This was our second time at Imagine Peace. We were really excited to play again. The IP crew had created a knockout dome stage with disco lights and smoke machine! Lots of music and fire shows on Saturday night including brazilian drum troupe, Salvaje, and Suzette Ackerman Belly Dance.
IP had their event on a grassy haven surrounded by tall, leafy trees and a stone wall. Sunday was chilled. There were games for kids, drum jams and a magic show.
Food stalls were selling exotic salads; fearfully tasty curries and scrummy waffles covered with whipped cream chocolate, fudge and sprinkles.
Classes held on the grass were full all day long: yoga, pilates, zumba and meditation. Lots of creative workshops: drum making; headpiece making; painting and clown workshop. DJs kept the decks warm throughout the day.
After a six month delay we eventually got our CD launch off the ground. RSI can really jam your joints up and it took months of going through the meat grinder to get my arm in working order again.
Weisan opened the show at the Fringe with a solo set and blew us away with her deep and soulful voice.
We had fun playing some old favourites, which are on the CD, and new songs too, which aren't on the CD.
A small crowd of generally well-behaved friends came to support us but to our surprise some miscreant elements had worked their way up towards the stage.
Half way through our set , just beyond the nicely placed rows of seats and the grand piano - stashed so unobtrusively left of stage - a mini-mosh-pit began to develop and took on an explosive, out-of-control quality.
As a band we were concerned that the retro-green stone-washed tiles would not hold up to the serious amount of stomping and tramping the miscreant elements were giving it. We continued playing - undeterred, and were, in fact, spurred on by the nuclear fission the music had created.
By the end of the set we were able to breathe a collective sigh when we realised that tiles, moshers and grand piano were still in good shape and that the nicely placed seats were still in their nicely placed rows.
On the other hand, the mosh pit shenanigans had actually energised us! God bless moshing! Why it hasn't become a serious art form to be taught at the best dance colleges in the nation is beyond sanity.
We want to thank Weisan, Marion, Jessica, Hannah, Vicky and Sakura for all their help and support on the launch night.
Also, thanks to Koya Hisakazu for producing the CD and Liina Klauss for creating the CD art work. Thanks to Nick Shearman for CD design work and photos.
Thanks to Tamara Norris, Anderson Muth, Jim Brockman and Chris B for helping us spread the word about our launch night and for getting our music out over the net.
Last but not least, thanks to all our friends who came to the launch party to show their support - we really appreciate it, your support means a lot to us. Thanks for making the CD launch such a great night!
The CD tracks are up on Soundcloud. Click here to stream "Sunny does it for the money." We will be selling the CDs at upcoming gigs.
PHOTOS: Nick Shearman
Played a 7:45pm set...
First gig with new bassist, Koya Hisakazu; first time at Handover Hallelujah and first gig after a six month break! I was nervous about making mistakes after so much time off so went into the "isolation tank" to get myself together. Everything worked out - we played the set without a hitch.
The Paisely Daze were on stage before NTP. They mesmerised me with psychedelic rock.
Wrote five new songs on the break! - The Confession; Electric Chair Blues; Work; Junk Food Fix and No Place for Jane.
We're playing at Handover Hallelujah for the first time ever! Koya will be playing his first gig with us and most of our set will be new material. EXCITED!
Handover Hallelujah is into it's fifth year. It'll be the biggest handover event The Wanch has held so far - a weeks worth of music with over 70 bands.
Bands include: Sushi Robot, The Homestead, The Bollands, Cyrus Chow, Turing Apples, The David Bowie Knives, Dr Eggs, Don't Panic, Bank Job and Gonzales Rodriguez.
The band schedule is on facebook. NTP are playing on Monday, 30 June at 7:15-8:45pm.
Looking forward to catching some new bands!
Goodbye Kevin! Malte and I are sad to see Kevin leave Hong Kong and our band. He has moved back to America with his family. We wish you all the best Kevin and we'll miss you and your bass lines!
Hello Koya! Malte and I are happy to have a new bass player join our band. Koya has been active in the Hong Kong music scene for years as a professional musician and recording engineer. Koya also helped NTP record our latest EP. We're looking forward to our first gig together!
NTP had a seriously good night playing at the Wanch. It was my birthday last night and playing a gig with friends and family there was the best gift!
We began the evening with Malaysian food at Sabah, a food-fiend's paradise. Everything we ate was bursting with flavour - beef satay, roti chennai, morning glory. I had to pace myself and had a hard time holding back on the mouth-watering beef rendang as I didn't want any bloating to effect my performance on stage.
We got to The Wanch just as Brain Damage started up. This was Chris's (singer) first gig in the city after all his years playing on Lamma. The band played a sterling set. I was enthralled with Matt's leads on his keyboard, he soared and it sounded just like an electric guitar.
