Big Smog Blog
Thanks to Emirates, we’ve been running a competition to give away a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Ten lucky Arsenal fans will get premium tickets to see Arsenal play Kitchee in Hong Kong on July 29 at Hong Kong Stadium as well as meet some of the Gunner’s superstars.
We asked Arsenal fans to send in a photo of themselves dressed up in Emirates x Arsenal gear and received an overwhelming number of entries. And now, we’re announcing the winners.
So, if you see your photo here… guess what? You’ve won! We’ll send you an email soon with a few more details!
Congrats to all the winners – and thanks to everyone who entered.
XXX Saturday July 14
The local indie night Black Bart started out one year ago, and to celebrate the occasion, Black Bart DJs Miklos and Ze Kong with DJ Dustin from Destroyed HK and other guests held a riotous party at the underground club XXX.
A giant Black Bart banner decorated most of the concrete floor while the BB resident DJs were adorned in some fetching Indian headdresses. While they were at the decks, dancers were treated to indie and alternative tunes all night long. We heard plenty of the usual suspects, such as old 'classics' from The Strokes, The Killers and Kaiser Chiefs as well as newer tracks and remixed tunes to keep the placed packed and sweaty.
Fourth of July-style sparklers were ignited every now and then and in the middle of the night the music stopped and the crowd sang a round of Happy Birthday over a cake adorned with a giant streaming candle/small firecracker. Following that, the music kept on going until the last dancer vacated the premises.
Congrats to Black Bart and here's to many more great parties!
AsiaWorld Arena, Tue Aug 24
There was always a fear that the Stone Roses comeback would be a bit of a disaster. Such was the hype and anticipation that had built since Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni announced they would be reuniting the legendary Madchester band last October, promising to ‘shake up the world’. Yes, expectation was rather high – from global fans, pundits, commentators and media alike.
But judging from the baggy legends comeback gig at a rather sparsely filled AsiaWorld Arena, the Roses themselves have felt that weight of expectation too. Like they had regarded this huge global tour – given all the proclamations, propaganda and the inevitable accusations of doing it for the cash – as no ordinary reunion of past greats. Like they had prepared in the most professional and rigorous of ways.
And thus, any fears of a disastrous comeback were annulled early. From the moment they opened (a little surprisingly) with I Wanna Be Adored, they were not quite the live Stone Roses of old, but perhaps the better for it. The Roses circa 1990 had a reputation for being erratic live – but there was no such accusations at the Roses 20 years on. Ian Brown – all baggy-panted, tambourine-wielding and simultaneously skulking and strutting around the stage – actually sounded good. John Squire shone with intricate licks and extended jam improvisations. And Mani, while often looking like a frightened child, and Reni brought that famous swaggering Stone Roses cross-rhythms with impressive sharpness as they ran through all the SR favourites, sung on by the crowd.
The comeback could have been a disaster. But in reality, it may well redefine their legacy as a live act. And Ian Brown’s closing remarks of ‘we’ll be back!’, before promptly leaving without encore, could be seen as further suggestion that the Stone Roses story isn’t over...
I Wanna Be Adored
Sugar Spun Sister
Bye Bye Badman
Ten Storey Love Song
Where Angels Play
Shoot You Down
Made Of Stone
This Is The One
She BangsThe Drums
I Am The Resurrection
Play Thursday July 19
We may not be psychedelic junkies but that’s why we took a trip to Play on July 19. For us, it was all about losing our psychedelic virginity in front of an act which has been deemed by many as super-worthy: Infected Mushroom. The Israeli duo has helped define psychedelic trance over the years and is a massively popular feature in the scene.
Several hours before Infected Mushroom arrived at Play, fans had already gathered to enjoy a burger and play competitive ping-pong and pool (by competitive we mean there was money and anger involved). “They’ll blow your fucking brains out,” a married 27-year-old banker told us over a game of pool. “The idea of psytrance comes from LSD and magic mushrooms. Your brain rewires your emotions and senses. You can smell colour and you perceive sound in a totally different way. That’s what psychedelic music is based on. You don’t need drugs with Infected Mushroom.” At this point, we were more worried than looking forward to the Israeli duo. We weren’t quite sure if we wanted our brains splattered over the floor, mentally speaking.
It wasn’t until 1am that the duo appeared and took over the DJ booth, sending the audience into raptures of cheers and screams. What happened next was a whole different level from what the warm-up DJ had been playing earlier. We couldn’t help but notice a group of men and women next to us bursting into a crazed dance nearly on all fours and head-banging in sync. As we were admiring the two hired dancers on stage prancing about in perfect sync to the beats, the recognisable melody of hit song Becoming Insane slowly crept over our backs, infecting us. Mayhem ensued. The two dancers on stage danced crazier, my new banker friend looked like he was going into a seizure and the occasional screams from the crowd became prolonged permanent cries.
