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Gig of the week: Christopher Owens

Written by
Graham Turner
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The former frontman of cracking indie outfit Girls, Christopher Owens is bringing his solo show to Hong Kong for the first time tonight. Owens is one of indie rock’s more fascinatingly tragic characters, with a history that includes being born into a fundamentalist cult, serving as a personal assistant to a Texas millionaire and the usual humdrum rock stuff like coke, smack, living in the gutter and generally being miserable due to unfortunate life circumstances.

Owen’s music and musical development is clearly informed by this history. His evocative voice – reminiscent of Elvis Costello with smatterings of Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly and even Morrissey – punctuated with a wounded, raggedy quaver at the back of his throat never feels ham-fisted or overplayed.

That’s the Christopher Owens we got through Girls’ short but sweet stint from 2007 to 2012. But how does he fare as a solo prospect? He remains as charmingly disarming as ever, ticking classic pop boxes while conveying genuine openness – thankfully never falling into emo laceration and instead, delivering his sentiments with conversational directness. All this and more make Owens a very unique prospect and one of the more interesting live shows we’ve had in 2017. We heartily recommend you making your way to North Point’s Mom Live House tonight. 

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