One of the great things about the Hong Kong night life scene is the number of bars offering live music by locally based and often part-time musicians, from folksie-blues rock and rollers at pub venues around Wanchai and LKF/SoHo, like The Wanch and Backstage, to local indie hip-hoppers, usually in almost “underground” or, at least, limited exposure venues hidden among the higher floors of commercial and residential buildings of Mongkok and other former industrial areas of Kowloon, providing a mix of their own music or remakes of old classics.
The jazz scene in particular is of a very high standard with traditional, Dixie and smooth jazz being offered by rolling acts at The Fringe and Grappa’s Cellar, and some very well known international acts love the scene in Hong Kong because it is so intimate. If you haven’t rubbed shoulders over a pint with Georgie Fame in between sets in a Hong Kong jazz bar, you must be living in a monastery!
In many of the more commercial bars though you will find many cover bands made up from highly accomplished Filipino musicians and singers, who often sound as good, if not better, than the originals, and covering everything from Black Eyed Peas to Nirvana in terms of commercial and style spread.
During the 90s, a group of friends and myself used to frequently hang out at Hong Kong’s Dusk Till Dawn bar, which had a rotation of two or three bands a night and was one of the best venues for these cover bands, especially with a happy-hour two-for-one deal from 6 to 10 pm, then again from 1am until closing, all with great live music throughout the night.
I put this 90s alternative rock and grunge set together as a tribute by the real acts to the wild nights in Dusk Till Dawn and the great music played by those cover bands.
For more info on Hong Kong’s great live music scene, pick up a copy of HK Magazine for free at any coffee shop or most bars/pubs, or go to their website.
For now, sit back and enjoy a little rock and rolling, 90s style, for Sunday Selection 🙂