A full-throated, red-lipped nightingale of a poetic singer

A full-throated, red-lipped nightingale of a poetic singer

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Russian Red finished her Asian tour in Hong Kong.
Russian Red finished her Asian tour in Hong Kong.
Photo: Safran Lecuivre/SCMP
Lourdes Hernandez goes by the stage name Russian Red for a very simple reason. Her moniker is that of a lipstick colour she discovered at a party back in her native Madrid, Spain.

"It took me some time before I first put it on because it's just so powerful," she told Young Post. "I liked how the name sounded, and how it caught my attention in the first place."

Russian Red made her Hong Kong debut on Tuesday at Kitec as the final stop on the three-week Asian leg of her tour. After a minor delay due to an acoustic malfunction, and a four-song set by Sony colleague Phil Lam, she burst on stage - minus her namesake lipstick. She wore an understated denim shirt and a crinkled ed miniskirt, her bandmates both garbed in conservative black suits.

The un-climactic opener Nice Thick Feathers, a track from her relatively underground debut I Love Your Glasses, was greeted with polite applause. Concertgoers were an overly civilised bunch. The atmosphere resembled more an intimate private do than a free-spirited rock concert. People clapped to show approval, shunning the loud hooting common at rock gigs.

From then on, Russian Red performed numbers from her nostalgic, pop-tinged Fuertaventura. She introduced recent single The Sun The Trees saying: "This is going to sound different - just warning you." The difference was instrumental: the full band couldn't make it to Hong Kong. Yet the singer's angelic voice alone carried the show, hitting her notes, as she did, with perfection.

Interestingly enough, she looked most comfortable performing covers, as during the duet with bandmate Carlos "Charlie" Bautista. They sang the Beatles song Baby It's You, allowing her to let her hair down and groove to the tune.

She also did a slow-tempo cover of Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want To Have Fun. She wrapped up with the only Spanish song of the night, another cover called Todas mis Palabras.

Despite hailing from Spain, Russian Red composes her songs in English.

"In Spanish, even if you don't want it to sound poetic, it does end up that way," she said. "I just want to deliver my feelings in a simple and direct way. To do that in Spanish is complicated."

With her powerful vocals she would sound immaculate just singing words from a textbook.

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