Transnoodle were on next, that just meant swapping the singers, Chris for John. Half way through their set Kevin called me up to the front and I pleaded with him not to make me do anything embarrassing as I had a feeling some birthday shenanigans were about to begin. Malte suddenly appeared with a bottle of champagne and John started up an original Transnoodle birthday song! I was really touched that the boys in the band had thought of doing that. Thank you!
Malte and I spent five hours holed up in Koya's studio laying down rhythm and lead guitar tracks. The extra guitar sounds will add texture and richness to the recording. Malte wasn't going to be doing any recording but he was there lending his ears and giving advice which was a great help.
I brought the Little Big Muff along to record with and we liked it so much we used it for most of the songs. I didn't make too many mistakes while recording so I didn't have to repeat myself too often. I was focused and we worked methodically through the songs, especially after Koya and I found the best way to communicate what we wanted from each other. After that we fell into a rhythm and worked efficiently.
Three hours into the session I began to feel like a zombie and had to go for a walk - coffee and fresh air were calling me. Malte took the chance to ask Koya to help him make minor corrections on his drum recording - like adding a crash of cymbals at the end of a song - things only the drummer notices.
When I got back we had two songs left to record which we did with effortless ease. We were done by 5:30pm, which meant Malte and I still had time to go round the corner to La Lune for a pint of Hoegarden. We were pleased with how the day went so it was a small celebration too.
We have our raw mix from the recording we did with Koya three weeks ago. A raw mix is where the volume of the instruments are unbalanced - one instrument may be too loud or another too soft. It will be Koya’s job to get the levels right but that’s not important for now. We just need to be sure we’re happy with the recording and there are no major blunders.
The songs sound fine except that my lead in Something in the Water really does sound like I learnt to play the guitar yesterday. I’m wondering whether it was because I couldn’t hear the notes on my guitar succinctly or maybe Malte couldn’t hear me because I feel like we’re out of sync. Or maybe we were worn out - we’d been recording for a solid two to three hours by that time.
I’m not sure we can record it again because Malte and I are improvising that part. I can’t go and record another lead over his drum track because I don’t know what he’s going to play next. We may have to record that song again if we want it on the EP or we could trash it. I have to ask Koya what he thinks and get feedback off Malte and Kevin. I’d like to save the song but I don’t want to put a dud track on the EP.
Now that we have the raw mix we can start creating extra guitar and synth tracks to add to the original recording. I started work on the guitar tracks on Sunday. I played along with the raw mix and tried out different riffs and rhythms. Some ideas worked immediately - others took more time.
I added four different riffs to Still Want You. They were my first ideas and they all worked. I had to experiment more on Pocket. I had a sludgy riff that was ideal but I didn’t want to play it throughout the song because it would grind on the ears so I chose to use it on the parts where I don’t sing and I threw in improvised riffs over the chords in the rest of the song. With Nothing I added another rhythm guitar and arpeggios at the bridge. Malte will be adding a synth to Crooked K but I also worked on some ideas just in case. I tried out a riff but it sounded like a folk song. I want it to sound like a rock song so I think another rhythm guitar will be fine. I might work on that song again and try and find a rock riff that hurts. Sunny Does It For The Money is such a full song I didn’t think it needed anything else. Another rhythm guitar should be enough for that song. Something in the Water is looking like a dead fish. Maybe we should throw it back in the river.
After I got my ideas down I started thinking about whether to use an acoustic or an electric guitar and I played around with my effects pedal to find the right tone. I just bought a new pedal - a Little Big Muff - so I had a lot of fun playing with it. It sounds like granola with Greek yoghurt - crunchy and creamy.
I’ll spend the next week practising the new riffs and when we’re ready Malte and I will go into the studio with Koya and lay down more tracks. We can’t tell if those extra tracks sound right with the song until we listen to them. If they don’t work we’ll have to come up with new ideas but I’m hoping they do because I’ve grown partial to those riffs already. - Sue
Kevin's student, Stella Song (I love her name!), from his journalism course at Hong Kong University was given an online assignment and she chose to make it about Kevin and his part-time job as the bass player for New Tonic Press.
It was a small but lively crowd last night at the Wanch - people were dancing, that always makes me happy! Helium were on first and played a rockin' set as usual with Adam banging out superb riffs on his keyboard. Kevin, Malte and I really enjoyed our performance and thought it was one of our best at the Wanch. After, John told me he'd installed new monitors in the venue, which probably accounted for our great enjoyment. It also means I don't have to shout into the mic any more and stress the vocal chords. Music to my ears!
Gonzales Rodriguez were the last band for the night. Their singer, Saki Ohara, stole the show with her warm and vibrant stage persona. The guitarist was excellent too playing complex lead parts on his Gibson. Steve Bernstein also shared the stage with them playing a miniature electric guitar. It was the talking point amongst the audience as we had never seen anything like it before. We soon worked out that it was an electric mandolin. John Prymmer also got behind the mic singing like a rocker should with all the growls and shrieks in the right place - rock on John!
Check out our fan page for more photos from the gig.