Sunday, 15 May 2011

Hong Kong In The 60s / The Sunny Street – 27 April 2011, The Social

Huzzah! We are at a Sonic Cathedral night and Hong Kong In The 60s are launching their debut album. This is exciting as HK60s do interesting things like collaborating on a Ghost Box Study Series seven inch with The Advisory Circle, supporting The High Llamas, and releasing intriguing e.p.s that feature the sound of hospital ward jazz cocktail parties. They also have a selection of delicately constructed mind-stroking tunes.

Unfortunately their album ‘My Fantoms’ hasn’t actually been released in time for this launch, so we can’t get our hands on it. However, we do get a free mix cd and some tasty Chinese sweets – behold the White Rabbit!

We also get to enjoy visuals courtesy of a HK60s-chosen DVD flickering in the corner of the room. It’s giallo ‘triumph’ ‘Hatchet For A Honeymoon’ in all its stylish gory glory. It’s also a highly inappropriate backdrop to the sweet-heartedly elegant sounds of The Sunny Street. Whilst they swathe us in blossom-scented dream-pop behind them a man in bridal drag wields a bloody post-murder hatchet. Incongruous!

The Sunny Street are three boys with guitars, a backing track and Delphine up front whispering sherbet vocals over Acid House Kings style bossa-indie. When they woosh and build, guitars a-twangle it’s like New Order gone all continental and Goddard-ish or The Radio Dept having a sun dappled picnic.

Hong Kong In The 60s channel vintage Chinese pop, the otherworldly tones of Broadcast, unsettling film soundtracks (hence the giallo shenanigans) and a hint of kosmiche through a selection of cranky keyboards. Mei Yau sings in a wistful tone and they flood the room with contemplative, slightly melancholic hypnagogic dust motes of sound. The best bits are when Tim and Chris throw in some harmonies allowing the songs to flourish, and when Tim adds twangly, gooey bass bumping up the driftyness into something almost funky in a ‘Long Hot Summer’ sort of way (‘You Can Take A Heart But You Cannot Make It Beat’).

We spend an enjoyable time, lulled by the sleepy electronic atmospherics, peeking into the cabinets of curiosity that are HK60s songs. By the end of the set there’s a general air of thanks for the sweets, can we have the album now please?

P.S. Yes we can have the album now please. It is out!

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