THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

Bar called Joyce Is Not Here in Hong Kong's new Soho area

Unless one has been living under a rock for the past two decades, the ‘live’ music “scene” in Hong Kong is non-existent for two reasons- a lack of musicians and a lack of venues.

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Sure, the easy mantra is to lament the lack of venues. But, just as people make a city, talent makes venues and, right here and now in Hong Kong, there’s a vacuum when it comes to bona fide musical talent.

Sure, there are pockets of some very good players- but these are the same old- and none are getting younger- players moving from Peel Fresco to Backstage or going “uptown” to Sevva, the Blue Bar at the Four Seasons or The Pawn or then forced to go “Indie” and play The Wanch.

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Yes, often, some new talent shows up, but, if not for the fact that this is Hong Kong and desperate for some new faces other than the supposedly “legendary” Bobby Taylor, below, who supposedly “discovered the Jackson 5” and supposedly wrote all their hits including “Ben” and “I’ll Be There”- not true- plus the other usual suspects masquerading as “jazz” players, this new taken would be laughed off the stage- in Taiwan, the Philippines and, yes, even staid, conservative Swingabore that has some surprisingly creative- and young musicians.

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Where’s the musical talent in Hong Kong?

All those bands in LKF and Wanchai playing covers for drunken gweilos still wishing to hear the best of ABBA and Deep Purple?

Apart from Jun Kun, Paul Wong, Eugene Pao who’s almost the Methuselah of Hong Kong music, Blaine Whittaker, the group MaRK, below, and, perhaps, Tess Collins on a good night, there might be currents of “energy” floating about, but zero originality.

IS SHE THE COOLEST MUSO IN HK 7

And so the news that dear old Joyce of Joyce Is Not Here fame has found new investors to help her open up another venue for ‘live’ entertainment might be cause for some dancing in the street, who’s gonna be playing there who isn’t playing at her other venue- Peel Fresco, which, sad to say, has become both boring and nonsensical.

A venue for ‘live’ entertainment that closes its doors at midnight because of Hong Kong’s daft sound ordinances?

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Why bother dropping by the club even for a look-see while praying it’s not having one of its open mic sessions for some awful musical doodlings by amateurs who overstay their welcome onstage, or an evening when Ted Lo- a superb musician- brings together some players for a tedious night of self-indulgence?

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So, is this new venue from the fertile mind of Joyce going to change anything, or is this just another Grappas, Backstage, Peel Fresco, those crappy ‘live’ events at Rayne, or even those mind-numbing jam sessions at The Wanch and another boring night of the same old players playing musical chairs?

I hope not, but I’m also not holding my breath.

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