check them out.

Be sociable! If you (male or female) aren’t being checked out, you are not sociable enough.

*

INSIGHT #5

The first thing you’ll notice when you have expats and locals coming together in large numbers is how much better the expats and semi-expats (overseas-raised locals) tend to look after their appearance.

(It sort of helps to be able to afford fashion magazines priced two or three times the magazines’ cover price.)

I’m not talking about the expensiveness or cost of their clothes — if anything, it’s the locals whose clothes are often pricier. I’m not even talking about how well they look after their health or bodies either.

I’m just talking about their outward appearance — you know, how they kit themselves out. Expats and semi-expats also tend to know the ‘correct’ garb to wear for occasions like this one — no high heels or shimmy dresses or great big massive Siberian overcoats.

*

The Belvedere vodka stand. When the temperature started falling to 9°C (48°F) by early evening, the vodka wasn’t booze anymore. It became essential survival equipment.

(Strictly speaking, alcohol won’t keep you warm. But what the hell, most people don’t care for survival facts anyway.)

No, the vodka wasn’t free, but it did come in teacup-sized shots.

No, nobody got drunk. We tried, but it didn’t work with the cold and the wind blowing up our, err — let’s just say pantaloons.

Note the skyscapers (the J.W. Marriott hotel complex) as backdrop. You’ll never get this in an American or European music festival.

*

I called this area The Circus. It’s just a circular piece of grass around the medium stage that people just started sitting on. Quietly. Yes, I mean quietly.

This was the area where high concentrations of emo kids and other ‘difficult’ types clump together. Birds of a feather, I suppose.

By the way, somebody earlier had pulled out all the “Do not sit on the grass” signs from The Circus, and then handed them over to the nearest security guard station, explaining that the sharp stakes could injure the toddlers around. You could see the orz look on the guards’ faces.

SCENARIO

Emo chick sulking away in typical passive-aggressive fashion for having been brought here by parents.

Mother was getting pissed off at emo daughter’s non-response whether she felt chilly or hungry or thirsty or something. Emo chick continued sulking, saying nothing, turning her back on everything.

Young chappie around emo chick’s age butted in, and tells the mother to stop nagging her daughter:

“You’re doing it wrong. Give me her hotdog and I’ll take care of it for you with her.”

(Emo chick was extremely well-cleavaged, so we can assume young chappie had a vested interest in wanting to get to know her.)

Young chappie trundled off towards some nearby random sitters there, and gestured them to pass on the hotdog and the bottle of water to emo chick. Emo chick took them from the go-betweens and ate the lot without a murmur.

Quality of life just improved for the mother knowing that:

“No, you can’t do it directly with people like her. You have to do it sideways.”

*

INSIGHT #6

Difficult types have an in-built mechanism for recognising other difficult types. They also have a congenital radar to detect what is wanted of them — just that they refuse to ‘do it.’ The more you want them to go one way, the more they go the other. It isn’t rebellion. They’re just being difficult. They don’t want the attention, but can’t stand the isolation either.

The young chappie’s got it right. Just pass the ‘message’ on to the least difficult character you can find, let that character pass on the ‘message’ to the emo, and everything will be fine. Birds of a feather. Irregulars accept only from fellow irregulars.

*

Nightfall a-pace. Temperature dropping suddenly, the breeze picking up, and all manners of cattle started clumping together for warmth — and the long lines for the latrines.

*

Local bird. Look at her bum and you’ll know she’s Westernised. I found out she’s got some connection with Australia.

(Trust me, I know a lot about this bum-to-Westernisation correlation business.)

*

INSIGHT #7

Locals who speak a foreign language (like English) rather well tend to be friendlier and easier-going than locals who don’t. Reading ability doesn’t count.

*

Expat bird. Yes, the bum/Westernisation correlation works! This American chick came to Hong Kong when she was a baby.

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INSIGHT #8

Expats and semi-expats who’ve lived in two or more other countries before are far, far more approachable than the same who’ve lived in just one place.

*

Euro bird. Well, a Brit MILF, if memory serves. What can I say? They’re bonkers. This one had these lovely, adorable freckles on her back.

It’s true: British bums are different from the rest.

Frenchwomen have nice, old-fashioned derrieres — I reckon mainly because of the fresh food they tend to eat.

Italian women have nice love-handles. Enough said.

Sorry, Americans. Your chicks usually stop having bums after the age of 21. They have ‘things’ that are nominally asses. Your chicks need to exercise more and do less camwhoring.

