Hong Kong Beat wedding and party disco celebrating International Women’s Day with some R&B and dance music

This year, International Women’s Day has perhaps never had more relevance.

Hong Kong Beat expressing support for all women resisting and speaking out against harassment, abuse, neglect, discrimination.

Come on guys, if somebody treated you the way some men treat women, you’d floor them.

Show respect.

Hong Kong Beat

James Brown sang “it is a man’s world”, asserting things like ‘man made the car, the train, electric light, the boat, the ark’…

Unfortunately some men stop thinking at that point, as proof of their supremacy, but James went on to say “it would be nothing, nothing, not one little thing, without a women or a girl.”

He was right, but only to a degree, because, without a woman, none of us would be here. Period.

Men, this is the 21st century. It really is time for us to cherish and respect womankind as an equal.

Wishing all women a happy and hopefully fulfilling International Women’s Day and, although I know there are many parts of the World where this means nothing at all, just wishing that at least one more man will find enlightenment towards our better half.

(Dedicated to my dear wife and wonderful daughter)

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Hong Kong Beat wedding and party disco celebrating International Women’s Day with some R&B and dance music

James Brown sang “it is a man’s world”, asserting things like ‘man made the car, the train, electric light, the boat, the ark’…

Unfortunately some men stop thinking at that point, as proof of their supremacy, but James went on to say “it would be nothing, nothing, not one little thing, without a women or a girl.”

He was right, but only to a degree, because, without a woman, none of us would be here. Period.

Men, this is the 21st century. It really is time for us to cherish and respect womankind as an equal.

Wishing all women a happy and hopefully fulfilling International Women’s Day and, although I know there are many parts of the World where this means nothing at all, just wishing that at least one more man will find enlightenment towards our better half.

(Dedicated to my dear wife and wonderful daughter)

Wishing everybody a Happy and Prosperous Year of the Rooster from Hong Kong Beat wedding and party disco

Talented Idols! – Hong Kong Beat mobile disco’s set from a ‘Got Talent’ themed party

Love them, or hate them, talent shows like Pop Idol, Got Talent, X-Factor and The Voice, have been around for more than 10 years now, and spread to almost every country in the World.

Notorious more for the spectacularly un-talented acts that get the viewer’s attention, some of which even go on to get their own cult-celebrity status, like William Hung from American Idol; and even for the superb acts-that-should-have-won, but get cruelly cut by the whim of the voting viewers; nevertheless they have thrown up some great voices and acts in all kinds of fields, from singers to dance groups, comedians, impressionists and even dog acts. And,  among the singers,there have been quite a number of chart topping hits around the World.

Before Christmas I was booked to provide music for a corporate client’s ‘Got Talent’ themed party, so prepared a set list for the cocktails part of the evening, prior to the company’s own staff getting up to do their thing. So this is Hong Kong Beat’s tribute to Talented Idols.

2016 In Requiem – Hong Kong Beat mobile disco’s tribute to those lost to the World of pop music

To many people, 2016 seemed to be a year that was relentless in seeing the deaths of so many icons of popular music and the arts. To be fair, it wasn’t the fault of the year, but simply that pop culture has been booming since the spread of the radio, then TV and, more recently, the Internet and social media; so that many of the icons of that boom have reached ages where there can be a fair expectation of old age or even premature deaths, especially given the lifestyles of some in those years.

Still, the passing of such icons as Bowie; Prince; the tragic deaths of indie rock band Viola Beach, some still in their teens; as well as some hugely influential promoters of the pop music World; have left us heading into 2017 with fingers crossed that it will be a kinder year.

The list below is long, and the roll call of those departed is noted under the track titles of this all-too-long sound track.

RIP so many talents, jam on…

NOTE – Songs in the set by Madonna, Manu Dibango and Ultravox represent other persons, as noted in the track list and below.

