The Cantopop quartet rock Macpherson Stadium
For a bit of pre-Christmas Cantopop, get yourself over to MacPherson Stadium on December 13, where longtime Hong Kong favourites Rubberband take to the stage. Formed in 2004, Rubberband are one of Hong Kong's longest running modern Canto groups. Since signing to local label Gold Typhoon in 2006, the now four-piece have released nine studio albums, including this year's Gotta Go.
The new album, much like most of their releases, spans string-drive ballads, soft R'n'B love songs and driving electro-rock anthems sprinkled with jazz drum solos. It's very much this eclecticism that has garnered them their success over the years. With over 1.5 million plays accrued on their Spotify page alone, Rubberband represent a style of Cantopop that is, in many ways, more complex than most tracks heard on local radio.
Some songs fuse crunchy, Queen-like guitar solos with sunny pop melodies; others share skipping blues basslines with silky-soft love duets. Underneath the surface, their songs are a delicate mixture of all kinds of genres. Composed meticulously, with carefully arranged chord sequences, they carry with them lyrics that have, in the past, caused some controversy, containing much social and political commentary. Having lost a fair amount of support on the Mainland as a result of their rather public pro-democracy views, 2014 saw the group shifting their focus to the trifles of technology in modern Hong Kong. Unfailingly committed, RubberBand are one of the few bands left, along with the likes of Beyond and Dear Jane, set on preserving and spreading Cantopop culture. Jules O'Brien