*

INSIGHT #9

  • Girls with big, flabby bums end up with luser guys.
  • Girls with rounder, smaller, firmer bums — nearly always with winner guys.
  • I don’t know why — just what I noticed.
  • Your mileage may vary in your locale.

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INSIGHT #10

Homegrown Hong Kong Chinese birds are loud and picky with a litany of aversions, disinclinations and overconsiderations.

Local expat girls are stuck up and mean (unless they also speak Chinese, in which case they’re merely stuck up).

ABC birds (from the States) are loud and stuck up.

BBC birds (from the UK) are bonkers + stuck up + trying hard to be ‘English.’ Especially funny if they’re from Doncaster, Stockton or the Tyne and Wear region. BBC birds from London are more like New York City chicks than from London.

‘Broccolis’ (British-raised local Chinese) are evenly divided between the calculating types and those who are whiter than ‘a whiter shade of pale’ and still stuck in the 1970s.

Aussie Chinese birds are friendly, all good poledancers, but they know what you have got in mind — and they’re not letting you have it. And they have flippin’ strong grips too.

Singaporean birds are weird control-freaks who think they are unique but actually more like a more cosmopolitan version of Hongkongers with a hybrid ANZ-American-Britspeak accent with the wrong syllable stresses.

French and francophone Chinese birds are insufferable because they are 100% friendly and 100% capable of spinning you around like a top, and you don’t know whether you’re hot or cold with them. They’re French and you’re fried.

Newly arrived expats start off pretty nice but soon become less friendly to Chinese faces — but, then again, most new expats here aren’t as friendly as the homeys in their home countries anyway. Remember F.I.L.T.H.? (‘Failed In London, Try Hong Hong.’)

Broadly speaking, broadly speaking.

*

INSIGHT #11

  • Observation, actually
  • PRC girls (chicks and MILFs from mainland China) mostly wear skintight jeans
  • Mostly in the Italian style that you see in fashion magazines
  • You can tell the skintightness is copycat
  • But they do copy quite well

* * *

The Antifreeze Tent

Offically called Side Flap and next to the main stage (?), I dubbed this The Antifreeze Tent. This was where people took refuge from the wonderfully enjoyable crap weather by dinnertime.

“Shit! They’re all from London here! Let’s go somewhere else with real people in it.”
— Woman with a north of England accent

*

INSIGHT #12

Londoners are most anxious among the British/English about being recognised as Londoners. The others (other English) don’t much care; a simple ‘British’ will do just fine, thank you very much.

For the Scottish, yoo’ve gott to be deeeaf nott to hearrr thah accent in the firrrst plaece.

The Welsh: “We’re not Londoners and we’re not Cockney. We’re Welsh. Like Duffy. You accidentally right into that one, didnt’cha?” (Note the Welsh habit of skipping verbs at random points.)

The Irish, however, want you to know they’re Irish solely because they don’t want to be mistaken as English — which they are not, even if they speak perfectly unaccented ‘English’ English. They’re also good-natured if you get it wrong, and state matter-of-factly that, “Weer dif’rent peep’l. Weer terrorists when weer sober. That’s why we hef Guinness all day long.”

The Americans wonder how the heck practically everyone in an ex-British colony like Hong Kong speaks with an americanised accent.

The Canadians are long used to being confused for Americans, especially confused Americans.

The Euronals don’t care because they can see you’re totally hypnotised with their funny and adorable accents.

Aussies and New Zealanders pretend to be each other just for kicks, and the two countries have a binding treaty for that.

The South Africans (‘Suf-efrikens’) snigger that you just can’t identify their accent.

*

INSIGHT #13

The Eurasians (people of Asian and European parentage) are far more Asian/Chinese than they think they are, and much less ‘white’ than they imagine.

*

INSIGHT #14

Two quality-of-life-changing protips here for enhancing your approachability for others (and vice versa):

For women:

  • Dead easy.
  • Just speeek wis a leettle Fren’ch accent.
  • Just some words; doesn’t ’ave to be a’ll.
  • Zer tri’ck iss zer soft Fren’ch ‘r’ (non-rhotic to the linguists). Zer Fren’ch “aah’r’uh.”
  • Zer subtle sh’rug an’d ewpen palms at bu(r)st level are compulsory gestures.
  • Persuasive looks: Square glasses, red lip-steee’k, coloured tights, pointy shoes and hat.

