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 celebrating the Oscars

Whether you’re a big fan of movies and award ceremonies or not, the Oscars always generate a lot of controversy, either for the nominations, the winners, the speeches, or even just the jokes!

One thing that is never controversial, however, is the music that is either written for, or used in, movies, and over the years there have been original scores by composers such as Howard Shore and John Williams that will sit, come the future, among the classical compositions of foregone generations.

But apart from original scores, popular music also complements the themes and settings of many movies with chart hitting songs, some of which become so iconic that they immediately conjure up scenes from the movie when you hear them: like Nilsson’s “everbody’s talkin’ at me” and a young John Voight in cowboy hat and tasseled leather jacket, shivering in the cold of a New York City street; or the opening strains of Andy Williams’ “speak softly love” counterpointing the brutal tragedy of the epic Godfather series.

So today Hong Kong Beat celebrates the Oscars by taking popular tracks from Best Motion Picture winners across almost 10 decades that were, or became, chart hits in their own right – and surprisingly only 19 winners have a place in this collection, though there are some movies, like Forrest Gump, that have soundtracks almost like a greatest hits collection.

See if you can spot the movies from the song, and which tune appeared in two winners 🙂

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco wishes all its Aussie mates a great Australia Day, with some rocking downunder artists

Strewth, chuck a shrimp on the barbie and crack a tinny or two blue! (Said in my best Barry Humphries/Paul Hogan strine)

Being at the ‘other end of the Earth’ from most of the biggest music markets (Europe, USA), Australian and New Zealand artists haven’t always been greatly popular outside of their home countries, or even known – obvious exceptions of course. But there’s always been more to music from Downunder than the Bee Gees, Kylie, or AC/DC, quite a few that people didn’t even realise were Antipodean.

So, to celebrate Australia Day what better way than to chuck a few rockers on the decks and enjoy some great Aussie and Kiwi pub and new wave rock.

She’s bonza mate!

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 salutĂ© 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 goes to the movies with iconic rock movie anthems

First blogcast of 2016 finds Hong Kong Beat in a rocking mood, and inspired by digging back into some classic, and some raspberry blowing, movies from the past, digs out a little personal selection of iconic rock anthems from the movies.

And what a great idea for a party theme night!

Some of these were bigger success than the movies themselves!

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco wishes all its listeners and followers a very merry Christmas!

There’s a lot of Christmas music about, and even artists you wouldn’t normally associate with cheesy Xmas tunes have brought out singles and, in some cases, whole albums of music – some are cheesy remakes of traditional classics, others soulful or funky, others brand new quirky, raunchy and riotous tunes.

In the spirit of Christmas partying and music for all clientele, Hong Kong Beat presents a 90 minute set from a recent Xmas party, of remakes and originals from (mostly) more contemporary artists foot-tappy, finger-snappy,  Xmas music for dinner, before getting on into the evening for some party music.

So wishing all my family, friends, clients, listeners and followers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year for 2016!

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco presents 2015 K-pop

K-pop… Images of cutesy girl groups, outrageously-styled boy bands, and PSY… are what are conjured up in most people’s minds, mostly unfamiliar with the music scene in South Korea, often mixing up Japanese ‘para para’ music culture with k-pop.

While some of those images might be pretty close to home – except for the ‘cutesy’ look, with more and more music videos by girl groups  being restricted to showing after the evening watershed – popular music in South Korea, and especially dance music, has been incorporating western rap and techno since the 90s, and in the 21st century has developed  a recognizable ‘Korean wave’ urban sound, incorporating hip hop and rap, as well as techno and electro, beats and riffs either blended with pop, or just produced as outright urban dance tracks.

Here’s a 30ish-minute selection of some of the urban sounds of 2015 K-pop.

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco in a Caribbean beach party mood

Yeah, I know it’s almost Christmas and freezing cold in many parts of the World, but it doesn’t matter how cold it is, a bit of cheesy-flavoured calypso, zouk and meringue party music will always get the sun smiling again.

This is an edited 1-hour set from a Caribbean-themed beach party, recorded during the limbo competition.

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco celebrates St Andrew’s Day with some bannockburn belters

So much great music to choose from on this St Andrew’s Day, so 2 hours of belting rock from some of Scotland’s best bands from the past 40 years or so.

So, nae mere muckin aboot, get reet inta yit!

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco celebrates Thanksgiving Day

A group of economic and political refugees, having survived an intrepid sea journey, found and gave thanks that their new country was bountiful, if not without dangers and mistrust from the local populace.

Now wind back 400 years…

So started the modern American tradition of Thanksgiving, though it traces its roots back to the puritans under Henry VIII, and back even further to pagan rituals before Christianity ‘borrowed’ them.

Music can be a form of thanks, either in the sentiments of a song, the words or just the associations, so Hong Kong Beat mobile disco would like to offer thanks and cerebrate Thanksgiving Day with a little offering of tunes about being thankful for friends, harvests or just for being.