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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:20 pm 
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Location: Pak Kok Village
Lamma Fun Day, Sat, Nov 4, '17 ~ by Nick the Bookman

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It's been an early start for the latest Lamma Fun Day. I've been asked to help Sam, who has taken over the restaurant next door to Bali Guest House, to move his table and cooking gear down to the beach. He's one of many people who are serving food (and very good Georgian food at that). So, I've missed out on quite a lot of early stuff while making what will prove to be at least six trips to the Power Station Beach. Pushing a medium trolley (without too much difficulty) laden with pots and pans and serving trays and pieces of wood and tarpaulins to erect his food table. Callit a couple of hours, so I've missed some stuff I think.

By the time I've finished and Sam is up and running into serious foodie appreciation societies, the bands are starting to make some noise. My first stop is on the road where Johnnie is leading a crack band through some of the more interesting versions of his back catalogue. They are billed as "Acoustic-Noodle" and feature Johnnie on lead vox and acoustic guitar. Magnus is sitting on a semi sort of cardboard box, tapping out his impeccable beats and rhythms. Miguel is backing up on acoustic guitar. Gareth is on bass and Ben and Tony B are providing hauntingly jaunty melodies, tootles and partles on trumpet and saxophone respectively. As I arrive, Johnnie is introducing a song about Nancy Kissel, the American Milk Shake Murderess who bludgeoned her rich banker husband to death sometime around the start of the Third Millennium. She's had two trials - guilty both times - and is serving a long stretch of porridge. She won't be returning to the Land of the Fee and the Home of the Slave any time soon. The song was quite frantically pretty though.

Rob, the children's entertainer, is getting ready to delve into his bag of tricks and entertain the kiddies. He's ably supported by lovely wife Peta and their daughter Gemma who is now an adult and based some of the time in Beijing. (Is that correct?) Gemma was one of the first breed of Lamma babies and chatting to her was more fun than merely admiring Mummy's baby bump back then. As I leave on another Sam run, Rob has about 30 or so kids plus happy parents more or less eating out of his hands. I have a note scribbled in my book that reads "Lamma born and bred" which I guess was kindly put there by Gemma.

Several other people have been kind enough to write messages. Daria and Criss say "We moved here to live about two months ago. Big city life brings different emotions,but every day we are blessed to come back to our small heaven. Lamma is a Paradise Place (and) this is our Second Festival". No argument from me there and I'm also happy to indulge Mystic Frank (in his tiny tent) who "made the whole day". I'm not sure how he weaved his magic essence, but things didn't appear to go too badly. He had enough beer money anyway. Finally, twin sisters Sue and Carol from the Isle of Man added their joyful tributes. "What a wonderful day...so friendly and hopefully a lot of money made". From Sue and Carol who says she "enjoys her annual visit to see Tracey Duggan, my fabulous daughter. I love Lamma Fun Day and have been to many previous ones" Well, that;s the kindly gist of what everyone was saying and doing.

I didn't catch all the bands. Can't remember half of them until I read my tee-shirt again. A nice plug for Ruth who gave me a special red tee with all the bands on the back. It's in the wash now. Welsh Tom has offered to swap his white tee for my red one so he can more fully embrace his Welsh dragon-ness or something. I'm afraid Tom, you'll just have to tie dye yours. Anyway, enough sartorial gibberish and a quick segue into the first band I saw which is Red Star Rising.

Always a pleasure when Steve resurrects this fiery blues rock band. He's got one of his best lineups as well with John on groovy bass. He's just started again after years of not playing. Family comes first I guess. Al is providing the mega drummage beats and keeping everything soaring. And there's Dave King who's guesting on fiery harmonica. Steve takes less than three minutes to uncork the first of several spectacular solos on the opening tune "Bags and Belts". Other firm faves of yore include "Megaphone Man", "Finishing Line" and old time raver"When Worlds Collide". Unfortunately, RSR's set is punctuated by occasional power outages which Steve blames on hidden gremlins. I don't know if he got around to playing my favourite RSR song which is "Shopping Malls". Maybe I just missed it while performing another run to Sam's to bring fresh supplies of food. I remember one version Steve did with a previous incarnation of RSR when he produced an astounding sdrawkcab guitar solo. That really pressed all my psychedelic rewind buttons I can tell you. Here's Joycelyn for you.

