By Hans Ebert

“It’s a tough crowd out there tonight”. It’s been said enough times and heard enough. If a performer, no matter how experienced, there’ll always be those days when, especially if a hotel lounge singer, hello- there’s nobody out there.

Being a professional, the show must go on and all that. One soldiers on because nothing lasts forever and there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel that’s not an oncoming train.

So, to every artist wearing that albatross around their necks of being labeled a “Lounge Singer”, I applaud you- your professionalism, that internal fortitude to carry on and for just getting on with it without feeling that one is “selling out”.

“Selling out” so one is paid for their talent? What’s wrong with that? It’s a business like any other business. If some appreciation and gratitude is shown for what is often something Donna Summer once sang about, even better.

There are then those rare moments when one goes out not expecting anything other than the norm and God or karma or timing puts a smile on your face. This happened last night.

For some karmic reason, we decided to check out a venue new to me as I tend to be a creature of habit and have, at one time or another, heard most of the players playing around town.

The venue was BB Jazz Bar in Lan Kwai Fong, formerly Orange Peel which I vaguely remember.

Can’t stand the tatty LKF area anymore because it’s most definitely not what it used to be. It’s hardly trending. It’s only wobbly legs. But what made it a fun evening out was the excellent house band led by Romeo- of course- an extremely creative keyboardist and arranger. His complete reworking of “Uptown Funk” was movie score material. It belongs in a David Lynch movie.

The highlight for me, for me, however, was Mona, below right, with Josie, also very good, one of two female vocalists in the band.

Despite music today being in an age of ageism, here’s someone who made me think of why, as a kid, I was drawn to music and the voices of Ella, Sarah Vaughan, Dakota Staton, Dinah Washington, Sinatra, Mel Torme etc. It was a combination of the voice and the song. One might have seen a photo of the artist on the record cover, but the magic was in the grooves. Still is.

As for this girl Mona, sure, there’s some shtick involved onstage as there’s almost always a vociferous audience out there who pays the bills, but this girl/lady can sing. Really sing. And perform without shining a light on herself. Her talent does that. And her personality.

Definitely go see the band. They’re very very good. But Mona, she’s special. She can travel further. Maybe she will. It will happen.

#BBJazzBar #nightlife #HKnightlife #music #LKF #Hongkong