Sun, 8.30pm, Hidden Agenda
The much-hyped Beijing scene looks as if it has failed to deliver - at least internationally. Carsick Cars made inroads with a support slot for Sonic Youth, but haven't gone much beyond that. Queen Sea Big Shark looked like they could break through in a big way, but they have also struggled to find an audience outside their hometown. Ditto Re-TROS, New Pants and Pet Conspiracy.
It might be that all that is left for Beijing's still-worthy bands is to conquer China's cities and ports. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Hong Kong can learn from the superior expertise of its northern neighbours, while Beijingers can use our town as a training ground.
That is perhaps the best indie-pop trio Hedgehog (above), another of Beijing's bright lights, can hope for. They visit Hidden Agenda on Sunday to mark the release of their fourth album, Honeyed and Killed. They've earned respect in their home city but struggled to get attention in the Western world.
The perky noise pop in 2007 effort Noise Hit World and 2009's Blue Day Dreaming deserved better, and now the chance for world domination (or even a sniff at college radio play in the US) may have passed. Slashing guitarist-vocalist ZO and dynamite female drummer-vocalist Atom remain, but third founding member and bassist Box has left. A new bassist, Xiao Nan, has joined the group, and early reports suggest a more laid-back sound from the previously hyper group.
We've yet to hear the album, but the new direction suggests Hedgehog are still evolving in a quest to stay relevant in a hype-driven scene. Judge for yourself in Kwun Tong on Sunday night.
6/F Ko Leung Industrial Building, 25 Tai Yip St, Kwun Tong, HK$150 (advance), HK$180 (door). Inquiries: www.hiddenagendahk.com