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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 11:33 am 
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Bo Ningen @ Hidden Agenda ~ March 23, '17

by Nick the Bookman, edited by Lamma-Gung

"Did you miss me, when I was away? Did you hang my picture on the wall? The short answer is probably no and no. Anyway, this couplet of some rock lyric has taken up residence in my brain and is basically unremovable. At least until I remember which song/group it comes from. Your help is gratefully appreciated. Come and inter-act. Now that's out of the way, it's time to end my lexicographical absence from the Lamma news page. So, let's go. We'll start with the return of BO NINGEN to Hong Kong on 23/3/2-17/ At Hidden Agenda for the very reasonable price of $320 a ticket. They made their debut at Clockenflap 2015 and I bigged them up as much as I could. And, it was worth it. They are stunning. Even more so, when one of the guitarists broke a couple of strings and had to retire, bloody but unbowed, from the musical fray. The other three looked at each other, smiled their secret smiles and took the rest of their gig into OverDrive... When shit happens, embrace the excreta. Get into guana. Trample turds under toes. Put on a show for the ages. And now they're back...

I arrived at the new Hidden Agenda about an hour before show time. No ticket, but I felt confident. And I found someone with a spare who took my money and got me inside. I'd already had a brief chat with BN's Taigen, the bassist/vox and Yuki, the other lead guitar. Very pleasant lads. Excellent English. Learned during their ongoing sojourn in London. There's a good crowd. So big hi's to Frankie and Julie (?) who took the photos for this piece. Greetings also to Louisa who told me our paths had crossed at previous gigs. She also said she made all four gigs earlier in the year that I wanted to attend but couldn't due to domestic dramas and no brass in pocket. That was a good week that was. Featured Tangerine Dream's debut local concert. A memorial for the late Edgar Froese. Followed the day after by the first return of Japan's one man band Logic System since 1985. I was at that gig at the A.C. Hall. Couldn't manage the double. The next night was the Damned's first gig in HK since 2012. Going head to head with the debut of The Kills. Again, unable to attend. Perhaps Clockenflap could re-book The Kills for later in the year? I'm sure Louisa would like to see their complete show. Also a metaphorical sharing of the spliff to Ham. Jerome, Marcin, Peter and J.C. for scribbling heartfelt but illegible salutations in my book. And for raving about David Boring, the local opening act.

David Boring are a quintet who've been together for four years now. They are Janice on vocals. Sings like Kim and sway grooves like Chris from Sisters of Sharon. Breathy vocals at times and a magnetic stage presence. Jason and Wa are on the metal guitars and Panicube and Stan knit everything together on bass and drums respectively. It was one hell of a show as Marcin explains; "The most amazing band on the HK scene. Polish(ed) rock but so fresh and uplifting. A killer band". Definitely one for the noiseniks. The drums are rapid and non stop. The guitarists are either flat on their backs playing along or madcap pogoing in the corner of the stage. Without dropping any beats. Janice is on her haunches peering around at the audience. Silent and still and then exploding into a fresh display of vocal gymnastics. Which resulted in near manic call-and-response antics from the madly pogoing crowd in front of the stage. The quintet shake it up and take it down. The tempo ranges from funereal to stratospheric. Absolutely captivating. Dave, if you're reading this, you should book them for Lamma Fun Day. Seriously. They've just released their debut album at Triple XXX. I'm hoping to get a copy ASAP.

There was a brief break and BO NINGEN took the stage. Think David Boring with one less member and amp up the tempo. Their set was brutal, balletic, atmospheric, over the top and how these long haired maestros didn't choke themselves with their tresses becoming entangled in their strings I do not know. The other two members are Kohhei on guitar and Monchen on awesome percussion. I mean this guy plays the drums so hard and fast without fainting or passing out. He must exist on a diet of Energiser Bunnies coz he just didn't stop. Or maybe his make up consists of half a dozen Magnuses (Magnusi?). But he's very quiet off stage. Did his portions and then chilled out. Yuki and Taigen provide most of the guitar pyrotechnics. Playing behind their heads. Lying on the floor. All the little Hendrix at Monterey snippets of joy. Aside from wrecking their guitars or setting them on fire. Taigen is his usual on stage cross-dressing self. but ends the show stripped to the waist and then comes to the merchandise desk and signs autographs and poses for photos. There was also a live recording he made with a member (name forgotten) of Acid Mothers Temple. Quite enjoyable electronic drone and muted percussion. I got a copy. Incidentally, Acid Mothers Temple was the ONLY other band I ever saw at Hidden Agenda - the old Hidden Agenda.

And speaking of which, what the fuck was the recent Immigration and Police OVERKILL raid on HA all about? How much money did the gullible tax payers cough up for this bureaucratic muscle flex? Why can't the Government extract its collective digits from its bummed out nether regions and find some way to allow these premises to be used for music gigs? Ease the legislation The bands who come are certainly putting the "industry" into these buildings. They work hard for their money. I presume they're being paid for their labours. Other money will cover the rents. The fire risk at the present Hidden Agenda is remote. You walk off the street into a ground floor mallway. Hidden Agenda has a door on the right. Go inside. There's a stage and a seating area with tables at the left. Mixing consoles at the back of the room. It's about as convenient as walking into the Fringe Club in Central. I've been to some DJ gigs in Causeway Bay on the tenth floor of a small building. A potential fire there is scary. Hidden Agenda isn't set up like that. I think Steveo is one of the music industry's unsung heroes. He's put on shit loads of gigs. He employs people. I guess taxes are paid. The licensing of international bands coming to HK could be streamlined if all parties want to make these little hardcore music scenes work well. I guess the current Government must get pissed off at being unfavourably compared to the Rule of the Brits. But their track record of corruption, detestation and incompetence at the HIGHEST levels speaks for itself. The ongoing disdain of the super wealthy for our craven bureaucracy Add the continual tweaking of the One Country Two Systems from Beijing and the former Brightest Jewel in the British Empire is starting to look tarnished. In fairness, the parts of the Government that do work very well are organised pragmatically and not subject to incompetent tinkering. I hope Hidden Agenda doesn't have to close. It's a vital part of HK's musical heritage. Good luck guys...

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