Ennui strikes Le French May Maybe it's a sign of these tough economic times, but this year's Le French May seems more lacklustre than usual, particularly the musical lineup.
While in past years we've loved the various combinations of indie, pop and electro, this year the country's fertile music industry will be represented by just one gig featuring Nouvelle Vague and the equally notable support act, High Tone.
Expectations are high for Nouvelle Vague, the lounge-punk crossover act who gave a memorable performance during Le French May in 2007. It's true that their entire repertoire is made up of punk and new-wave tracks reconfigured as bossa nova - think the Clash, Depeche Mode and the Dead Kennedys reborn in Sao Paolo - but it's hard to describe just how infectious their sound is live.
Core members Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux sold more than 400,000 copies of their self-titled debut album, and the duo are now on tour building anticipation for their third release, simply titled 3.
Perhaps as a nod to France's diverse musical heritage, the support band for Nouvelle Vague's May 9 gig is the stylistically opposite High Tone, a dub outfit billed as the 'irreverent heirs of Lee 'Scratch' Perry'. The five-member outfit combine guitars and bass with keyboards and a DJ to produce an urban take on rootsy rock-steady where reggae and electro clash with hip hop stylings and trip-hop rhythms.
On May 9 the two bands will be flying the French flag at Queen Elizabeth Stadium from 7.30pm, and ticket prices range from HK$240 to HK$480.
Rock anthems to be rolled Normally a night of classic rock covers wouldn't warrant a mention here, but if some of the city's best musicians are coming together for a good shred, that's another story altogether.
Saturday night's gig by Eugene and the POWs offers live renditions of numbers by Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and others.
The Eugene in question is none other than esteemed local guitarist Eugene Pao, arguably Hong Kong's top jazzman who has recorded or performed with luminaries such as Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. This weekend's gig will also feature the likes of singer-guitarist Adrian da Silva of local rock group Audiotraffic and top local jazz drummer Jun Kung.
Expect to see the standards torn apart, reinvented and just plain jammed out from 10.30pm at Backstage Live, 1/F Somptueux Central, 52-54 Wellington Street, Central. Entry is HK$200.
LA DJ ready to riot at Volar If you caught the set by the headbanging Steve Aoki at the adidas anniversary party the other week, you should be up for another taste of the electro-indie-disco-rock template forged by the Los Angeles tastemaker.
LA Riots, the duo of Daniel Ledisko and Jo'B, had their career kick-started by a remix on Aoki's hip Dim Mak label, and have since added their talents to reworks of tracks by the likes of the Ting Tings and Kylie Minogue.
Tonight Ledisko will be bringing some of that indie-disco LA attitude to the decks at Volar in Lan Kwai Fong, where entry will cost non-members HK$250.