Best places for live music in Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s music scene has grown steadily stronger in recent years, not just in terms of the talent, but also the promoters and platforms dedicated to bringing these acts to those who will listen. While high rent and stringent regulations still make it difficult for the local indie circuit to be as big as, say, New York or London, there is an increasing number of live music venues that are giving a voice to the city’s finest performers. Whether it’s a classy cocktail bar like Foxglove that touts world-class jazz, a casual live house like Lost Stars that champions up-and-coming indie acts, or even boisterous bars like The Wanch and Ned Kelly’s that do classic rock and cheap beers, here are some of the best spots in town to catch a great live music show. RECOMMENDED: From the biggest stars to the coolest indie acts, check out our list of the best concerts and gigs that are happening in Hong Kong.
Playlist: Understanding Hong Kong hip-hop
Your average Hong Kong hip-hop song typically features three common traits: there’s rapping; the rapper is based or born in Hong Kong; and the song likely tackles socio-political issues. But while these traits are certainly helpful in differentiating a Hong Kong hip-hop song from a Cantopop track, are they all that define the genre? After all, although different in style and sometimes subject matter, songs from, say Kwokkin’s HK Estate of Mind and MastaMic’s Jungle both convey, in some form, what it’s like to live in Hong Kong through the filters of hip-hop. Want to know the various styles and artists that comprise modern Hong Kong hip-hop? Read on... By Michael Cheuk
The best albums by Hong Kong bands of 2018 so far
Ska, rock, indie, rap and pop – despite what many say, it's a great time for music in Hong Kong with a bevvy of genres being represented in quality new releases from bands based in the city. With that in mind, here's our pick for the best LPs that have been released so far this year.
Upcoming live music events
Craig David presents TS5
While he was a much bigger name in the 2000s, Craig David made something of a comeback last year with his hit album The Time is Now, which featured radio-friendly tunes like Heartlines and I Know You featuring Bastille. The Brit singer is making his debut Hong Kong appearance this February, bringing his TS5 show to our shores, which sees him showcase everything from his old school anthems, like 7 Days and Fill Me Up, to garage and house tunes. He’ll be singing, MC-ing, DJ-ing and working the crowd all through the night.
British duo Honne, made up of members James Hatcher and Andy Clutterbuck, are set to play at MacPherson Stadium in February. Influenced by artists such as Al Green, Michael Jackson and Bill Withers, the two are known for bringing soul and synth together in their tracks. Get ready to sing along to songs from their recent release, Love Me / Love Me Not.
Bob James Trio
Grammy award-winning jazz pianist Bob James is set to perform at the Applause Pavilion at Ocean Park. Along with bassist Michael Palazzolo and drummer Ron Otis, James will be playing hits such as Angela, Take Me To The Mardi Gras and Nautilus. Even if you’re not familiar with jazz, you might have still come across James’ music, which has been sampled by the likes of Run-DMC, Missy Elliott, Beastie Boys and Will.I.Am.
The Illustrious Blacks
Known for their extravagant outfits, fusing futuristic funk, house and pop with dance and theatre, as well as being unapologetically themselves, the acclaimed musical duo (and real-life married couple) are bringing their incredible energy and DJ sets to Hong Kong for the first time. Look forward to performances of their hits like Black Like Jesus and Revolutionary Love, which helped catapult them into the mainstream music scene, at what looks to be a cosmic night. Plus there’ll be special performances from Ophelia’s favourite Drag Queen, Miss Midlevels too. It’s free entry but make sure to RSVP.