IMAGINE a dynamic eight-piece ensemble of percussionists, actors and singers creating rhythms from such unlikely sources as the sweep of push brooms, the crash of dust bins, the popping of plastic bags or the snapping of cigarette lighters. Add inspired choreography which owes as much to a street-fight as it does to an MGM musical and you get an inkling as to what Yes/No People's Stomp will be like. ''It's about experimenting with sound. It's about making music from anything - out of your body, out of anything that comes to hand, anything but a musical instrument. And it's about people working together and making something from nothing. I think that's the general feeling an audience seems to take away from the show,'' said Steve McNichols, co-director of the British percussion group. Stomp is the somewhat crazed and inordinately clever rhythmic theatre extravaganza that he and Yes/No People co-director/performer Luke Cresswell are bringing to the Hongkong Arts Festival. ''A lot of things that have influenced us come from American movies of the Depression era, from seeing hoofers in films like Stormy Weather. But when we work we try to be contemporary in terms of the rhythms we use,'' said McNichols. It is a sensibility derived from years of experience. As members of the early-'80s busking band Pookiesnackenburger, McNichols and Cresswell developed a working knowledge of the ins and outs of pick-up performance - a reliance on ideas and talent, and not the flash of technology. From these street-wise beginnings, the group went on to release two albums as well as command its own television series on Britain's Channel 4. In 1986, Pookiesnackenburger folded and McNichols and Cresswell formed Yes/No People as a general umbrella for their many projects. At this time Cresswell was in heavy demand - lending his talents as an accomplished percussionist and programmer to the likes of Elvis Costello and Bryan Ferry. As a team, McNichols and Cresswell were similarly successful. They composed and performed the theme for Channel 4's late-night music programme Wired and contributed the opening sequences to Kevin Godley's One World, One Voice. But the importance of live performance was not forgotten. Between 1987 and 1990, Cresswell staged a series of four engagingly original outdoor events. One of these, entitled Beat the Clyde, involved floating a drum orchestra in the centre of Glasgow and another, Heineken Hove Lagoon Show, employed 20 drummers. In that sense, Stomp, which premiered to effusive critical acclaim at the 1991 Edinburgh Festival, is a stripped-down return to Yes/No People's low-tech roots. And in many ways, the show's concept and rough-and-ready look is a reflection of the logisticsinvolved in mounting a production during hard economic times. ''It wasn't a conscious thing, but it does apply. We were driven back to basics by the problems involved in touring, the electronics, the PAs, the microphones. So we were searching for something that was more immediate, easier to get out on to the road,'' said McNichols. ''But we also wanted to prove that we could hold an audience's attention with something that's purely percussive.'' To that end, Stomp is unerring. Whether the Yes/No People percussionists are exploring the subtleties of drumming on the human body or are noisily engaged in abseiling off percussive walls, the effect is always mesmerising. Coming to the Hongkong Arts Festival represents a sort of milestone for Yes/No People and Stomp. ''The Hongkong performance will be the last time that the original group plays together,'' said McNichols. ''And we have never had the opportunity to play in Asia before. We have a lot of friends who are mime artists and over the years we've seen them gointo Asia - we've always been very jealous.'' Yes/No People performs at 8 pm on February 1-2 at the Academy Lyric Theatre.