Music fans rejoiced as the city’s biggest annual music festival Clockenflap opened its gates to hundreds of acts from around the world at the weekend. This year was also the first time the festival was held at the Central Harbourfront, lending a stunning skyline panorama to bands’ shows. Despite getting drenched on Saturday and baked on Sunday, Team YP was there all the whole time, soaking up all the good vibes. Here are our highlights:
Local rockabilly band The Boogie Playboys opened the festival dressed in leopard print suits and performing ’50s-inspired rock ‘n’ roll – with a Cantonese twist. Meanwhile, Cantopop singer Ellen Loo was warming up the main Harbourflap Stage with her sunny electrofolk sound. Over on the Robot Stage in the food area, DJ Janette Slack was spinning remixes of party tunes – like the Pink Panther theme tune – to bop to with a burger.
It was hard to choose between headliners Sigur Ros and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. Though the bands sound very different, they are both known for incredible live shows. Those who stayed at the main stage were rewarded with a spell-binding audio-visual experience from Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Ros. However, the crosswinds were so strong that people standing to the left of the stage found it difficult to hear the music. Over at the Fwd Stage, everyone was dancing to the infectious funk from Clinton and co., who put on a show that will be talked about for some time.
The weather was unspeakably foul all day long, so many festivalgoers found fun in the tents on Saturday. The incredibly lifelike Sophia the robot “opened” the Fwd Stage on day two. Unfortunately, YP didn’t manage to interview the celebrity cyborg, but she held the crowd in the palm of her computer chip as she recited a Japanese poem.
As the first torrential downpour began, everyone dashed under the shelter of the Kef stage, where Hong Kong’s Britpop throwback gang, Fantastic Day, channelled bands like Pulp and The Cure with their retro guitar sound.
Layering angsty vocals with emotive melodies and heavy guitar, Taiwan’s No Party For Cao Dong brought many back out into the rain. Blood Orange proved a must-see act of the evening, as the former Lightspeed Champion singer conjured up his signature indie-tinged quiet storm to atmospheric effect.
Fans then had to pick between the introverted post-rock of 65Daysofstatic and rapper MIA’s high-energy, in-your-face style. The hip hop star emerged onstage wearing a sparkly white coat, a hat and shades, which were soon thrown off to reveal an orange jumpsuit underneath. Her hit-packed set was a little short at 50 minutes, but she gave the crowd plenty to giggle about when she said it was her first time in China, and that she wanted her son to have Mandarin lessons.
Those who made it down early on the Sunday were rewarded with a sparkling set from The Folk Ups, the YRock folksters who were picked to play after their Big Picnic performance. The line up was starry, the weather was picture perfect, and there was music and laughter from every direction.
Day 3 here we go! YP to Clockenflap finalist The Folk Ups have just finished their performance. So we asked the duo to share their experience of performing at @clockenflap for the very first time. #thefolkups #folk #live #bands #musicfestival #instamusic #central #harbourfront #hkig #clockenflap #clockenflap2016 #clockenflaphk #youngposthk @clockenflap @youngposthk
The first act on the main stage, New Territories musical collective Fragrant Village cast a spell with an enchanting blend of reverberating handpan, beatboxed rhythms, didgeridoo, and rap to create a spine-tinglingly cinematic experience.
Singapore’s Gentle Bones then demonstrated his famed showmanship, before British folk singer-songwriter Lucy Rose made a stunning return to the festival under bright sunshine. In one touching moment, Rose picked out a young girl who was waving a banner asking for the song Like An Arrow. The girl’s wish was granted, and she beamed as everyone sang along to the catchy chorus.
The Fwd Stage crowd grew even larger for British pop newcomer Shura, whose echoey vocals and soft electronica had a distinctly ’80s feel. But everyone was talking about the only metal band on the festival line-up – CharmCharmChu – and their vicious Kef Stage maelstrom of rebellious songs and relentless thrash. Over on the main stage, US hip hop crew The Sugarhill Gang got everyone singing along to classics like Rapper’s Delight and Apache (Jump On It). Making a Hong Kong debut, gloomy electro-goth duo Crystal Castles landed with their searing synths and rib-shaking bass. They competed with British indie rockers Foals, whose hit-laden, energetic set was possibly the high point of the weekend.
While headliners The Chemical Brothers packed iconic hooks into a visually-spectacular performance, Japan’s Sekai no Owari proved why they’re one of Asia’s best live bands with a fun and delightfully weird show to top off a phenomenal weekend.