Last night at Joyce is Not Here’s regular Saturday night gig, I had the pleasure of seeing another of our city’s great talents Aileen Alonzo. With a really captivating voice, she tells beautiful stories about life and love (and caterpillars in the shower!) The titles of her songs such as Icarus and Alice, are often inspired by mythological stories and fairytales. She mentioned that she likes the idea that these tales relate so closely to real life. I personally enjoyed her set a lot and was impressed by her mastery of vocals, guitar and keyboard. Her passion for her craft really showed through the performance.
During the break, Aileen and her friends Darren and Lei Au (who are also musicians) gave me some insight into the music scene in Hong Kong as they see it. Aileen has been playing for about five years now, doing solo sows, playing in the band Dark Himaya (who’ve just launched a new album), and busking HKs streets. Her next venture is a new band called CLEEN which will play “acoustic glitch” – (Seriously, check this out!) I was impressed by the way she seems to be going for exactly what she loves. She’s just quit her job in a bank after 10 years to focus on music. According to Aileen, the independent music scene in the city has definitely been getting better and better.
Darren who played guitar and sang with Aileen for some of the songs during the gig, is also optimistic about the growing independent scene. He told me about how there used not to be so many indie music venues, except for the Wanch but now there are some great newer venues coming up. In his opinion, the person that has done most for the HK music scene is Chris Bo of the Underground (Something I can’t beleive I haven’t written about yet! Sidenote: watch out for a post). When I asked about his favourite Hong Kong musicians, he mentioned The Bollands, a New Zealand couple who’ve played for months in Hong Kong, and who will soon be moving back to live and play here. They sound like a duo to watch out for.
Lei Au told me a bit about busking in the streets of Hong Kong. She plays mainly percussions and it seems like something she really enjoys. I’ve always wondered about what the experience of busking this city is like. When I asked her, she told me that can be very nerve-wracking at first, but once you get into it and passersby start responding, it’s a great feeling.
I really enjoyed both the performance and having the chance to chat with these musicians. It was inspiring to get the perspective of people who are active in and optimistic about the music scene in the city.
Some links to keep you updated:
I found this gem of a tune from Aileen’s new band, CLEEN (live performance debut in April!)
[bandcamp track=3604555012 bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=4285BB size=venti]