For men:

  • Trickier to do.
  • Speak a Germanic accent.
  • The German accent is an acceptable and authorised English accent.
  • The best German accent is the it’s-there-but-not-annoying one just like from actor Jürgen Prochnow or the even fainter accent of Matthias Schweighöfer.
  • Robotic: Arnold “I’ll Be Back” Schwarzenegger Austrian accent.
  • Verboten: B-movie Panzer Division Stalag Luft Nr. 31 Jawohl-Herr-General German accent — it just sounds too psycho.
  • Eminently sexy: The Dutch accent of the eminently sexy actor Rutger Hauer.
  • Avuncular: The upper-class Swedish accent of Max von Sydow.
  • Rutger Hauer’s accent is especially appealing to women because they can’t tell if it’s French, Dutch or German (as I’ve been reliably informed by various kinds of chicks).
  • Persuasive looks: Titanium-rimmed square glasses, soft tan-coloured suede jacket, charcoal-grey jeans, black ankle dress boots.

For men (in front of American women):

  • Ditch the Germanics.
  • Go for gold with the French accent.
  • Not Pink Panther Inspector Clouseau French accent (that’s an Englishman’s French accent).
  • Not François Truffaut’s (too challenging).
  • Speak like Alain Delon (romantic) or Jean Reno (manly).
  • Jean Reno’s is easier.

This insight clearly is worth its weight in gold. The invoice is in the mail.

* * *

‘She’s not sleeping!’

“Jesus Christ! You can’t do that!” yelled the mother.

The platinum blond(e) toddler had just kicked that woman slumped over there in the shins.

She’s the one cowed in foetal position with the red handbag, next to the expat kids fagged out from playing the swings all day.

“Mum! She’s not sleeping!” the toddler cried.

That instant, we all realised something was wrong. The medics came and fetched her away. Turned out that the woman, a local Chinese, was suffering from overexposure, what with the cold drinks, lack of food, the harbourfront cold and all.

We all thought she’d just passed out from the booze or something.

Yes, folks, cold exposure comes on suddenly. Just like heatstroke, there are no warning signs in the practical sense.

Please check on fellow partygoers occasionally, even if you don’t know them personally.

That toddler probably saved that woman’s life.

* * *

UP NEXT IN PART 3 — The other stuff

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog. All images by me.


CATCHY HEADLINE, huh?

I’m such a bald-faced liar since having grown a moustache for that stupid moustache-growing competition a month back that I’ll now tell you the truth and nothing but the lying-sonofabitch truth.

Like I promised you mugs readers a couple of days back, I’ve sorted out my pictures and deciphered my hieroglyphics for that music and arts festival with the highly memorable name of Clockenflap.

It’s CLOCK-en-FLAP, not — never mind, you remembered what I said before.

Okay, pictures first, then the brain-damaged words.

Full-blown pictures, so you don’t have to click, flick and dick around.

* * *

Going in

The road leading to the gig. Note the DHL sponsorship ballon.

Clockenflap 2011 carried on for two days and two nights on 10 and 11 December. Venue was the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade (or ‘praya’ if you an old China hand). The perfect place for a ‘do’ like this one.

Our moronic regime esteemed government has been pitching West Kowloon for some years to be the ‘cultural hub’ for Hong Kong.

  • In proper English, the government had meant to say the meeting point for music and the Arts (if you’re into PR-speak) or the artistic and musical quarter (if into Parisian airs).
  • Ninety percent of everyone reckons West Kowloon is going to end up being a property developers’ paradise instead.
  • The word ‘hub’ is not what the government think it means.

I think calling anything in Hong Kong a ‘cultural hub’ is a bit of a stretch and somehow hard to live down (or live up to, depending on how you look at it) — especially after the debonnair Noel Coward astutely observed (and then branded) our ex-British/now-Chinese colony as a ‘cultural desert‘ because everyone’s been living on borrowed time since 20th January 1841.

  • In case you don’t know, 2046 is the year when we shall be fully and legally absorbed into China. You see how astute Coward had been about living on borrowed time?

Never mind. We continue.

* * *

Induction

The food and coupon-selling stands near the entrance area.
Note the chappie with his jug of San Miguel beer.

Patrons first bought coupons for paying their chow and slosh. The food and drink stands accepted no cash and gave no change. Coupons came in sets of HK$100 (or US$12.84 or £8.27).

