Saturday, 25 September 2010


Fuzzy Lights w/Hong Kong In The 60s|||| Buffalo Bar, Islington |||| Friday September 24, 2010
2/3 of Hong Kong in the 60s
London-based trio Hong Kong In The 60s are out to seduce the audience, oh so shyly, with their super-sweet electro pop. This is the stuff of Sino-Japanese kitsch daydreams, with a timidness heightened by the band's self-deprecating and whispered banter between songs. Mei Yau Kan, Christopher Greenberg and Tim Scullion (not pictured) all play Casio keyboards over bouncy backing tracks, mostly looking at their hands and each other. Their set could be the soundtrack for the two geeks in class to fall in love listening to, its restraint and measured accuracy both endearing and awkward. Although a Friday night crowd at the Buffalo Bar is perhaps too rowdy to give them a hushed listen, there's an adorable spark to this band.

Follow the link on their name to stream their SoundCloud tracks.

L-R: Blay, Rogers, Carney
The real meat and potatoes of the night, however, have to be Fuzzy Lights. Now, this is slightly dangerous territory since a friend of mine drums in this band- remaining objective was always going to be a challenge. However I can honestly say that the energy this five-piece brings to the stage is electric. Their dynamic builds and shifts are both brutal and haunting: the kind of music that grabs your mind and runs away with it, almost against your will.

At the group's core are married couple Rachel and Xavier Watkins, on violin/vocals and guitar, respectively. Since the band's conception in 2004 they've added Chris Rogers (guitar/vocals), Daniel Carney (bass) and Mark Blay (drums) into the mix. And what a mix it is. The band play with a crackling intensity, eased only when whispered vocals squeeze out a presence above rumbling drums and jittery guitar lines. It's sort of the place where post-rock clashes with folk, pretension-free. With LP Twin Feathers fresh off an August release (Little Red Rabbit Records), it seems the only way is up for this five-piece. Catch them at The Social next Wednesday (Little Portland St, nr Oxford Circus) if this whets your appetite so far.

EDIT: Mrs. Watkins

images courtesy of me

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