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 runs silent with hair rock – on a Hong Kong antique tram!

The irony of 80s and 90s hair bands like Guns n Roses and Bon Jovi being broadcast silently over wireless headphones for a silent disco party on board one of Hong Kong’s classic antique trams, was probably lost on people in the streets curiously watching the party goers, wearing brightly lit headphones, on the top deck singing along and rocking out to hair rock on one channel, and grooving to 90s R&B/pop on the other channel, as we trundled through Central, Wanchai, Causeway Bay and Happy Valley.

But who cares when the music was this good… Here’s the 2 hour hair rock set enjoyed by guests 🙂

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco gets its Latin heels on for some salsa and Latin pop!

Steaming end of night Latin set from a five-hour Latino birthday boy’s party at El Loco Gringo, Hong Kong, February 2016.

Another tequila shot? Whatever you say… aye, aye, aye, aye… si si senora!!!

 

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco has added info on bar/bat mitzvahs to its Parties & Events page

Thinking of holding a bar or bat mitzvah in Hong Kong and need a DJ or disco for the party?

Here  are the comprehensive music, DJ, MC, lighting and audio services that Hong Kong Beat mobile disco has to offer.

http://wp.me/P5dgal-pD

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco has updated its Disco Packages page

Hong Kong Beat has added some flexibility to the package and pricing structure, recognizing that some clients only want a music option for a few hours, and not the full big blowzy production of the full ‘standard package’ – which is now named the Party Package 🙂

Take a closer look at the Disco Packages page to see what is offered

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?

Why should you choose a mobile DJ for your Hong Kong event or party?

You’re organising an event or party, like a wedding, Christmas dinner, New Year party, charity ball, milestone birthday party, fashion show, product launch and you want to have music to get it moving – so do you need a mobile DJ, or do you think a venue’s resident/recommended DJ is good enough?

In this blog, I’m going to share my experience of more than 30 years in mobile and resident DJing for all kinds of events and parties in Hong Kong, UK, and around Asia, to all age groups and cultures, with the hope that it can guide you to make the best choice to fully satisfy your needs.

For the vast majority of people in Hong Kong holding a private event or party of some kind, the only real options for venues are hotel ballrooms, restaurants, bars and members sports/social clubs.

Making the choice can be an easy one if you’re a member of a club, or have a solid recommendation or a favourite restaurant, bar and so on, and if satisfaction with the venue location, look, food/drinks quality and value are your only concerns, well, it will be a no brainer towards making the event a success.

But if music plays any part at your event or party, whether it is just guest appropriate music for pre-dinner cocktails; mood and background music at a shop opening, product launch, or networking event; or dancing is wanted during the party at some point of the night… Then choosing the right music provider is often a tricky choice to make, as so few people actually know a DJ and all too often it is left to an inexperienced or badly-informed person to make a recommendation!

In many cases, a venue will often recommend and may try to insist on, you using their resident DJ, or a DJ they have worked with before.

Now, there is nothing generally wrong with that as a venue also wants to work with trusted service providers, but sometimes and often in my experience, the venue manager or F&B department doesn’t really know much about their recommended DJ or whether – and this is most important – he will be a good fit for what the client wants.

After all, their main concern is not your full satisfaction with the music provider as that is usually secondary to their own prime service delivery: food and drinks. So you could easily end up with a DJ with inappropriate knowledge and skills for your event. Too late to find that out when he turns up in jeans and a snap-back, and starts playing hard-core club music for your Latin themed dinner party and ball…

To make sure that every aspect of your event satisfies your needs, and takes it from being just another event to the most talked about party after everybody has gone home, you need to pay close attention to every aspect of choice of service providers, and not leave perhaps one the most noticeable and memorable aspects to somebody else’s judgment.

I’m certainly not saying that every venue resident or recommended DJ is going to do a bad job. No, I expect that in most cases they will do as good a job as they can be expected to do with their experience and in the circumstances, where they have had limited access to the client and the client’s plans and demands, maybe at best passed on third-hand to them.

If the venue recommends a DJ for you, then make sure you get the chance to talk to the DJ directly and assess his knowledge, skills and, most importantly, his willingness to meet your needs rather than just play what he normally plays for the venue on any day of the year. If the venue doesn’t want to put you in touch with the DJ or, worse still, the DJ isn’t interested to talk to you, then I’d recommend looking elsewhere for the music, maybe even venue, option.

Even if you can talk to their recommendation, it makes sense to Google around to find out what Hong Kong has to offer by way of mobile discos and DJs – surprisingly quite a few – and are able to provide a comprehensive music and DJing service, for a decent comparison to the venue recommended DJ.

When you get in touch with them, the important questions to ask are more than “are you available?” and “how much?” but first of all “could you meet me to discuss?” or, at the very least, ask them about the style of music they play and the depth of their knowledge – especially on genres and decades, as guest lists are often multicultural and wide ranging in age and tastes in Hong Kong. You may need to satisfy your septuagenarian Chairman’s Asian wife as much as your teenage international school nieces and nephews!

Another important aspect to ask them about is how they handle your needs, perhaps for theme, music lists, for requests on the night, running order, how much ‘personality’ they inject into the night, and MCing maybe… And don’t forget one of the most important aspects – how does their setup, or how will they make their set up, fit in with the look and theme of your event?

And take note that a conscientious mobile disco DJ, even if he already knows your chosen venue, will also ask to meet with and sort out logistical arrangements with them well in advance of your event, as much to ensure that everything you require him to do is possible and is delivered to your satisfaction, but also to assure the venue that he can be a trusted business partner that they can rely on too.

A DJ should be like any other quality service provider. He/she is not just somebody who plays a few tunes for the night; it should be an integral part of their service that they are conscious of and sensitive to the demands of the client.

Rather than telling you “trust me, I’m a professional” he/she should be able to tell you how they will provide their service, what level of quality they will provide, how they will meet your needs, and how they will satisfy your guests on the night.

If he/she can do that, then they don’t need to profess to be a ‘professional’, they clearly are.

Good luck and happy great partying!

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