&

The entrance area
The pink/white-striped Land-Rover was courtesy of Jack Wills the British
outfitters, which just open a couple of outlets here in Hong Kong.

They’ve got this routine right. By using coupons, the vendors were completely let off the need to keep cash around. What with people milling around, kids running about, the indecisive figuring out what they want, the queue stoppers and all — the catering staff simply concentrated on catering the right chow and slosh to customers and not worry about money and change.

Remember, Clockenflap was held on one of the coldest weekends here (around 13°C/55°F daytime, falling to just 9°C/48°F by nightfall), so people can get wee impatient. Since everything was priced in multiples of HK$20 and $40, the coupon was an excellent idea. Other events should copy this idea. It’s just basic crowd control.

* * *

The Arties

This is the Art Tent. It’s not a harem. It contained multimedia shows of up-and-coming local and international artists on tour in Hong Kong.

Yeah, it’s small. But that’s Hong Kong ‘cultural awareness’ for you.

&

Artists at work. Apparently, these two guys are world-famous. I don’t know (and couldn’t remember) their names, and couldn’t decipher my own hieroglyphics. Sorry, guys, no offence meant.

The really funny thing was that the locally raised locals (the out-and-out homeys) at first thought these artists were workmen doing up the barriers and whatnot. Kinda sad too, since the artists weren’t getting paid anyway, barriers and whatnot.

&

INSIGHT #1

Artists who pitch in and get their work done without fuss or pretention often turn out successful and known. (Perhaps not world-renowned, but at the very least known among the paying cognoscenti.) Artists who pitch their art as ‘art’ often don’t get a second look-in from anybody. Your loss, pal.

* * *

Lateral Latrinal Thinking

The unisex lavatories (latrines?) were A-1 entertainment.

They were the ‘squat and shat’ type — and some of the Euronals and Americramps didn’t know how to handle them.

Clearly, they’re not people who watch National Geographic TV (or go out much).

It was pretty funny using the latrines too. While the front part was reasonably soundproof, the sides were practically sound-transparent. You could hear all sorts of lurid conversations going on, latrine-to-latrine as well as on the phone.

  • The girltalk was absolutely rivetting and, frankly, I didn’t want to come out.

By nighttime, the latrines got quite creepy because they didn’t come with lights. But all made up for when this came streaming through the latrine grilles:

“I can’t find my c*nt in this darkness, so hang on a sec!”
— Lancashire accent in the next stall

* * *

The Stages

The main stage, where the two dozen headline acts from all over the world did their thing. It doesn’t look much from the picture, but was actually pretty big.

Left side with the black canopy was the ‘disco’ stage, where the half-frozen crowd took a breather between acts and tried to break each other’s legs to high-energy techno-bamboozle-disco-fracas-breakbeat tunes.

&

The medium stage. I reckon the acts were organised by size rather than ‘fame’ or anything like that.

AN OFFER YOU JUST HAD TO REFUSE

The picture above was taken minutes before I got propositioned by two teenage girls. (That’s about an hour or so into the festival.) The girls were really, really good-looking — srsly.

Sounding the way they sounded, I thought the two girls were genuinely wanting, willing and giving whatever the heck they had wanted, were willing to do or had to give. They weren’t drunk either — or even ‘on the game’ — so all the red flags went up for me.

These chicks were, like, laying all this on me (as we say in law) with full, effective and effectual representation and in earnest full faith. That’s scaaary.

When I declined, they were very good natured about it: “Maybe next time then, okay, if we see ya.”

… AND RESTRAINED BY PRIORITIES

And just minutes after that brick-shatting episode, Maddie (blonde American) and Laura (brunette Aussie) got into a chat with me. Srsly, it’s serious business. They were broads (late 20s/early 30s) that I would have propositioned to.

And right at that moment, I wanted to have some chow and slosh…

&

The medium stage is nothing to sniff at when you have a solid band playing classic hard rock at night with the sound and light systems going on full blast.

&

Above, a local expat/semi-expat/local rock band on the medium stage, going full tilt with lights and all.

&

The small or ‘local’ stage. I’m not sure if this was actually branded as a local stage for local acts, mainly because the acts have been really, really good. I’ve also seen some overseas one- or two-person acts there, so maybe it wasn’t ‘local’ after all.

&

INSIGHT #2

For a long, long time I have said (not necessarily on this or any other blog) that the biggest problem with local musicians and bands is their lack of boldness of voice.