Keith Emerson 71 – pioneering innovative keyboardist with progressive rock giants ‘Emerson, Lake and Palmer’.
Marni Nixon 86 – the ‘greatest ghost singer’ frequently dubbed as the singing voice for the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood, Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn in many of the most famous musicals.
Leandro Gato Barbieri 83 – Argentine jazz musician and songwriter. Best known to many for the soundtrack to ‘Last Tango In Paris’.
Papa Wemba 66 – pioneer in blending African music with jazz and rock styles.
Henry McCullough 72 – musician and guitarist with ‘Paul McCartney’s Wings’.
Dale Griffin 67 – drummer for glam rock band ‘Mott The Hoople’.
Rick Parfitt 68 – The Wild Old Man Of Rock & Roll and ‘the Quo’ in ‘Status Quo’.
Jimmy Bain 68 – bass guitarist of rock bands ‘Rainbow’, ‘Thin Lizzy’ and ‘Dio’.
Matt Roberts 38 – Indie rock band ‘3 Doors Down’ founding member and guitarist.
Tom Searle 28 – songwriter and guitarist for  British metalcore band ‘Architects’.
Kris Leonard 20, River Reeves 19, Tomas Lowe 27, Jack Dakin 19 – all members of  indie band ‘Viola Beach’, tragically killed together in a car accident at the start of a promising career.
Paul Kantner 74 – co-founder of 60s psychedelic rock pioneers ‘Jefferson Airplane’ and later ‘Jefferson Airship’.
Signe Tole Anderson 74 – the original female vocalist for ‘Jefferson Airplane’.
John Berry 52 – original member and inventor of the band name for ‘Beastie Boys’.
Glenn Frey 67 – co-founder of ‘The Eagles’ and writer of many of their hits, as well a successful solo career.
Prince 57.
Robert Stigwood 81 – manager, producer and promoter of many era defining artists such as Cream, Eric Clapton, and Bee Gees; producer of culture defining movies Saturday Night fever and Grease, as well as a string of hit stage rock musicals, including Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair and Evita. Founder of the Robert Stigwood Organisation (RSO) entertainment empire.
Pete Burns 57 – lead singer of 80s new-wave band ‘Dead or Alive’.
Phife Dawg 45 – rapper and co-founder of hip-hop band ‘A Tribe Called Quest’.
Billy Paul 80 – pioneer soulful singer of modern R&B.
George Michael 53 – iconic and prolific singer of  80s and 90s pop music culture as part of ‘Wham’ and later as as a solo artist.
Bernie Worrell 72 – The Wizard of Woo, acclaimed keyboard wizard with the ‘Parliament-Funakdelic’ empire.
David Bowie 66.
Vanity (Denise Matthews) 57 – Canadian dancer, and as part of ‘Vanity 6’, disco-funk music protege of Prince.
Colonel Abrams 67 – 80s and 90s R&B and disco hit artist.
David Mancuso 72 – DJ and dance culture pioneer, founder of the New York loft parties that gave rise to the disco and, later, house music movements. In 1972 he discovered an obscure track by Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango that went on to be one of the most genre defining tracks of the disco and funk genres, and was widely sampled in many later hits.
Rod Temperton 66 – musician with the UK funk band ‘Heatwave’, but also writer for so many iconic dance tracks including, among many others, ‘Thriller’, ‘Rock With You’, ‘Off the Wall’, ‘Stomp!’, ‘Give Me The Night’, ‘Razzamatazz’, and ‘Yah Mo B There’.
Leonard Cohen 82 – visionary songwriter and poet.
George Martin 90 – the man who brought the Beatles to the mainstream, but was also responsible for so many hit tunes by other artists, some you would never guess!
Prince Buster 79 – Jamaican ska pioneer.
Scotty Moore 84 – guitarist from Elvis’ original backing band ‘The Blue Moon Boys’, and who played with Elvis throughout his career.
Bobby Vee 73 – clean cut American pop idol of the 60s, whose break at 15 came as a last minute stand in at a scheduled concert by Buddy Holly, who had just died in an air crash, simply because he knew all the words.
Lee Andrews 79 – leader of 50s doo wop group ‘Lee Andrews & The Hearts’ (and father of Khalib Thompson of the highly influential hip hop band The Roots).
Sharon Jones 60 – ‘The Godmother of Soul’. Big voiced soul revival singer with ‘The Dap Kings’.
Merle Haggard 79 – country music icon. You don’t know country if you don’t know the words to all of Merle Haggard’s songs.
Black (Colin Vearncombe) 53 – 80s English singer-songwriter.
Maurice White 74 – founder of disco funk giants ‘Earth, Wind & Fire’.
Greg Lake 69 – founding member of ‘Emerson, Lake and Palmer’ and pioneer of the progressive rock genre.

