by Alicia A. Beale
The music is here. It’s independent and it’s live. You can find live music in Hong Kong playing every night. There’s venues and there’s some amazing band waiting to blow you away. All That Junk almost always has live bands play at our events so we keep our ears to the ground. We want to show you the bands we’ve discovered on the streets and in the hot live music venues of Hong Kong. Here’s the live music playing in Hong Kong:
Hong Kong Bands You Need to See
Shumking Mansion – They are one of the most talented bands in Hong Kong. If you wish you could have been born in time for the free love movement and deeply enjoy electronic indie dance or psychedelic music like bands such as Empire of the Sun, Nirvana, or Devo.
DP – Are you ready for some rock and roll to hit you in the face? You will never see a band of just two guys rock so damn hard. If you like rock when it was God in the 90s and well if you like Foo Fighters…
The Bollands – Now, here is a band begun in Hong Kong but just like most expats they hit the two-year wall and tour throughout Asia. You can still catch this magic-making musical couple in Hong Kong frequently. If you like folk rock such as Of Monsters and Men…
Red Stripes – To keep exposing the variety of live music happening in Hong Kong, I present you a ska band that’s been bringing big band beats for years. If you don’t want no electro but you love the bass and brass, you should check out this band who’s similar to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones-ish…
9 Maps – Bringing you the softer side of the Hong Kong music with girls and guitars plus a keyboard for melodic indie-folk that sounds like something you should pay for. If you like Tegan & Sara or Daughter, you will be happy you came to see…
Chochukmo – This band is the biggest and most popular band on this list. I probably shouldn’t have them listed here since they’re doing more full production concerts than small live music venues but you know what, I fucking love to watch them live. They’ve lately been incorporating visual imagery and storytelling elements into their shows which keeps each gig fresh and a little uncertain. Yet, I’ve seen them perform simple unplugged shows in the cafe Full Cup and have been entranced. If you had ‘Drive’ as your ringtone because Incubus was everything, you will love…
Where to See the Bands
Orange Peel – This venue is right in the heart of LKF so if you’re new in town living in a shoebox service apartment in Sheung Wan. It’s a perfect beginner’s bar because there’s no hassle on Google Maps to find it. The sound system is professional and rocks. Many homegrown Hong Kong bands play at Orange Peel regularly through Underground HK, a Hong Kong live music event organization that specializes in indie and metal rock. They just brought in the electronic rockers, Fuzz Culture.
2/F, Ho Lee Commercial Building, 38-44 D’Aguilar St, Central
Peel Fresco – This venue is the essence of intimate mainly because it’s super narrow and if the band that night is really good then it’s going to be pretty crammed. If you go on a busy night, get your drinks early! The intimacy of this space as well as the dim decor makes it excellent for live acoustic acts.
49 Peel St
Hidden Agenda – This venue is for those willing to step out and discover well curated music events. It’s moved from warehouse to warehouse space in Kwung Tong. Generally it’s reasonably priced for bands like Bang Gang. The quality of the sound is consistent. The walls are covered in band stickers and random drunk drawings. Your drink is from 7-11 since Hidden Agenda is generally BYOB. Sometimes not but usually worth the effort of trekking out for live music in Hong Kong.
2A, Winful Industrial Building, 15-17 Tai Yip St
The Wanch – Every night there’s live music. It’s a dive bar but hey it’s Wanchai. You aren’t on the HK live music scene if you have never stepped foot inside this legendary venue. Hong Kong’s garage bands cut their teeth here and they’ve gotten their steam, they rock the walls.
54 Jaffe Rd, Wan Chai
Notable venues: Full Cup Cafe, The Hangout, Grappa’s Cellar, Focal Fair, The Fringe Club, Mom’s Live House
Another great recommendation is Moonzen & All That Junk presents Live Rock Music where there’ll be cold draft beer and hot live rock!