If you’re a rocker, you’ve got to be bold in how you sound. Making an almighty infernal racket (like those local death-metal goth hard rockers are apt to do) isn’t f@#king boldness — you’re just being noisy and making an arrestable nuisance in the middle of the night. Your expensive Gibsons, Fenders, Ibanezes, LTDs or whatever guitars aren’t going to help you cut the ice.

  • Your starting point isn’t to listen to Johnny Rotten and The Sex Pistols
  • You should be listening to (and learning from) the likes of Huey Lewis, Billy Halliday, Elvis Presley and those giants
  • And — believe it or not — Edith Piaf and Judy Garland!
  • The sound of you sucking eggs is actually better on our ears and for your longevity

&

It’s small, but it’s also seriously cosy — a priceless compensation.

&

INSIGHT #3

Bearded people seem to understand music better than clean-faced people. Does not necessarily apply to clean-shaven DJs or musicians.

* * *

UP NEXT — The crowds

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011. All images by me.

Red Bull F1 Dragon Run 2011

Sunday 19 June 2011, 5.22am HKT


AS A BIKER (of the motorcycle variety), I do my level best to turn up at racing gigs, such as the Red Bull F1 Dragon Run 2011 that took place yesterday (18th June) in Central district of Hong Kong.

Arrived early (of course) with assorted cattle friends but place was already chockablock.

I promise you, the pictures get better as you go down…

(Pics are safe for work — if not, you’re working for the wrong company)

(25 images in all: click image for larger version)

The boys in blue were out in force to handle crowd control. But seeing that practically every other person with a Chinese face also spoke perfect, unaccented English, the chaps from ‘The Best Police Force Money Can Buy’ (remember that one, anyone?) chose to ‘ask’ spectators to keep moving and not block the passageways. Priceless.

People were already there since morning!

Total chockablock along 600 metres of the thoroughfare.

Not to be outdone, the boys in blue bring out their cherished BMWs and mean sonofabitch Ray-Bans.

Headquarters of the bigwigs who sponsored the event.

They paid, so everyone else went for free. Tidy of them, that.

Wung! Wung! Wung! Fluorescent ears.

Bummer. Me and friends never got to see the racecars belting up and down Lung Wo Road — that’s the 600-metre (one-third of a mile) stretch of road between the International Financial Centre tower in Central and the HKCEC in Wanchai district). Oh wells.

Being a lecherous — ahem! — versatile sort of chap, I made do with the race queens (‘RQs’) there instead. Whay-hay-hay!

An RQ on holiday from Londontown. Highly talented. Highly…

Trust me, London Girl is truly smashing in person.

Local RQ girl having a nice chat with other local girls.

A real, live local girl and RQ with a local chappie.

Interestingly, this RQ is a true-blue local girl, but currently at uni in Canada. Even more interestingly, she pays the equivalent of only HK$20,000 (US$2,566 or £1,586) for an entire year’s tuition! This is why, she says, Americans are heading to Canada in droves for university education. Even though a local chick squeeze girl homegal herself, there’s no point staying in Hong Kong for uni, mainly because us locals are paying an outrageous HK$52,000 a year in tuition. You want a university education, of course, but not half a million dollars in debt after a four-year degree. Couldn’t agree more.

They’re locals, not expats, locals, locals, locals!

I’m crazy about the one in fuchsia (= magenta), i.e the one on the right).

Support your local talents!

Actually, I’m kinda crazy about all of them.

I approve their crowd control measures!

I honestly don’t know. Seems like I’m always the one to make that oh-so-important first move. Not until I fly into the RQs for a photo op, everyone’s too shy to even glance at them. Then suddenly EVERYONE was jostling and shoving one another for their 15-second moment of fame with the pretty ladies. The womenfolk were even more vicious than the menfolk for photo ops. Well I never!

Womenfolk even more vicious then menfolk for a shot.

“Why do they always have race queens at these shows?”

Answer: Crowd control. Not everyone can bulldoze their way to the front stands and catch a glimpse of the racecars. It’s just a fact of life with crowds. Some just don’t want to bulldoze (actually, quite a lot don’t).

Sure, there was police presence. But coppers are a menacing lot by nature anyway, so they’re apt to become a wee bit excitable with a crowd that’s milling and shuffling around. And when coppers carry sidearms as they do in Hong Kong, the excitement of seeing people enjoying a day out kind of gets on their nerves a bit. Especially on a hot and muggy day like this one, with spectators vying mostly in a futile effort for a spot for a wee look-see at the racecars. Policemen are trained not to understand the subtle art of crowd control. Oh wells.

