Monday, September 16, 2013

Hidden Agenda

Was jumping around like an excited child in Hidden Agenda, the venue for In Each Hand A Cutlass' second gig. Been dying to check out this venue! Located 30 minutes out of town in Kwun Tong in an industrial estate above a car workshop, everything about it screams grunge, cool and indie. It was forced to close twice by the government, but it has re-opened down the road at this current site. (This 2011 CNNtravel article listed its old address; and a TimeOut February 2013 update of its lease situation.) 

Now four years old, this small (or could be medium-sized) venue could hold 300 people and boasts of super decent back line equipment for the bands. BUT, it's apparently still violating land usage of the property and the Lands Department isn't letting up, and I'm really not sure if Hidden Agenda will see a fifth birthday. Co-founder Kimi Lam is resourceful and incredibly passionate about the scene. Even if this address closes, I hope she'll find another venue or perhaps another business model.

From a marketing point, I thought it a bit odd to have three post-rock bands play in one night at Hidden Agenda. It kinda narrows the audience reach and number of tickets sold because of the adherence to one genre for the night. Dunno. While it was intriguing to hear Elf-Fatima and Life Was All Silence, I've to be honest and say that I couldn't do three post-rock bands in a row. Neither could I have done three pop-rock bands in a night. I'd have been happier if I could have heard other Hong Kong bands of different genres.

Despite having solid earplugs, still got my eardrums blown out. Spied a setting on the amp for one of the bands at knob 7. 7!!! 3 would already give you a blast. Russian Circles played here last October. I wonder how loud that gig went. In Each Hand A Cutlass somehow decided to dial down a little, and bring out every layer of their music and instruments. Thought it made them sound really good.

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