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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:37 am 
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Location: Pak Kok Village
Dr. Eggs: Backstage 7/5/2011

by Nick the Bookman

I'm not sure what this gig will be like. I think it's part of the annual French cultural festival in HK. Possibly a fine up-and-coming, underneath-the-radar weird French band delivered to our Front Door (or Backstage in this specific instance.). To titillate and enthrall us with their quirky Gallic deconstruction and re-invention of music as we used to know it. Or maybe they've got a local connection. Amis des amis, n'est-ce pas? The opening act Logo are three locals. Promising some psychedelic grooves. I hope they deliver. Recently, MGMT made their HK debut. Some reviews described it as psychedelic. Alas, no. More twee elf prog rock (played very well, but...) and only hits of 'delic dementia. I left early. Gotta get that last ferry, you know.

I've arrived for my debut show at Backstage, off Lan Kwai Fong. Get in early. Mostly staff preparing. And drummer Paul (ex-Academy. Part of noisome thrash/'tronic metal duo DP. Now on hiatus?) Paul say's he's in Dr. Eggs. They are local. It's going to be a good night. Who am I to argue. Fans are filling Backstage at a steady rate. All of a sudden I'm sitting on the rear sofa, under a huge mirror. Perfect for watching the show like Alice. I'm chatting with Liz, the mother of Ben, the bassist for Dr. Eggs. Amiably discussing the state of the world and expressing my lack of appreciation for global bankers and investment corporations. Die horribly banker scum! But give the money back first!!. Liz doesn't let on that Ben is bassist by night and a -you guessed it - by day. Still, he's a bassist. I'd give him extra points if he can play Spinal Tap's "Jazz Odyssey". Or spell it. (The spell check seems to indicate my spelling is correct.) Anyway after a random path of internal amusing musings, it's about 2230. The place is synchro-heaving. All together now. Inhale. Exhale. Drink. Smoke. Repeat. Headbang. Sway. Jive. Groove. And Logo are up on stage.

Briefly, Logo are Jamie (ex-Bone Table) on drums and vocals. Yan Yan (ex-Hard Candy) on bass and backing vocals. Chris (ex-?) on guitars. I find out all this information later on from Simon Pinder who is loudly singing Logo's praises. There's a lot of experience and longevity in HK's underground scene on display tonight. Might be quite a hallucinogenic happening after all. The first couple of songs go by smoothly, but nothing special. Jamie reminds me of Jah Wobble in some ways. Slight resemblance and same gruff vocal style. Except he's a drummer, not a bassist. One song "Non-Stop Paradise" is a bit Gang of Four funky punk. The fourth song is more like it. The guitars are haunted by the old style urgency of Ted Nugent/Amboy Dukes. Yan is giving it loads on bass and the drums are stoner. Whatever that means. It's what I wrote, but I'm sure it made perfect sense at the time. Song six is "the hit". It's called "Love Motel" and is on the readily available CD. I was quietly headbanging so I didn't write anything. Overall, they play about eleven songs. All about four-five minutes each. Alice Cooper appears to get a nod. So do The Doobie Brothers with a "Long Train Running" riff on "Glamazon" (repeat three times. I think there was also some chimey/jangly guitars. Some echo effects and possibly a nod to Duane Eddy and Spaghetti Westerns somewhere in the mix. Or was that all my own perceived re-mix. However, it's great fun and here's to the next time. Maybe Naomi Klein will be there. An authoress appearance/intervention causing an acceptable refutation of the theme of her first book. "No Logo".

Paul has assured me that the gig will over in plenty of time for me to get the ferry. Backstage is vibrating pleasantly. Brownian Motion along the bar/toilet axis A skittery buzz-drone of pent-up approval and appreciative conversation. Slashed through with the electronic bongs pf "Purcells's "Funeral March for Queen Mary". AKA the opening credits music of "Clockwork Orange" as transcribed by the then Walter Carlos. She is now Wendy Carlos and all "his" former recordings have been re-released under the Wendy Carlos name. They include the late Sixties' LPs (now CDs) "Switched on Bach" and "The Well Tempered Synthesiser". Pioneering masterclasses in electronic classical music re-interpretations. Up there with Delia Derbyshire, White Noise and The BBC Radiophonic Workshop. And paving the way for Tonto's Expanding Headband. All thanks to the genius of Robert Moog. And of course the maverick Russian inventor Leon Theremin, whose eponymous electronic musical invention paved the way some three decades earlier. The unearthly noises that were evoked formed the heart and spine of many a Fifties' sci-fi/horror movie soundtrack. Incidentally, Wally Stott, who composed the soundtrack for"The Ipcress File" is the only other soundtrack musician I know of who became a male-to-female transsexual. Of course, in the rock world, there's the former Wayne County, now Jayne Country, who went the other way and wrote a warts-and-all memoir called "Man Enough To Be A Woman". I'm still trying to find a copy. Sorry, bit of a ramble there. Where Am I?

Right. Dr. Eggs is on stage. In short order and reading right to left they are Paul on drums, some vox and triggered samples. Ben on massive bass duties. Billy The Nurse on guitars and Jules on French-inflected, but English speed raps and some samples and effects. Of course I'm looking in the Mirror of Chaos so don't believe anything I'm telling you. How to describe this cacophonous, concentrated, co-ordinated chaos. It's swirly mental headfuck time. An 8-bit torrent of thrashy speed metal, with symphonic samples juddering, exploding and bursting from all directions in various tempos. Frenzied Franglais raps and exhortations. Muscular posing bass. Frenetic guitar squalls, melodies, airs, tunes and lines jumbling, colliding and dying away. Echoing-ing-ing. Things probably aren't 100 percent perfect on stage. It's complex stuff. But mistakes are ephemeral and the next six different bits of "what the fuck was that" have qone and passed by while the brain is still saying , "hey wait a minute". Jules has taken time to namecheck Snoblind, the local digidelic duo who combine loungecore, psychedelic vocals, white noise and live toy instruments to bewitching effect. And there's 22 Katz, who did perform some of the psychedelic sorcery that was wanting at the MGMT gig. Over, Dr. Eggs reminds me of some unholy alliance between Mike Patton's Fantomas, freaked out speedy Prodigy, the psychedelic soul of late-Sixties Temptations mixed with George Clinton's Spaceship shit. A little bit of MC Solaar possibly. There's also some heavy drones nailing the crowd now and then. Controlled pandemonium reigns and rules.

It's about 2250 and the show has just ended. I say adieu to Liz and her grandkids, here on a special late night to watch Daddy do some sweaty work. Ben sounds capable enough to give up the plutocratic day job, but the night gigs don't pay enough. Meanwhile, Dr. Eggs have a four-date tour of France pending. Toulouse, Nantes, Paris and Rouen for the Festival Etudiants. Returning a little bit of love to the people who bring us Le French Mai in HK (or whatever they call it) each year. Hope it will go well/ went well, depending on which part of the spacetime matrix you are occupying. Dr. Eggs is a brain omelet of an experience. And I can't remember what I meant by that. A blinding flash of the obvious becomes a twisted koan. Whatever. I spent just over $130 for the night. It was well worth it. Here's to the next cracking time. ntb

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