But event organisers are. They long knew that race queens are an indispensable, effective and effectual means of crowd control. So are bike hunnies and carshow babes — but that’s another story! If you don’t get to see racecars, you get to see (and chat up) the race queens instead. Why waste time getting hot in the head when you can most agreeably get hot under the collar? Namsayin’?

“A couple of dozen of these [race queens] and we can all go home.” (Police constable with really nice Killer Loop shades)

Now you know.

Can’t see the racecars? Try race queens!

Tell me what crowd can’t be controlled (and ‘controlled’) by these fine, upstanding, talented ladies…

* * *

A friendly marketing idea for Apple to think about

You know what, Apple should think about this when they next market their iPads…

“Have all your expensive cameras and fantastic lenses,
but you’ll never get a shot edgewise.
The iPad.
See more.
And more to see.”
(‘Skinny-D’)

This guy had the greatest number of s-s-spec-ta-ta-ta-tors standing behind him. Best live broadcast evah.

Dear Mr Steve Jobs, the Naked Listener highly appreciates a small compensation for your use of this marketing idea. I look forward to receiving your cheque. Thank you.

* * *

On one of the backup racecars.

More race queens — the ‘local-local’ version…

Sounds of ZZ Top’s “Legs” in the background.

See? It’s the girls rather than the blokes who really want a shot at the race queens.

Who says I’m not fond of Chinese cuisine?

Is he a pro? What are you, blind?

When some guy pulls out his weapon an ƒ/0.5 lens like this one (allowing shots in near pitch black), you don’t have to wonder if he’s a real pro or not. Thirty thousand bucks, pal, with or without the gummy flipflops.

The main sponsor’s motorcar.

“Crikey! They’re handing these things out to everyone!”

No, they just look a bit risqué. They’re not condoms. But they really look like condoms, I tell you. They’re really nice Swiss-made sweets called Rio Mints that the race queens were handing out to everybody. Including women. Including kids. Shocked looks all round. Priceless.

“Imagine one of these things fell out on the MTR and everyone’s going UGHH! and giving you the stink eye. The look on their faces would be priceless!”

(That’s what I said to London Girl! Aye-yai-yai, her knowing look was also priceless. God bless these London girls, knows what I’ve got on me mind they do…)

And much fun was had by all that day.

Images and text © The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011. All Rights reserved.

My gig conveyor belt for Week 21

Wednesday 25 May 2011, 11.28am HKT


Some of my esteemed subscribers say they would prefer to [also] see a weekly rollcall of my gig calendar in order to assist in their stalking of me and exposé of my lurid lifestyle.

I appreciate the thoughtfulness of that, truly I do.

Click on event image to see its event page.

★★★ = I’ll be there for sure, and so should you (your mileage may vary)

* * *

REMEMBER

You only live once.

A night out is a night out, even if it has to fall on a weekday.

The moment we’re born, life is gradually shutting down for all of us.

* * *

ONGOING EVENTS

Laughing with a Mouth Full of Blood by Simon Birch ★★★

19 May – 19 June 2011

Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, 2 Caine Road, Midlevels, Hong Kong. 3760 1713. Open Tues-Sun 10am – 8pm (closed Mondays)

New paintings by Hong Kong-based painter and installation artist Simon Birch. Facebook fan page [here]. Free entry.

* * *

WEDNESDAY 25 MAY

8pm – 10pm Wednesday Music Break with Loli

Backstage Live Restaurant, 1st Floor, Somptueux Central, 52-54 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong. 2167 8985 香港中環威靈頓街52-54號1樓

Midweek free/open-stage jam with Backstage’s own keyboardist Loli (9pm). Dinner and snacks served 6pm – 10.30pm. No cover charge. Free seating.

*

9pm – 12am The Asian Jazz All-Stars Power Quartet in Hong Kong

Grappa’s Restaurant, Jardine House, Basement, 1 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong. 2521 2322

Runs 25-29 May at various venues (see other entries below or next week)

Four of Asia’s top jazzmen lay their magic on us: keyboardist Jeremy Monteiro [Singapore], guitarist Eugene Pao [Hong Kong], saxophonist Tots Tolentino [Philippines] and drummer Chanutr Techatana-nana (a.k.a. Hong) [Thailand].