So it was as tripped-out as we’d been told. And the music was as awesome as we’d hoped. With an LSD-like experience like this, if anything, it’s made us curious to try the real thing itself now…
Hidden Agenda, July 13-14
Electrifyingly high temperatures may have swamped many over the weekend, but fortunately for Hidden Agenda and the folks at Maybe Mars, there were still the bright-eyed and restless who were more than happy to trundle themselves along to Kwun Tong for two full on nights of China's edgiest sounds.
Everyone's favourite dilapidated KT warehouse (still fighting – hurrah!) ushered in a handful of the Mainland's most promising bands for Maybe Mars' five year anniversary alongside some top HK talent. Saturday's lineup included HK’s 31G and Beijing’s AV大久保, the latter sounding a little like raw grindhouse layered with slick pulp and pop.
Sunday's gig was a veritable lovefest between music hungry hipsters and headlining band Carsick Cars. Skinny one man show S. Haku, whose trembling vocals clashed in all the right ways against the heavy discordant drones of his guitar, kicked off the show. Next up were local heroes downer, a seven-year effort that has culminated in effortlessly shiny prog-rock sounds. Any band that works with a minimalist girl thrashing it out on the drums gets top marks from us. The vocals were almost lost in the dark and slow instrumentals, but that was perhaps the appeal of their set - like drowning in deep sea waves.
Baby-faced trio Mr. Graceless, on the other hand, showed us upbeat and new-wave pop done oh-so right. Running straight from the classroom to the stage (perhaps), they regaled us with throwaway musical references to Hanson, the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry and Bombay Bicycle Club. They sang, they whistled, they duetted. They couldn't have been more adorable if they tried.
And then, Carsick Cars tore up the room with their experimental indie rock tunes, including crowd favourite Zhongnanhai, presented to us in the rousing encore. They played a couple of songs off You Can Listen, You Can Talk with great aplomb, despite main man Zhang Shouwang being slightly hindered by his foot cast. He still managed to pull off a few experimental riffs using a single drumstick on his electric guitar to great effect.
All in all, a stellar roundup showing Maybe Mars' nose for talent over five successful years. Here's to another five.
We’ve probably called Hong Kong the world’s greatest city a few times in the past – but even we’re surprised by a new report which has just been released. Hong Kong has been bequeathed the title of the world’s ‘most liveable city’ in a move that has raised many eyebrows here and further afield.
The Economist Intelligence Unit releases a biannual global ‘liveability index’ which highlights the best cities in the world to live in. The top spot is heavily coveted but Hong Kong has never owned it. Until now. It has beaten Canadian, Australian and Japanese cities and has left us Hongkongers scratching our heads a little. We love our city, of course, and it should certainly top the ‘most dynamic, lively, fun and awesome’ index but, really, ‘most liveable’? Every day we’re rubbing shoulders with endless streams of people in bustling crowds. We practically live on top of one another. Some days you can feel the stress in the air as you inhale the smog.
However, this is not a criticism piece. It’s a pat on the back! Somehow, we’re number one in a list we could never have dreamed of topping. But how did the fragrant harbour actually finish first while regular heavyweights Melbourne, Vienna and Vancouver failed to even make the top 10? A closer look at the methodology yields some answers. The EIU held a competition to devise a new method of ranking cities. The winner, Filippo Lovato, created new criteria and also omitted 70 cities (including Melbourne, Vienna and Vancouver). So Hong Kong’s really only number one under highly specific conditions. Oh well, we’ll forget that bit: we’re still number one!
Lovato gave his reasoning for Hong Kong’s high score: “Hong Kong, the winner, is a very compact city that has managed to maintain its natural heritage, create a dense network of green spaces and enjoy extensive links to the rest of the world.” Again – really? We can all agree Hong Kong is great, but liveable? Hell, we’ll take it!
On June 15, Time Out Hong Kong had a shoot with Tony Leung Ka-fai in Chai Wan.
Cool garbs provided by Porsche Design and styled by Arthur Tam
Happy to be done?
Video below!Video thanks to Kenneth Chan & photos thanks to Jessie Lau
Hong Kong cinephiles with a penchant for raunchy comedy may want to bring their popcorn to Hong Kong Alt Screenings’ latest soiree. Hong Kong Alt Screenings aims to bring the best of fringe international cinema to Hong Kong’s screens—films that would otherwise never be released because of their explicit or unconventional content.
The event is a rich eight-course meal: seven short films and one feature-length movie. The short films are a diverse selection from talented filmmakers around the world, from Grant Orchard’s BAFTA-winning A Morning Stroll to Ga Eun-yoon’s Clermon-Ferrand Grand Prix winner Guest. But those are just the entrees to whet your appetite.
