Rebirth of Cool

Presented by

Last updated on 10 Mar 2006

About Me
Press Clippings
Photo Gallery
Music Reviews
DJ NixMixes
Marilena's Art


Rebirth of Cool with Dig and Mothership  (16/10/1993)

Saturday 2320: 16/10/93. After a year of prevarication, I’ve got off the Lamma ferry with my basic Rebirth of Cool fab. Sweaty gear and party head on. It’s time to have fun. This feeling lasts until I reach Lan Kwai Fong. It’s swarming with pseuds of all psorts, getting increasingly out of sorts, under the watchful headlamps of one (1) police van and eyes of six (6) assorted occifers who don’t really want to be there. The word is out. No more Lan Kwai Fong Disasters – the less bloody this upcoming Hallowe’en is, the better. There’s been another raid on Club 64 and all the tables are…not there, but Elvis is, sort of! I feel dislocated – intelligent enough to want good conversation and smart enough to avoid it. My hash dinner is starting to growlprowl through my inner casespace. No point invading the R.O.C. for another 90 minutes. The Hot Spot is still in pre-paration. Ah, Filk it! I’ll start walking to Causeway Bay now – a rolling stroll and a low moron level are all I need.

Arrive shortly before 0100 (Sunday morning, not coming down!). There’s lots of self-important people preening and stamping each other. A gleaming pink ’49 Pontiac (no motor!) has been shunted sideways to make space for the stage. The main attraction tonight is a killer Aussie Acid Jazz Band. Dig. They’re a quiet, unassuming quintet, working out the set list and chatting quietly to each other. No one pays them much attention – am eye the only one who nose who they ear? Nah, I throat not! Mothership are the local support – will they fly the freak flag high? Not a good soundcheck as they’re drowned out by “Money or Nothing” (a very prescient choice as later shows will show!) on the jukebox. The crowd is slowly filtering in, most of them stopping to watch The B-Squad buzzin’ with activity outside.

All of a sudden, it’s 0200 and Mothership are taking the stage…Zoe looks like Morticia Adams’ shorter, sexier sister – black dress and tights, fuck-me pumps, long flowing hair. The witch queen of New Orleans? Kim’s a happy-baggy symphony of spots, her hair alternating between swirls and flounces. Mark’s trying not to bang his head on the ceiling. The band are having immediate sound problems. Jon suffers instrumental impotence as his organ fails him twice late in the set. Mike has a self-confessed “horrible night” as he can’t hear his flute. Tim is the epitome of jazz-cool on sax, but doesn’t look like he’s having a good time. Andrew on bass. Tom on drums and Kumi on percussion are efficient while Iain is adequate, if quiet, on guitar. Part of the problem has been the very late start to the gig. Mothership have been here for several hours and are more alcoholically than musically tight!

It’s back to the DJ’s for a spell, while Dig wait to perform. The low audience turnout has caused a cash-flow crisis. Mickey has to borrow $5,000 from Ric of The Jazz Club to pay the band a retainer, or they won’t go on stage. I’m surrounded by vowel-gar drug/money talk: (“…A!…E!…I.O.U…”). Chrono-distortion is occurring now; strobe-time versus real-time versus drug-time. Dig take the stage – sound is brilliant – people are gobsmacked! – they play so well, just like their CD – some people dance, others stand in front, watching – one Eurasian girl with unfocussed eyes is square-dance/pirouetting in front of me – she’s available? No one wants to sample her wares – two other girls are in ecstatic form – dancing, stopping, cuddling, dancing – and almost endless sax solo – the guitar spirals in and out of the mix – the bass purr-pulse and propels – the drums are rapid, omni-present – the keyboards are a perfect din and tonic – a 3-D swirl of collide-a-scopic sensations! – a whimsical mind-flash of u/c narks under u/v lights busting each other! – there are self-confessed drinkers, dopers, acidheads and ecstasy freaks here – everyone is peaking, but not together – competing waves of emotion, rolling across the dance floor – fractal chaos – no overall cohesive flowmotion!

Dig stands for Direction in Groove. They’re stopping over in Hong Kong from a successful European tour, supporting Hugh Masakela. This quintet has been together a few years, growing out of the jazz-cum-club scene in Sydney. Their eponymous debut EP came out earlier this year and their LP will be ready in ’94. The band consists of Scott (“Great Scott”) Saunders on keyboards and rap vocals. Terapi (“Mr. Groove”) Richmond on drums. Cameron (“The Babe”) Undy on bass. “Big Ricky” Robertson, a Kiwi saxman and “Swinging” Tim Rollerson on guitar. They are coeval, compact, considerably capable, contrasting and compatible. The set highlight for me is “Dreamtime”. It opens with a syntheridu drone that mutates into a cackling kookaburra and other voices. It’s the sound of the Outback, coming to eerie, early morning life. The song grows into a pulsing beat-driven number with a haunting chorus of “…40,000 years is a l-o-n-g time…”. As Spinal Tap would say, it “…puts too much fucking perspective on things!”. Other note-worthy tunes are “Terrified” with its paranoid sax outbursts and “Spy Theme” which is John Barry sort of Clash-ing in Havana (at) 3 A.M.

Scott tells us that we’ve “…been a deeply groovy audience” just before Dig play “Spy Theme”, but I know he’s being polite-ironic. This band did not have the audience it deserved! That’s a quantitative criticism – no slur intended on ANY of the people who were there! Dig should play The Jazz Club at a seasonable hour (not 0330) or somewhere closer to Central so all the trendy-wankers in LKF wouldn’t have to think so hard about traveling to Causeway Bay to see them. Still, live and learn. Mickey says the Hot Spot will be opening earlier for future R.O.C. gigs. If the proposed bands are half as good as Dig, the musical future will be so bright, we’ll have to wear 2 pairs of shades…

Home | Working Weakly | Rebirth of Cool | Second Wanchai Festival | Records | Bob Dylan in HK | R.E.M. in HK | Coca-Cola Sports Awards

Created & maintained by Lamma-Gung of Compunicate!