Hong Kong Beat mobile disco bangs its head with heavy metal and rap metal for Wild Wednesday

Not the most requested of music genres for a mobile disco, but when a school grad party organising committee asked “can you play something for the head bangers?”, this is the set I put together. 

Heads were indeed banged.

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco raw and rocking with 70s UK pub rock

For this Wild Wednesday I’ve put together a set I’ve been meaning to do for along time, 70s UK pub rock, precursor and progenitor of UK’s punk rock movement.

As the image of UK, and especially London, changed with the passing of the 60s from a swinging town of pop and psychedelia to a far more honest image of a gritty urban sprawl, beset with extremes of poverty and wealth, unemployment, racial tension, and largely run by vicious gangsters, moods of people in the rock and roll business also began to rebel against the psychedelia and corporatization of rock with big venues, the glitzy costumes and make up of glam-rock, and the (viewed by some) pretentiousness of ‘out-of-touch’ progressive rock.

This gave rise to a return to live rock and roll at smaller venues, mostly around north London and it’s near environs, hosted in traditional pubs that had been around decades, if not centuries, and who were themselves struggling to keep open.

By the mid 70s, pub rock, as it had been christened, had become a strong movement although it’s proponents failed to gain any notable chart success or even, in most cases, make any commercial releases. Consisting of older rock and rollers who had started out in the 60s and who had become dissatisfied with the music industry, and new raw – some would say unskilled – talents, they epitomized the ordinary working class in spirit, music and style.

But it was short lived. Having reached prominence by around 74 or 75, a year later the pub rock movement spawned the punk scene with bands like the Sex Pistols who had played live support act to a number of the pub rock bands, but who felt that they had failed to attack the big venue corporate rock industry and anyway, in the words of Sex Pistols’ guitarist Steve Jones, “the chords were too complicated”, meaning I guess it was still not raw enough. I know where he was coming from… I could never get my fingers around those minors and 7ths.

Some pub rock bands and band members, notably The Stranglers, Joe Strummer, Ian Dury, and Elvis Costello, transitioned to the punk rock movement and, later, to the new wave era, and although some of the pub rock bands were getting critical acclaim by the late 70s, the movement was largely unseated by the punk explosion that had taken over playing in the same pubs.

If you’re into naming genres, pub rock has since been called ‘proto punk’ but if, like me, you prefer to call things as they were then it will always be ‘pub rock’, raw, belting extorted sounds, fag ends and sawdust on the floor, strippers between bands, and a pie and pint – or ten – before heading off for a late night curry or, if you didn’t “look right”, ending up in a fight.

Now, where’s me jack handle?

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco puts on its loons and tie-die with 60s classic rock

If you ever played a record (“eh? What’s that then grandad?”) on one of those turntables below, almost certainly you were born in the 50s and brought up in the 60s, you little Baby Boomer you.

This was a time of hippies, rockers, mods, screaming female fans, free rock festivals, Carnaby Street fashions, Twiggy, Bardot, Hockney, Warhol, Mao’s Red Book, Black Panthers, riots in the Sorbonne, war, anti-war protests, and the birth of some of the most influential bands and music of the contemporary popular music era.

Wild Wednesday jumps back and go-gos to the sound of my formative pre-teen and early teen years with some classic rockers.

Yeh baby, light my fire.

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco pogoing to German punk and new wave – Neue Deutsche Welle (NDW) – for Wild Wednesday

At the time of the punk music movement growing in UK in the late 70s, Germany was still divided ideologically and physically by politics and a wall.

Not so with rock music as West, and especially East, German rock bands took to the anti-establishment rawness of punk and new-wave, spawning their own blend of punk, new-wave, euro-rock and traditional German hard rock, to be known by the movement as Neue Deutsche Welle –  German New Wave – and abbreviated by anybody with trouble pronouncing it to NDW 🙂

Starting out as an underground music movement, as the 80s rolled in it became more influenced by electronic rock and mainstream as record labels jumped on the bandwagon, producing factory-made one-hit wonders. By the mid 80s it had been abandoned by its proponents, but its influence can still be felt in later waves of punk rock and in dance-punk.

Wild Wednesday presents a little selection of some avant garde and commercial and tracks from the movement.

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco presents Millennial rock this Wild Wednesday

Some say rock and roll is dead and there’s no good music these days, well here’s 10 tracks since the turn of the Century from (mostly) Millennial rock bands that would suggest otherwise.

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco moshing with 90s/00s alternative and indie rock

Sometime back in the 80s rock musicians became fed up with the corporatization of rock music by the major labels, and began to break away, both in terms of the sound and control of their music, producing some of the best rock music acts and, in my opinion, rock music since the 60s/70s.

Hong Kong Beat leaps into the mosh pit of alternative and indie rock with a selection of personal favourites from the nineties and noughties for this Wild Wednesday.


art source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/169236898468655336/

90s garage house spins its way into your soul, with Hong Kong Beat mobile disco for Thumping Thursday

Amidst all the heavy beats and strobes of the rave scene, there was some very fine soul dance music being made in the early 90s, in the shape of US garage house, by some great gospel-voiced ladies, produced by some of the best DJ/producers in house music at the time, Todd Terry, Roger Sanchez, Larry Levan, and of course, Frankie Knuckles, to name just a few.

Back in 2010, I was asked to play a short garage house set at a wedding of some French friends in Bali, and this is it.

Good music isn’t dead while people are still playing, dancing and listening to fine tunes such as these.

Paradise found.

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco pays tribute to Chris Squire, influential progressive rock bassist of Yes.

Whether you think 70s Brit progressive rock should be hailed as the new classical music or was just pretentious uni boys twaddle, it was nevertheless a power house that moved 60s hippie rock into more extrovert and experimental sounds, while still driving the rhythms and banging the rocks.

It widely influenced later music genres and many artists (for example, just listen to the growling bass on Motown’s ‘Love Machine’ by The Miracles, and compare it to Chris Squire’s lick on Roundabout, and tell me that was just coincidence), while the names of individual band members are as famous as the bands themselves: Chris Squire and Jon Anderson (Yes), Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel (Genesis), Robert Plant and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Brian May and Freddie Mercury (Queen); to name just a few!

So, in memory of Chris Squire’s passing this week, and unlike the usual 30 minute/10 track or so format, this Wild Wednesday presents an extended set ignoring the record label defined limits of LP play time and numbers of tracks, just as the prog rock artists did back then.

Bang your head and turn the amp up to 11.

Artwork: Roger Dean tumblr_ml899gxO551qi1o4io4_1280

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco, revvin up the Beezas with some 60s Rocker’s favourites

The musical taste of the UK’s 60s Rockers movement was heavily influenced by 50s US rock and roll, and they developed their own ‘caff’ racer culture with legendary British motorcycles like the BSA Gold Star, Norton Triton and Triumph Bonneville.

This is part 3 of a 60s ‘Merseybeat, Mods and Rockers’ themed gig from a couple of years back, and couldn’t get any greasier.

Here, wipe yer hands on this…

Wild Wednesday gets hot with classic summer rock from Hong Kong Beat mobile disco

Slip the shades on, turn the top down, turn the music up and cruise to your favourite summer hangout with these classic rock tunes for summer.