The main course is Klown, a Danish gross-out comedy that elicits big laughs and big gasps. Based on the wildly successful Danish TV show, Klown is the sex and drug-fuelled binge journey of two wildly inappropriate best friends and their 10 year old nephew. Sex addict Casper (Casper Christensen) and village idiot Frank (Frank Hyam) make for an excellent Dumb and Dumber as they traverse the Danish countryside, bringing chaos and comedy in their wake.
Despite Klown’s growing list of accolades and acclaim, the film is definitely not for the sensitive or underage. The NSFW trailer features Frank sticking his finger up a large Danish woman’s bum as she rides Casper in the world’s least sexy threesome.
In comparison to Klown, The Hangover looks like the latest Pixar film.
Watch the best Danish comedy has to offer on Saturday, 14 July at 7pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance and can be bought via Eventbrite, by following this link: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/3807181382
We’ve got the lowdown on the best spots to hit to celebrate 15 years of the SAR this weekend with your friends and families:
Dragon Dance Parade
Youths from the Mainland, Macau and 18 of the city's districts perform in this festive parade which runs from Victoria Park to Hong Kong Stadium and celebrates the handover.
June 30, 1:30pm to 3:30pm
The up-and-coming UK talent is known for his deep house productions.
June 30, 11pm to late at Kee Club, Central
Celebrate Hong Kong's handover while you party down to Eddie Halliwell's uplifting, energetic dance tunes and remixes.
June 30, 10pm to late at the W Hotel in TST
Hong Kong Pub Crawl's 2nd Anniversary
It's two anniversaries in one as the city's first and foremost pub crawl crew celebrate their second anniversary with an epic tour around Hong Kong's best watering holes with extra surprises along the way.
Crawl begins at Insenses and start from 9pm til late on July 1
Explosive pyrotechnics celebrate the handover. Try the new Tamar Park for an awesome view.
July 1, 8pm
If you are looking for a prime spot and great food to view the firework, head over to SEVVA in Central. The restaurant offers two packages for the occasion: the regular a la carte menu is available with a minimum charge of HK$1,500 for those who want to enjoy a full meal, or HK$680 per person to simply gain access to their amazing location. Both of these packages include a glass of Krug Grande Cuvee NV, access to their terrace and their signature deluxe degustation will be served during the fireworks.
Prince’s Building 25th Floor, 10 Chater Road, 2537 1388, http://www.sevva.hk/.
Dragon Boat Beer Fest
Enjoy cold brews, tasty food and live music while the dragon boats race along the TST East promenade nearby.
From noon-10pm on July 2 at the Urban Council Centenary Garden
Wanch's annual Handover Hallelujah returns. A total of 45 bands over the course of four days!
From June 29 to July 2 at 6pm, go to The Wanch. 54 Jaffe Rd, Wan Chai, 2861 1621, www.thewanch.hk.
“With great power comes great responsibility,” Peter Parker's uncle once famously quipped. Perhaps with great fame comes great expectations too? Or, um, just great weirdos…
For most of the Legend 9 tournament at the Grand Hyatt, City of Dreams, Macau, on June 16, the fighters' decisions to constantly go to ground and seek a submission was met with submissive boos from the crowd (or at least a sizeable section of it), who wanted a clean boxing match - or at least some wild exchange of blows. But did the audience forget that this is MIXED MARTIAL ARTS?
It's arguable that greater fame for Legend 9 has brought about greater expectations but, with the increase in fame, it's also brought the 'fairweather fan', who's more interested in watching two fighters bloody and beat each other to within an inch of their lives than in any real skill or technique involved in the match-up.
For the most part, the crowd's constant disappointment at seeing a fight go to ground was annoying and, eventually, cringeworthy. But it also brought about a few gems. Shout-out of the night goes to a young ruffian in the back of Section 1, who screamed: “Break his nails!” in a fight that was more reminiscent of two youngsters playing a game of 'tag' than a bout between two professional fighters.
The last two fights were genuinely edge-of-the-seat stuff, with Australian teenage debutant Dan Pauling giving China's Li Jingliang a tougher fight than he had anticipated. Eventually, experience shone through as Li Jingliang won by unanimous decision, with a thundering second and third round following a more cautious first. Koji Ando and Rob Hill gave the crowd what they wanted, trying as much as possible to stay on their feet. Koji Ando prevailed with Rob Hill clearly tiring, taking the match on judge's decision.
We hope to see another Bae Myung Ho (who was there training Team MAD and Nam Jin Ho) and Li Jingliang match-up for Legend 10! Runner-up of the night: When Dan Pauling came gushing through the steam that surrounded him for his opening, revealing his still boyish face, a nearby neighbour shouted: “He's gonna be great when he hits puberty!”
Avid Time Out reader Diego Cuenca won his first professional fight against Muhammad Hanif Bin Zainal. We hope for many more!
For more results and fighter profiles, check www.legendfc.com.