Monday, July 09, 2007

Aftermath of a great gig!

Words can't even begin to describe my lingering excitement from Saturday's HK Live! gig. I think the level of music exceeded that night at Grappa's Cellar and the band reached another threshold of sophistication.

For one thing, we had a rehearsal this time and our drummer, Joel Haggard, was the perfect blues drummer I had been looking for in HK. Moreover, Paul Candelaria did play his electric upright bass which added more texture to our original blues sound (as original as it can get in HK). In addition, Vincent and Ram had already warmed in their sets so when they started playing, they were already spot on. I detected some fantastic chemistry between the guitar players and the entire Fender v. Gibson concept was never more eminent.

This was my first official gig at the Fringe and we packed the joint with about 300-350 people. Sometimes you can tell when people just come to Fringe for fun or for the music. This time it was definitely the latter. Helter Skelter and Dumb Melon had their fair share of steady fans who support them on every gig. That means more fans got exposed to my music at the end of the night, thanks to the two bands. The highlight was after we did 6-7 of songs, I pulled Jennifer Palor up to the stage, and the whole crowd just went nuts. First, after 2 and a half sets of pure testosterone, it's refreshing to have an attractive female to balance the unevenness of gender on stage. More importantly, the presence of Jennifer also added to the sexiness of the whole thing (well, Vincent himself was sexy enough, but could use dig!).

Musically speaking, I was on a high. It seems every time I played this year I would discover something new to woo the audience. I don't merely want to be a technician (or performer if you will), I want to entertain the audience as well. Blues is not supposed to be boring or intellectual. I was especially delighted when organizer Clare Morin said, "This was the best HK Live! yet. It was the best in terms of musicianship and audience response." C-Chai also put it best when he wrote, "聽到那許多為聽音樂而來的女生的尖叫,是令人興奮的!" Don't forget this is the *blues* we're talking about - a form of music that was invented by the blacks on the cotton fields.

SCMP wrote that one of the reasons I decided to return to HK was to contribute to the culture here; it's true. On a selfish level, of course I cherished the last applause and cheer. On a deeper level, if my music moves somebody after a bad day or makes someone happy after a good day, then I've done my job.

Music cures and heals. There are no two ways about it.

So what have I learned from all this? Nothing except to keep following my heart.

Preview: If you liked when you heard last Saturday, a similar lineup will appear at the Grappa's Jazz Festival on August 17, Friday. The only difference is that Eugene Pao will be playing lead guitar for the band. "Chung Meets Pao" is bound to happen. Stay tuned!

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