On The Scene: Saffron Bakery (Hong Kong) 14-09-2013


Visa runs can’t stop me! Relocate perhaps, but if there’s a show to be seen, then you better believe I’ll be there. Hong Kong is a strange city, lovely, picturesque, convenient – but lacking that special ‘something’. Perhaps I’ve spent too much time in LKF due to having a broham in the whole suit-and-tie, happy hour boasting phase of his life, but in terms of culture, Hong Kong can surprisingly be lacking. So when I found out Shanghai ‘shit rock’ duo Pairs where to be in town, at a bakery of all places, on the friggin peak, there was no way I was gonna let the opportunity slip.

Cupcakes, cookies, and a bottle of whiskey – Saffron Bakery, owned by the man behind Metal Postcard Records, is an oddity of a joint for sure. And the perfect intro to the Hong Kong music scene as I got to check out local acts Snoblind, Ponyboy, and Tigerbombers. Take a peek below.


Tag team electronica musicians Snoblind kicked off the evenings music with an army of sounds as the two played with computers, samplers, bass with menacing relish.

It’s hard as nails, street tough, and offbeat enough to get your head spinning, all the while answering the question my buddy back up north has been perplexed by – where has all the dubstep gone. Well Sammy Davis Jr., I give you Snoblind – check out the duo’s work here.


The big surprise of the night was Ponyboy, the four-piece outfit whose sound was delightfully all over the place. Taking cues from emo rock, post punk, math rock, and post hardcore there is something unsettlingly striking about their music.

Granted, the bakery couldn’t quite capture it all, but they pack a big sound that builds up till its too late. Yeah, it tries way too hard often to be overtly complex and layered, but the emotions are clearer then ever.

Angst ain’t nothing to fool around with and Ponyboy get it right.


Now, for something completely and shamelessly devoid of all angst – Tigerbombers, the wise-cracking surf punk rock trio who brought the fun (and whiskey) to the Peak.

Ironic, sarcastic, and just plain ridiculous, it’s impossible not to get swept up in the gleeful recklessness and the tightly packed jams. Solid to the core – all three musicians had their moment to shine on vocals.

Hand claps, sing-a-longs, doo-wops, and more – Tigerbombers are a tank off attitude that would easily hit it  big up in the mainland. Check out their latest album here.


To close off the night, before the last bus headed back downtown, Pairs got their freak on with their usual brand of aggressive-aggressive spazoid rock and roll. Xiaoa Zhong, essentially an ADHD kid pushed beyond his limits – the range of emotions and pathos injected and squeezed out of each two minute race to the end is invigorating. An urgency that’s almost tragic.

Between that and the duo’s sly sense of absurdity and genuine appreciation for the form, Pairs’ are a must see act. Whether or not it’s your cup of tea – well, that’s anyones’ guess. I can tell you one thing though – Pairs’ ain’t gonna give a rat dog’s ass.

Till next time Hong Kong.

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