Next show date is 28 May at Backstage Live Restaurant.

*

9pm – late A Night of the BluesThe Shoestrung ★★★

The Wanch, 54 Jaffe Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong. 2861 1621 香港灣仔謝斐道54號

Acoustic Hot House with Joven Goce (6pm-9pm), blues master Tommy Chung does blues rock (9.30pm-11pm) and The Shoestrung from London (11pm onwards). Don’t miss The Shoestrung as these guys recently opened for the New York Dolls in London! No cover charge.

* * *

THURSDAY 26 MAY

ART HK 11 ★★★

Thur 26 May – Sun 29 May (1 week)

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai, Hong Kong

See event details at http://www.hongkongartfair.com.

*

9pm – late bc Magazine Unplugged Showcase ★★★

The Wanch, 54 Jaffe Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong. 2861 1621 香港灣仔謝斐道54號

Acoustic Hot House with Dave Colquhoun (6pm-9pm) followed by bc Magazine Unplugged Showcase featuring original music (in acoustic setting) by Xiao MaAilee and Kris Lao. No cover charge.

*

9pm Music & Dine Special: The Jazz Tellers

Backstage Live Restaurant1st Floor, Somptueux Central, 52-54 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong. 2167 8985 香港中環威靈頓街52-54號1樓

This trio [USA] comprises Berklee College of Music scholarship students Callum Mackenzie (saxophone), Lee Dynes (guitar) and Nate Wong (drums), currently on their second international tour in their second year of playing. No cover charge.

* * *

FRIDAY 27 MAY

8pm – 11pm Hong Kong Summer Jazz Festival 2011 (Day 1)

Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Jockey Club Auditorium), Hung Hom, Kowloon.

Freez Ltd. presents three nights (27, 28, 29 May) of jazz sounds from Hakuei Kim Trisonique (27 May), Matthew Garrison Quartet (28 May), Adam RogersScott KinseyGene Lake and Winterplay (2 shows: 28 May).

Tickets HK$380, HK$280 and HK$180 from HK Ticketing (hotline 31 288 288) and Tom Lee Music stores.

Next show date: 28 May (below).

*

8pm – late Mill Creek Ravine + The Nerve + The North

The Wanch, 54 Jaffe Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong. 2861 1621

A night of high-energy R&R: Bambie Capito’s Acoustic Hot House (6pm-8pm), Mill Creek Ravine [Canada] does acoustic folk rock (8pm-9pm), The Nerve (9pm-10pm), The North (10pm-midnight), and Burning Wheel does hard rock (midnight). No cover charge.

*

10.30pm – 12.30am Happy Go Lucky Big Band

Fringe Gallery at the Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road (top of Wyndham Street), Central, Hong Kong. Enquiries 2521 7251

Big-band jazz at the Fringe Club’s Fringe Gallery from a newly born 14-piece jazz orchestra whose members “choose to play only the music composed and arranged by the legendary Duke Ellington. Our love for this great man and his music takes us on an eternal search for the true meaning of music.”

Admission HK$100 (advance) or HK$125 (walk-in/on the day). Free admission for Fringe Club members. Admission includes 1 standard drink.

* * *

SATURDAY 28 MAY

6pm – late Last Orders + Rolling Up the Sleeves + Then You Suffer ★★★

The Wanch, 54 Jaffe Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong. 2861 1621

Bambie Capito’s The Acoustic Jam (6pm-9pm) welcomes all bands and musicians to join in and jam in acoustic format. Last Orders does classic rock (9pm-11pm), The Sleeves does original rock (Bee’s last gig before leaving HK!) (11pm), and Then You Suffer does hard-edged blues (midnight). No cover charge.

*

8pm – 11pm Hong Kong Summer Jazz Festival 2011 (Day 2)

Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Jockey Club Auditorium), Hung Hom, Kowloon.

Freez Ltd. presents three nights (27, 28, 29 May) of jazz sounds from Hakuei Kim Trisonique (27 May), Matthew Garrison Quartet (28 May), Adam RogersScott KinseyGene Lake and Winterplay (2 shows: 28 May).

Tickets HK$380, HK$280 and HK$180 from HK Ticketing (hotline 31 288 288) and Tom Lee Music stores.

Next show date 29th May (below).

