Making an Effort

To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears also. – Igor Stravinsky

27th November – Clockenflap 2015 Day 1

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Venue: West Kowloon Cultural District


I’d never been to Clockenflap before, although I had been tempted on several occasions e.g. When De La Soul performed and when a friend’s band, Noughts and Exes were playing. Why the hesitation, you may well ask. Yet again, it was the notion of attending another event solo. However, we have already established that I am old enough and wise enough for this not to matter anymore despite the style of event, unless it was something like ballroom dancing where a partner is required and my inhibitions would certainly take over once again, that and the fact that this person with Hobbit sized feet can’t dance.

I only bought a ticket for Friday night, as I thought I might have a hockey game on Saturday and might prefer to rest on Sunday. I was fortunate to have the day off on Friday and eventually contacted a friend on the way there. She was also on her way, so I definitely had company!

Entry was easy as our tickets were scanned and we were given a bracelet with a chip as the stalls are cashless so we had to add money to our cards on the bracelet – very convenient as add money booths were located at the entrance and right by the food stalls.

We made our way past the Atrum stage where The Anello were just finishing their set. Our destination was over to the main Harbourflap Stage where Sun KiMoon were performing. I’d not heard of them before, but they were definitely Americana – a group from San Francisco. The lead singer’s voice is good, but the songs were certainly not on the brighter side of life. One song ended with ‘ Grandma died of cancer’. My friend did note that it was strange to applaud after that. Their songs are of the storytelling style and rather depressing in nature, so I won’t be listening to them in a hurry. a nice highlight was that we did get to vote with cheers for a song – MoonRiver was voted over a Christmas tune. I was glad, it’s still not December yet.

After this we went over to  The Atrum stage to see Clean Bandit. We were able to squeeze ourselves in close to the front on the right. As is the nature of these festivals, when people move, leave and jostle, we were able to move forward, until a friend to my left moved forward, but we couldn’t follow, but moved left towards the centre, and I soon realised I was standing right next to high school students from my school, some of which I had taught. Unfortunately, they finally realised and one of them broke the unwritten code by joyfully shouting out my name. Anyway, Clean Bandit were excellent with great lead vocals by Elizabeth Troy. They played plenty of hits which had the crowd jumping, including ‘There’s no place I’d rather be’. I couldn’t fully agree as I would have rather been about 2m over to the right from where I was standing.

Thankfully, we needed to make our way back to the Harbourflap stage to see Damien Rice. It was just him, a guitar and a loop station. He was most impressive live. He started with . It was great to have him involve crowd with Volcano, having one third sing ‘Volcanos melt’, the second third of the crowd had two lines to sing and the last group were assigned a rather high pitched tune, which of course they struggled with, to everyone’s amusement. Definitely a talented man who can captivate his audience with his style, yet varied it enough to keep it interesting. I’m sure that requires a lot of consideration being a solo set.

Back over at Atrum stage, we experienced Lotus, which was a DJ with a lot of visuals. Most of my friends were soon lost in the crowd. I considered staying, but after a while, with the penetrating beat of the music, I decided to grab a bite to eat. Of course during this time,I spotted more students and so averted my gaze and hastily walked away.

I ventured back to Harbourflap to see ‘Ride’ perform. I knew they were Indie – I enjoyed their first few songs, but after a while, I felt that their music did not hold my interest and pretty much was sounding the same. So, standing in confined space with some backache, was not helping, so I moved myself to the side, where I could still see well enough and could watch the rest of the set.

I met up with my friends to leave, and they had gone to see a Japanese band ‘Love Psychedelico’ which they said were excellent. I only found out after I’d bought my ticket that Shaolin Fez will be playing on Sunday afternoon. I’m tempted to go, but I think I will refrain and watch the live stream on TV from home.

All in all, it was an excellent experience, and I do enjoy going to see bands that I’ve never seen before. It’s obviously well run and we also have the comfort of going home each night to our comfy beds rather than camping in a muddy field. I’ll be looking forward to seeing who they bringing to Clockenflap 2016!


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