In a city that’s constantly moaning about the lack of a live music scene, somehow Chris B., Founder and the Organizer of The Underground, is still alive and kicking.
“I still do it because I like organizing the shows and creating the concepts,” she says. “I like putting on shows of bands that I want to see, because I figure if I like to see them, then people in Hong Kong will too!”
The upcoming Heavy Unplugged concert taking place next month on September 2nd will be the 234th event staged by The Underground, a figure that even takes Chris B. by surprise. “It shows that the live scene is actually still quite good and I don’t see why people are complaining,” she says. “Those who are most vocal about it, I find, don’t go to these events.”
Her views run contrary to many sentiments in the city.
Recently, a lengthy article in The New York Times once again put the spotlight on Hong Kong’s concert scene by citing the troubles encountered by the Kowloon based club Hidden Agenda in their bid to survive both rent increases and a government that is particular about its paperwork. “I was asked to take part in that article, but the truth is, I can’t afford the rents that some of those venues are asking for,” she says. “This is an expensive city so venues are bound to close down. But it’s not down to the acts – or lack of acts – most of the time. It’s down to bad business sense. Even some of my favorite venues have closed down over the years.” On the flipside, Chris B. cites The Wanch in Wan Chai as an example of a venue that has both good business sense AND is key to keeping the city’s live music aspirations alive.
In their own bid to carry on, The Underground is constantly on the lookout for suitable venues as well. Their latest find is the Morrison Café & Bar, an intimate two story venue in Sheung Wan. This is where they’ll stage one of their most original shows yet when three of Hong Kong’s hardest rocking groups unplug their amps and rely solely on their acoustic talents. “I pitched it as Nirvana’s unplugged show without the candles,” laughs Chris B. “I asked so many acts and they all turned me down, except for these three brave bands.”
Among the acts are the Wan Chai Warriors, a quartet best known for their intense riffs and shredding. There’s also Mockingbird, whose lead singer has been compared favorably with Paramore’s Hayley Williams. And finally, there’s Bamboo Star, Planetrox competition winners who have gained a regional following for their stage presence and accessible metal songs.
“I’ve given them a couple months to practice so they should be able to pull it off,” she says. “It will be exciting and I hope people turn out for it.”
Saturday 2nd September 2017
8:00pm – 11:30pm
Morrison Cafe & Bar, 284 Queens Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong (Sheung Wan MTR station exit A2)
Advance tickets: HK$120
available at Morrison or http://undergroundhk.com
Door tickets: HK$160
Tickets include one drink
Hotline: (852) 9486 4648