HK Magazine Archive

Clockenflap Preview

Hong Kong’s biggest music and arts festival returns in just two weeks.

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 November, 2015, 4:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 4:53pm

Acts you’ve splurged on the ticket for:

Damien Rice (Fri 7:30pm) Irish singer-songwriter
The sound: Post-breakup staples: honest lyrics with sad guitar-strumming.
The crowd: People either about to sneeze or about to cry, you’re not sure.
Scream this: “I can’t take my eyyyyes off of you” *sobbing*.
Listen to: “9 Crimes,” “The Blower’s Daughter.”

The Libertines (Sat 9:45pm) UK rockers
The sound: Dirty, messy punk rock played by a volatile group that somehow makes it work.
The crowd: People going nuts during the best time slot at Clockenflap.
Scream this: “You can’t stand me you can’t stand me you can’t stand me now!”
Listen to: “Can’t Stand Me Now,” “Gunga Din,” “Anthem For Doomed Youth.”

Ratatat (Sat 8:15pm) Rocktronica duo
The sound: Heavy on the guitar, synth and percussion, with riffs as smooth as cream. Usually matched with psychedelic backdrops when playing live.
The crowd: Concentrating dancers.
Listen to: “Cream on Chrome,” “Wildcat,” “Falcon Jab.”

A$AP Rocky (Sat 10pm) Rapper
The sound: A mix of Southern-influenced rhymes and dreamy cloudrap for a booty poppin’, 100 percent critically validated set.
The crowd: Twerkers, aggressive fans who will yell every word into your face.
Listen to: “Fuckin’ Problems,” “ L$D,” “Wild For the Night ft. Skrillex.”

New Order (Sun 9:30pm) Seminal UK rock/electronica
The sound: The band’s unique cross between punk-pop and EDM.
The crowd: People who were hipsters in the 80s. 20 assholes wearing the Joy Division “Unknown Pleasures” T-shirt.
Scream this: “Every time I see you falling / I get down on my knees and pray / I’m waiting for that final moment, you say the words that I can’t say.”
Listen to: “Age of Consent,” “Ceremony,” “Blue Monday,” “Bizarre Love Triangle.”

Acts you should see:

Clean Bandit (Fri 6:45pm) English electronica
The sound: Pop- and dance- infused songs with intricate instrumentals.
The crowd: Hipsters, band geeks.
Scream this: “As long as we’re together / There’s no place I’d rather be.”
Listen to: “Rather Be,” “Stronger.”

HOCC (Sat 8:30pm) Denise Ho, High priestess of Cantopop
The sound: The best kind of Cantopop: socially relevant lyrics and emotional melodies.
The crowd: Born and bred Hongkongers.
Listen to: “木紋” (“Wood Grain”), “再見...露絲瑪莉” (“Goodbye... Rosemary”), “是有種人” (“There’s a Kind of Person”).

Flying Lotus (Fri 8:30pm) Musical mad scientist
The sound: Brain-melting experimental tunes.
The crowd: People who are really out of it, or people who are way too into it.
Scream Do this: *Quiet appreciative nodding*.
Listen to: The entirety of 2010’s “Cosmogramma” album, while on a long, contemplative MTR commute.

Earth, Wind & Fire Experience ft. Al McKay (Sat 7pm) 70s funk fathers
The sound: The best of 70s funk and disco tunes.
The crowd: Everyone, from stragglers crossing paths at prime Clockenflap time to families getting ready to bring kids home.
Scream this: “Do you remember / The 21st night of September?”
Listen to: “September,” “Let’s Groove.”

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (Sun 6pm) Indie darlings
The sound: Warm, fuzzy, feel-good indie pop.
The crowd: People too cool for you.
Scream this: “She was the heart in your heartbreak / She was the miss in your mistake / And no matter what you take, you’re never going to forget.”
Listen to: “Heart in Your Heartbreak.”

Kid Koala (Sun 6:30pm) Mixed-genre turntablist
The sound: Alternative hip hop with samples taken from jazz, cartoons, sneezing and the spoken word.
The crowd: Craft beer-sipping guys with beards and intense looks.
Listen to: “More Dance Music,” “Moon River.”

Neon Indian (Sun 7:15pm) Chillwave extraordinaire
The sound: Hazy retro disco sounds.
The crowd: People swaying in uber-trendy “festival” gear.
Scream this: “I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN ACID WITH YOU” [don’t actually do this—it’s so passé].
Listen to: “Polish Girl,” “Should Have Taken Acid With You,” “Annie.”

Hong Kong sounds:

Leah Dou (Sat 7pm) Indie princess
The sound: A clear-cut, crushworthy alto—as you’d expect from Faye Wong’s daughter.
The crowd: Tattooed indie types and Faye Wong loyalists.
Listen to: “My Days,” “Chimes.”

Subyub Lee (Fri 8:30pm) Singer-songwriter
The sound: Soft guitar-led ballads, film scores to rom-coms like “Love in the Buff.”
The crowd: Couples, aspiring buskers.
Listen to: “What’s Behind,” “Anyway At All.”

Jing Wong (Sat 12:30pm) Bilingual rocker
The sound: Sweet acoustic folk pop to angsty hard rock.
The crowd: People who read our interview with him.
Listen to: “我們” (Us), “This Is a Love Song,” “How to Disappear.”

YoungQueenz (Fri 6:45pm) Multilingual rapper
The sound: Chilled-out hip hop.
The crowd: Fans of indie rock and alt hip hop.
Listen to: “That Pain,” “一生懸命” (With All One’s Might), “Memories.”

Life Was All Silence (Sat 5pm) Post-rockers
The sound: Dark, moody, ambient tunes.
The crowd: Silent, intense types, interspersed with the early ones gearing up for the night.
Listen to: “Falling Wall,” “Damascus.”

Check out or Spotify playlist for the best of this year's Clockenflap lineup.