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 Post subject: Zurich @ The Island Bar
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:35 pm 
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Location: Pak Kok Village
Zurich Live, The Island Bar, Sun, Nov 26, '17 ~ by Nick the Bookman

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I've been a wee bit distracted the past few days. Things not working out in terms of book sales or moving jobs, so it comes as a pleasant surprise to be told that there's a very g good gig taking place in The Island Bar. If I remember correctly, it's Sunday 26/11/2017 and Aussie Kelly has mentioned that Brad is hosting a band called Zurich. They'll play in the same spot where all the other wandering minstrels and jobbing musos play. Right by the toilets. No slur intended. The band(s) can get plugged in easily. There is space enough to set up the kit. And the easily entertained and appreciative crowd can roll back in waves out onto the street. And it;s a tightly packed full house of sorts. Around about 80 people, but classy spectators one and all.

As I said, the band is called Zurich. Not quite sure how they got the gig. Most likely through Brad (our Genial Host) and a possibly bulging filofax of assorted names and occupations. Nah,I'm making all of this sort of ...up. Add to the free word count of this review. Dazzle you lovely readers with many words, disguising the failure to do much research. That's the Lamma way. Wing it and Sing it! Play it and Slay it! Leave the fans pleading but not bleeding! Miguel, one of the magnificent Midlife Crisis Cowboys, is doing a short opening act. As I arrive, he's providing the opening entertainment. A mighty enjoyable version of "Cocaine" on a finely strummed acoustic guitar. And soothing, if mournful vocals. Can't recall what else he played as I've slipped away to drink two beers outside and pass the half hour or so before the headliners do their stuff.

Did I mention that the band is called Zurich? (Yes! Get on with it). They are a trio: Adrian Banks on lead vocals and bass. Chris Gillett on lead guitar and backing vocals. Leigh Taylor on drums. Apparently Adrian and Chris are brothers. At least that's what someone has been kind enough to write in my book. Accompanying them on this epic stopover in Yung Shue Wan is Lauren James who is a recent recruit to the South China Morning Post's reporting staff. And a delightful lady with which to spend some time. The band hail from Oxford and this is their first Asian tour which has taken in Shen Zhen, Hong Kong island and Yung Shue Wan. They have been in co-existence for three years and the excited crowd has collectively bought all 30 of the CD's they had with them. According to Adrian, they're on an Eighties soundtrip and Depeche Mode is/are one of their key touchpoints. (That's a singular group comprised of at least a trio of members.

The opening number "Runners" is a strong starter, but marred by a rare "technical difficulty. Sorry about that". Adrian has a strong, yet slightly falsetto vocal range. Clear enunciation as well. No mean feat in a full bar of happy jibberjabbering punters enjoying the absolute heck out of themselves. Other songs include "Invisible Man", Menace", "Chemical", "Protocol", "Alone" and an encore of "NYS" (New York Smile). My notes say the songs contain hints of The Bunnymen, House of Love and The Banshees in places.
"Chemical" has a howling buzz saw effect in a mournful key. There are jinglyjangle Byrds-ian riffs, welded to the mighty riffs of early Bachman Turner Overdrive. There's a song I've described as having "plangent death chords" and another which I think the guitar has a "keening pipe sound". Another tune "Small Wars" begins rather like "My Sharona" by The Knack with a drums/chant vox overlaying the beat.

A brief bit of excitement near the end as the first Official Noise Complaint is registered and a single constable bravely enters the heaving maelstrom of bodies, has a quiet word and departs. Problem dealt with a laid back Lamma style. It's time for "Alone", the encore, which ISN'T the lovely ballad by Heart, but more of a fine fettle finale. It ends with Adrian intoning "The robots are taking over. Have a great night. Have a great week. Thank you". And then, suddenly, they're finished, packed up and striding to catch the 2330 ferry back to the dubious delights of Central. I wander down the pier with them. Thank them on behalf of me and all else on Lamma who was there for a fantastic musical adventure Lauren and The Lads. It was a pleasure to enjoy your musical offerings and your company. Wish I had more to say, but I can barely read my five pages of assorted writhy wormy words so this is it. Thanks again and hopefully, haste ye back.

Island Bar Facebook page...

Plus a video by Donna & Chris Foreman:


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