Is the Pope Jewish? Well, that’s a whole other argument…but the answer to both questions is a resounding NO. That doesn’t mean that a lot of good music doesn’t come through Hong Kong, it does. And there are some very good young promoters (especially in the electronic space) who regularly bring over the best new bands and DJ’s – FOB, Your Mum and Untitled stand out. But there is seemingly an endless appetite for bands that are well past their sell-by date. In a kinder frame of mind I might say Hong Kong promoters like to book ‘classic’ acts. You could just as easily call many of them washed up.

How many times have I ridden the MTR and seen a slew of posters for a big concert by…wait for it…The Beach Boys! Hey, c’mon…who doesn’t want to get out that old Hawaiian shirt, put on your favorite pair of weekend jeans and go boogie along to ‘Surfin’ USA’? Well me, for one. And you can imagine the crowd…the VIP this and VIP that. No stage diving that night.

Is Hong Kong a Music Town 1

Recently I saw a poster for a charity gig happening at the FCC (that bastion of teenage rebellion) and the main act was Tears For Fears. Tears For bloody Fears! Has it really been twenty five years boys? Yes it has. And I hear they are actually playing inside the FCC – so mobiles off, no phone pics or you will be politely asked to leave – through the servants’ entrance.

Is Hong Kong a Music Town 2

I recently had the pleasure to go see David Guetta at the Asia World Expo. On the night he played in Hong Kong he had the #5 song on the Billboard Hot 100, a track featuring Micki Minaj, Bebe Rexha and Afrojack. He is arguably the biggest superstar DJ/Producer in the world. The room was barely two thirds full. The promoters were nervously pacing around in front, but in the next hall over it was a different story. The 20 minute ride on the Airport Express was all I needed to see what the big attraction that night was: K Pop. Hundreds of powdered and rouged up kids (boys and girls) were heading out to see the biggest act in K Pop, Big Bang, who were also playing at Asia World. Who booked David Guetta on the same night as Big Bang?

Is Hong Kong a Music Town 3

Is Hong Kong a Music Town 4

Like most things creative or artistic in Hong Kong, music will always take a back seat to the only two industries that matter here: Finance and Property. The rest seems to be a crap shoot, and that includes music. Some of the best new DJ’s and bands in the world come through here, but you never hear about it. You really have to dig. Keep your ear to the street, so to speak. DJ Shortkut recently played at Fly. Twenty One Pilots will play at Kitec on the 21st. Who knew??

Ahhh, but that Tears For Fears show…that’ll be epic.

Is Hong Kong a Music Town 5

Is Hong Kong a Music Town 6

Slip Mahoney