"This is my first day on Lamma and what a day it's been. I have witnessed the most beautiful people. I have been in HK for three days and what a first weekend it's been". A sentiment echoed by Shankara who says that "HK has been good to me. A city known for its skyscrapers keeps surprising me with all the other things it has to offer. Nature is beautiful and an event like LFD tops it off. Thank you so much city and the sea. Love Shankara". And Ina (?) is mindblown by her "amazing experience. The bands were great. The atmosphere was magical. I loved this event. Please do this again next year". OK chaps, let me be the second to echo her sentiments. Please do this again next year. Ask and ye shall be given.

I've been captivated by a beautiful young lady who is omnipresent by the stage. Turns out her name is Ingrid and she is the vocalist for Opium - the next band I manage to see. She flows and undulates in charming fashion while leading her four sidekicks through some dreamy 'delic rock. There's Bernard on fiery guitar. Stephanie who keeps the bass beats rolling. Him Him who conjures shapeshifting reveries of sound from his keyboard and Hubert who bangs the drums right smartly. They've been playing together for three years and their well-honed tunes include "Shadow", "Fraction of Time", "Sunset Paradise" "Matter of Love" and "Under My Skin" It's like 1967 never went away. Opium describes its sound as Hong Kong alternative rock and you can find them on facebook opiumhk (sorry I can't do the "F" for facebook on this typewriter but you know what the logo looks like. Hope I get another chance to see them again somewhen down the line.

Another short journey for Sam and I have pretty much finished for now. Just in time to welcome back Shum King who haven't played the PS Beach since 2015. Great to hear them again. They seem to have some new tunes and this is a good chance to give them a thorough work out before playing the first day of the forthcoming Flockenclap Festival in Central. The grooves are shaped and kicked around by (?) on the keytar. Sorry, I've misplaced their names and I can't access them from previous gig reviews right now. Their new drummer is breathtaking. Speed and quality control are both immense. His hands are a blur and he never misses the beat. Even does a solo or so it seems at one point.

Have caught up with Keith from The Sleeves (who should be on the line up for 2018 if Dave has any sense. Which of course he does. The Sleeves have finally finished their new LP. Or maybe I hallucinated that bit while chatting away. Anyway. always a pleasure to catch up. I gave him three of my new CD mixes coz he seems to like them for some strange reason. Probably because they ain't too bad. Which can also be said about The Wanchai Warriors with Al doing his second stint as drummer for hire. Thy're rocking the shoreline. Not quite punk. Not hard rock, but lots of stretched out guitar lines. Sort of like The Ruts in full flight was my first instinct. I look forward to further appearances where/whenever.

The fuller than full or larger looking full moon last night has caused a higher than normal tide surge. Which has submerged part of the stage. If you are at noon/midnight o'clock on the watch dial, then the waves are crashing ashore at about eight o'clock. Swamped part of the stage. No electrical problems though, which is well for the few hardy souls who are knee deep in the sea and enjoying the music. And it seems to be a harbinger of more problems as Hedonia can't quite get it together for the headline set. Not their fault. Probably truculent gremloids in the electrical wiring system. And they'e lost their keyboards. Manfully they man up and get a couple of songs, but the shit keeps happening. A pity because when they're in full flow and on fine song tempo, they are really rather good. The problems also continue to plague Jim who's set to DJ the night away. Doesn't happen like that, alas. I've already checked in with Sam who's beaming happily. All the food gone and repeat orders as well. He didn't need me to help pack up stuff and take it away, so all of a sudden, just like that, my LFD is over. Oops, almost forgot to mention that Lena also made it down to the beach. First time in a couple of years I think. So delighted to see her and Eva got a couple of wonderful photos of us together, So ta very much for that kind gesture Eva. Overall, LFD had the potential to be one of the best ever, but things go awry and a possible knock down effect resulted in the auction not being as good as 2016. Jim and Simon managed to raise about HK$72,000. About HK$20,000 down on last year. A shame, but everyone did try their darndest...

Lamma-Gung's photos...
Fun Day facebook page...
From the organizers...


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