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco old-school hip-hop and house set from Billy & Barnaby’s White Party 2016

Hong Kong Beat’s gig set warming up the floor on October 15th 2016 at Volar HK for the 4th White Party in aid of exploited women and children’s charity, Hagar International.

 

90s R&B and hip-hop set from a lunchtime birthday party

Nothing better than gathering the posse on a Saturday lunchtime for some good food and wines to celebrate a birthday… Oh and to spin a few classic hip-hop and modern R&B tunes to get the feet stepping 🙂

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco getting its groove on in a live set from a recent birthday party held at Hong Kong’s Ho Lee Fook Chinese Kitchen, Elgin Street, Hong Kong.

https://www.mixcloud.com/hkbeat/rb-set-from-a-birthday-lunch-party/

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco tribute to David Bowie, Part 2 – The Thin White Duke

I remember the first time I dropped ‘Fame’ at Carriages club, Swindon, not because it was my 20th birthday, not because it segued so well after Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’, but for the number of funk fans who just kept dancing to this great new funky tune… Not that they knew it was Bowie!

I remember even more the astonishment, a few coming to the booth to check the single, when I said “Now THAT was… David Bowie!”.

It was pretty much unheard of me to play anything but R&B artists in those days, and that night we even had a couple of successful UK R&B recording artists in the club who were blown away by the sound coming from a man who, until that moment, had embodied white glam-rock.

Bowie didn’t invent ‘blue-eyed soul’, others like The Righteous Brothers and Frankie Valli had already established that, but the Thin White Duke went on to make the genre his own.

The second part of this tribute shows Bowie in his post Ziggy days, sometimes experimenting with new music scenes, sometimes diving into mainstream dance, but then seemingly just concentrating on his art rather than the showmanship that he had become associated with.

There’s dance; there’s rock; there’s new wave; there’s funk; there’s soul; there’s even a little return to glam-rock; then there’s Lazarus, which surely must be his self-penned epitaph.

So saluté and farewell David Bowie! I hope you all enjoy this fan’s humble thanks for the excitement and delight he’s given over the years.

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco funkin’ it with 90s R&B for Funky Friday

The 90s brought a lot of change in music, in part due to the availability of electronic means of making music and, in a big part, the ability to sample old tracks. This was especially true in dance and R&B, where sampling older funk tracks in the 80s gave musical life to the street poetry of rappers.

R&B by the 90s had developed into several streams (rather than genres I would say), hip-hop/rap, new jack swing, neosoul, jazz-funk/soul-funk being what I would call the main streams.

Underlying all of these streams though were the funky rhythms and bass licks that the 90s R&B artists had grown up listening to with their parent’s music.

Here’s a little selection of funk infused 90s R&B tracks for Funky Friday.

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco celebrates summer birthdays with chilled funk, jazz and soul

If, like me, you have a summer birthday, it was often a bummer when you were a kid – school’s out, friends are maybe away on holidays, ice cream melts too quickly and dribbles all over the floor…

But the one thing that makes summer birthday’s better than any those at any other time of the year is when you are at a ‘real’ party age – there are so many great tunes to party or chill-out to 🙂

So, as it’s my birthday on Tuesday Chill-out today, I offer an extended selection of some of my favourite summer chill out songs.