In Search of My Lost Time: Underground Music, Hong Kong, Live House

A long time ago (precisely in my teens) I used to hang around in live houses to watch concerts of underground rock bands, at the time I was hardly into Canton-pop unless the older ones as they have greater authentic feelings. Instead at the time I listened to many rock and heavy metal music at the time, range from Metallica to Visual Kei.

I believe it was a lady call Kay that I known online who first suggested to me about attending these concerts, the first one we went together was for supporting a friend of hers. She was performing with her band call The Hurricane, but we didn’t make it to the concert until just after they finished. Yet this incident marked my beginning of the association with underground music scenes in Hong Kong.

As industrial works are moving up north to China, many industrial buildings in Hong Kong left empty and abandoned, some live houses rent these spaces to give people with dreams and passions for music to perform. I then made many friends by attending the scenes, based on the passion for music we held and our rebellions toward the general orders of the world. Many of them were good people with diverse backgrounds, in the music everyone was hardly different from one another in status.

I attended a few more within the space of five or six years, mostly during the summer as I often back in Hong Kong for summer holidays, as a result I got to be very lucky to catch at least one show to attend. Beside this, often industrial building have very poor air ventilation in their corridors. Sometimes it depended on your luck if the live house have air-conditions, as often we have to watch the show with great sweat (logical but unbearable). Sometimes this would put me off from attending, as it really tested the patience of my body – my skin would rash with too much sweat often.

Not sure what was the reason or when did it began, many of us began to drift away to find purposes of our lives. Some went on to work and live as if nothing changed, some found new purposes in their lives and fight for it…Sometimes I think of these people, these memories when looking at those photos I took for live performances in different live houses in Facebook. As if À la recherche du temps perdu for Marcel Proust, I silently taste the memories…

(Songs from independent Hong Kong band I found available in Youtube, apologies most/all in Cantonese): (Misery – Foolish) (Misery – Til the end of the World) (Reverie – Smoke Circles) (Paranoid – Caged Butterfly) (Paranoid – Love Letters) (Paranoid – Red Leaves/Maple) (The Hurricane – Sorrow)


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