It's taken me this long to post these pictures from Kings of Convenience in Hong Kong on March 25 because it's Easter holiday and everyone is supposed to be lazy or I have been away dancing and generally up-to-no-good.
I've listened to KoC since their first album in 2001 though at the time they're nowhere near one of my favorite bands. In those days I was going through a serious post-rock phase--I still am and probably always will be--think instrumental rock music built on creative, controlled chaos and escalating layers of emotions. In my mind KoC was a solid outfit: they made a big sound with acoustic guitars and they sang wonderfully, so what's there not to like? I suppose it was the association of their first album cover with cardigans and English tea: it all seemed a little too soothing for my taste. I wasn't such a fan of 'pop' music either and KoC was accessible, albeit genuinely gifted.
My taste hasn't really changed over the years but my relationship with KoC's music has for one reason: many of the other bands I like have stopped playing and KoC is one of the few I can still look forward to. There's a lot to say about a music fan going over the stuff she's liked and waiting to hear what's next. Now I listen to KoC more deeply and live that intricacy of feelings I used to miss in their songs. Simple tunes like Cayman Island and I Don't Know What I Can Save You From that are perfectly well-crafted. It doesn't hurt at Erlend and Erik are gorgeous boys: they're cut out to be a pair. I'm a big fan of Erlend in his nerdy persona!
Jing Wong opened for KoC. I think Jing and I met over three years ago because of our shared interest in Beckett. Jing is a popular presence in the indie music scene in HK. In earlier days he was seen busking outside Star Ferry in Tsim Sha Tsui and the frantic pedestrian areas in Causeway Bay. I remember one of our few phone conversations during which he whined: 'The police hunted me down the streets and accused me of begging!' while Jing, in fact, made a few bucks, adjusted his skinny tie, and exited the scene half smiling.
These episodes earned Jing a growing reputation and he was making appearances in movies (at least one that I'm aware of) and all kinds of street and stage concerts. Jing is now signed to a record label and will release an album this year. When he's not singing Jing runs his own fashion brand Daydream Nation with his sister. At the KoC concert Jing was in his element and a hit among the audience. Great things lie ahead for Jing and I look forward to the day when he is crowned the prince of indie pop in HK (or is he already?).
Davina is a friend from HKU, which means we've known each other for years and years though we never make plans to meet up, since we're both introverts who act like extroverts, except Davina is popular and has more friends who adore her than one can imagine. We both live in old Chinese-styled buildings: me in a quiet one, Davina in a rowdy one inhabited by hawkers and their clients who size her up and down. Another thing we laugh about--in our separate universes--is that we are people who can't seem to make plans but trust that life will work out while we're celebrating and loving every moment of it.
At the concert Davina appeared out of thin air and joined me in the audience. Both of us were surviving on three hour sleep, though Davina was still energetic as a sleep-deprived eccentric could be. When I frowned at how the photo was a little blurry, she spoke in her typically loud and sweet voice: 'Why does it matter? It's not a wedding photo!' Such response was very much in line with her usual persona ('I watched a lot of TV' she said, when my friend asked why her English was so perfect at my birthday drinks last year). Davina is as good as Davina is, and I hope to run into her again soon.