Mira Hong Kong
April 30, 8pm
Rising British soul band Mamas Gun may have won scores of local followers with their exhilarating debut album from last year, but it's unlikely that many of them know of the band's Hong Kong connection.
Frontman Andy Platts was born in the city to a British policeman father who introduced him to bands such as the Beatles and the Doors, and a Filipino mother who played Spanish-influenced guitar. His father never lost his wanderlust and brought his family along as he worked around the globe.
'I think I fell into music just because it was a consistent thing in my life,' Platts says ahead of his band's first Hong Kong appearance later this month. 'You're hopping around the world all the time. You're greeted with different reactions wherever you go. I got called a lot of names, but that probably helps you, it drives you.'
And Mamas Gun are feeling driven lately, with debut Routes to Riches soaring up the Billboard album charts and the band winning support slots for the likes of De La Soul and performing to five-figure festival crowds in Europe. The album references Motown giants Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye via acid jazz and the Average White Band to neo-soul composer Lewis Taylor, but Platts is quick to say: 'I'm not trying to say, 'This is black music'.
'It's a kaleidoscope of a record that travels through genres and isn't tied down by anything. It's just about good songs and a bunch of guys enjoying themselves playing it. The one thing it tries to keep is the euphoria of soul music, of Motown and all great records. It's not trying to be anything, it just is.'
Backing up Platts are bassist Rex Horan, Dave Burnell Oliver on keyboards, Terry Lewis on guitar and drummer Jack Pollitt, who also provided drums on Beyonce's B-Day album. But Platts takes on the lion's share of the band's songwriting and is attracting so much attention he's been described as 'the new Jamiroquai'.
Catch them at the swish Mira Hong Kong just so you can say you saw them before they became huge.
18/F 118 Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, HK$20 (advance), HK$280 (door). Inquiries: 2368 1111