It's a Monday night in Macau and it's late enough for Adrienne Riley to know that the 20 or so people scattered around the Bellini Lounge are as good as things are going to get. But it's also still too early to go home. There are four people dancing around a table, some couples trying to find dark corners and a little privacy, and there are a few pairs of men chatting with one eye on the band, the other on the gaming floor outside, waiting until the end of their drink before heading out for another flirt with lady luck. Meanwhile, Riley - alongside the other two members of visiting trio Vyxen - will continue to belt out the tunes until closing time, 4am, no matter how many or how few people they end up playing to. 'With this kind of gig you know sometimes you'll be playing to a packed house and sometimes you will be playing to no one,' Riley says. 'So it's up to us to put on a great show, regardless. If people do drop by, they can see how good we are and we hope they will stay.' The development of the Macau casino trade has brought boom times for musicians. Each sparkling new gaming house comes with lounge bars where punters can have a break and take in some tunes. And each lounge has to have its own resident band. Vyxen, for example, were contacted by the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel after its management spotted them on YouTube. Veterans of more than a decade playing similar gigs all over Las Vegas, they jumped at the chance to combine work with a little travel. And, of course, they came to Macau under no illusions. 'We know the score,' says Riley. 'I have been playing Vegas for 12 years and the other two girls for five each. People often wonder why these lounge bands sound so good - it's because you have to, you have to appeal to everyone, or your career will be very short. The generalisation is that we do top-40, but you have to do everything else as well.' Hence Vyxen might be called on to play everyone from Beyonc?to Barry Manilow. Well, maybe. 'We have our limits,' Riley laughs. 'But if people request something, you have to nail it. That's part of the fun for us as performers. It keeps you on your toes.' And while the band say most things in casinos are the same the world over, Macau has thrown up some surprises. 'Nights like our ladies' nights on Wednesdays are crazy - you never have anything like that in Vegas,' says Riley. 'You can't see the floor there are so many people. But other things are the same. One night the lounge will be heaving and the next night there will be no one. And then you realise that a convention has just ended.' A few days later, across town at the MGM Grand Macau, Rob Scott is taking a break from putting the finishing touches to the set list for his latest band, UpFront. Scott has seen and played with them all since getting his first break playing bass for Lionel Ritchie when he was still in his teens, back in the 1970s. He has established himself as a regular session player since moving to Hong Kong in 1997, as well as playing live with everyone from Alex To to Coco Lee. 'The MGM rang us and said they wanted to put something together for their lounge,' Scott says. 'We brainstormed and came up with a bag of mixed nuts. These people are from everywhere, but we are on the same plane in that we all wanted to create something a little different.' For the six-piece UpFront, Scott has recruited musicians from all over the world - members hold passports from everywhere between Ukraine and Colombia. And he says that diversity is key to playing for the casino crowd. 'The difference with playing here is that you always have to be playing something for everyone,' says Scott. 'It can't just be for one crowd - we have to spread it out. It's not personal when it comes to the music, like a cover band. You can't say, 'I don't want to do that song'. Whatever they like, we'll try to do it.' Scott says the word is out in the world's musical community that there are jobs in Macau, so he's happy he was able to get in first. 'We are all musicians on our own as well,' Scott says. 'So Macau is great for us. There are so many musicians now trying to get in. The competition is great and things will get even bigger. 'What a lot of people from around the region are just beginning to realise is that on any night, in all the casinos, you can see some great bands,' Scott says. Booking bands for Macau's lounges all comes down to the target audience, says Stephen Anderson, general-manager of the Monkey Bar at the Grand Waldo Hotel. 'We are very much 70s-80s rock'n'roll, the Jack Daniels crowd,' he says. 'Every lounge tries to cater for a different crowd, and since Macau doesn't really kick off until after midnight, we want to be playing decent rock'n'roll as the night progresses. 'Like anything, you have to play to your audience. We have a group of 12 dancers around the bar, so we want that ambience of the old B-grade American movies from down south.' For Scott, the residency at the Lion's Bar gives him a chance to play some of his own favourites. But he says it also gives him a chance to join the party. 'One thing that all musicians love about playing casinos,' he says, 'is you know that people come here for a good time.' Vyxen play nightly at the Bellini Lounge, the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel, Estrada da Bala de N. Senhora da Esperanca, Taipa, Macau, tel:  2882 8888; UpFront play nightly at the Lion's Bar, MGM Grand Macau, Avenida Dr Sun Yat Sen, Macau, tel:  8802 8888; Rated Hits play nightly (except Sundays) at the Monkey Bar, Grand Waldo Hotel, Sul da Marina Taipa-sul, junto ?Rotunda do Dique Oeste, Taipa, Macau, tel:  2888 6888.