*

8pm – 11pm Hong Kong Extreme Metal Festival 2011 香港極端金屬節 (Day 1)

Orthon Debut Album Release Show

Runs 2 nights on 28 May and 02 June

Hidden Agenda Live House, 6th Floor, Ko Leung Industrial Building, 25 Tai Yip Street, Ngau Tau Kok/Kwun Tong, Kowloon.
香港牛頭角大業街25號高良工業大廈6樓全層(大業街內巷入)
MTR: Kwun Tong (Exit B6) or Kowloon Bay

Orthon is a Hong Kong extreme metal band formed in 2005.

Special guest: Blair Witch (女巫) [Taiwan] is a black-metal girl band formed in 2007. Plays melodic black metal about anger, depression and human avarice. Shinya on guitar, Maion bass, A PO on drums and Ice on vocals/shrieks.

Supporting bands (all Hong Kong): Cadaver (extreme metal), Evocation (招魂) (black metal) and Elysium (Grind/death/extreme metal).

Day 2 of event (02 June) is Anthelion (幻日) Live in Hong Kong. Anthelion is a black metal band from Taiwan. Evocation (招魂) will be Day 2’s supporting band.

Tickets
Day 1: advance HK$120, walk-in HK$140
Day 2: advance HK$150, walk-in HK$200
2-Day Pass: advance HK$180, walk-in HK$220

Tickets available from Hidden Shop (above) tel. 9651 8567 or White Noise Records tel. 2591 0499.

*

10pm – 5am BigBox at FLY

Club FLY, Ground Floor, 24-30 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong. 2810 9902

Funky tech house sounds from BigBox resident Seb Lander and FLY’s own Ryan Ash. Club FLY is Hong Kong’s most up-for-it club for those missing the kind of atmosphere and music of clubs in Ibiza, Miami and the UK. Free admission.

*

10.30pm – 1.30am The Asian Jazz All-Stars Power Quartet in Hong Kong (Cont.) ★★★

Backstage Live Restaurant1st Floor, Somptueux Central, 52-54 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong. 2167 8985 香港中環威靈頓街52-54號1樓

The four jazz meisters continue their tour. Click image to see event page or [here]. Admission HK$200 (includes one standard drink)

*

SUNDAY 29 MAY

4pm – close Folk rock + Top 40 & classic rock

The Wanch, 54 Jaffe Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong. 2861 1621

Armie & Friends do folk rock (4pm-8pm), and Lito and friends do  Top 40 and classic rock (8pm-close). No cover charge.

*

8pm – 11pm Hong Kong Summer Jazz Festival 2011 (Day 3)

Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Jockey Club Auditorium), Hung Hom, Kowloon.

Final night of jazz sounds from Hakuei Kim Trisonique (27 May), Matthew Garrison Quartet (28 May), Adam RogersScott KinseyGene Lake and Winterplay (2 shows: 28 May).

Tickets HK$380, HK$280 and HK$180 from HK Ticketing (hotline 31 288 288) and Tom Lee Music stores.

* * *

Want to be included?

You got a gig doing? Get in touch! Use the Contact Form [here].

Questions for The Naked Listener? Go to the Ask Form [here].

You wanna come with? I’m game. You let me know NOW.

* * *

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011. All images via their event pages or organisers.

Joe Bonamassa Live in Hong Kong

Saturday 14 May 2011, 10.58am HKT


American blues guitarist and singer Joe Bonamassa really wowed fans at his one-night-only gig in Hong Kong on Wednesday Thursday (12th May). It was flippin’ incredible, to say the least.

(And a belated happy birthday too to Joe B, who turned 34 in Hong Kong!)

Time Out Hong Kong graciously let me win a pair of tickets to Joe B’s concert, and my thanks go out to the Time Out team. (Shouts to James — hope I remembered your name right!)

Shouts to Adeline Lee, project director of Freez Limited, for arranging the photo op with Joe B.

Wikipedia does a much better job on Joe B than I ever could — read it.

And very nice to meet some of the other photo op guests (in alphabetical order):

  • Ingrid
  • Isabelle
  • Rachelle
  • Raymond
  • and special mention to Liz (who wasn’t at the photo op, but all the same)

Without further ado, here are some horribly taken pics of the concert:

(Click on image for larger photos)

(Or middle click on image to open image in new browser tab. Quality of life just improved.)

If there’s anyone out there who prefers their photos removed, just let me know…

Text and images © The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011.
Updated 14 May 2011.

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