New music venue La Lune is perfectly hidden yet easily found. Situated on Wing Wong Street between Des Voeux and Hollywood roads it’s on the Sheung Wan side of Central but without the stony hike upwards most fans of this area are used to. For islanders it is temptingly near the ferry piers; for those living in the west of town who haven’t been caught in the quicksand of Soho, it is the perfect place to join like-minded loons in assembly.
The bar-restaurant’s outdoor wicker chairs and tables with jolly brollies bring to mind a Parisian people-watching place de jour but La Lune remains a local drinking spot yet to be overrun by the ‘Eurotache’ clientele keen to dominate this Franco-Anglo-Sino neighbourhood. Inside, food is served to reflect the potential for eclecticism while the whisky menu includes Talisker – the perfect drop for a writer with toothache.
Laser-lyriced HK pop band Logo packed out this venue a fortnight ago alongside folk star Kelly Dance. Not content to rest on their L’Oreal they have since put out a call for writer-performers to read (aloud) between songs. Which begs the question: can music, poetry and prose be performed successfully on the same bill, on the same night, in the same venue – working, if not in perfect harmony, then without a switch from one to the other isolating half the crowd?
Anyone finding it hard to miss Lou Reed, simply because his musical storytelling was never off their virtual turntable, shouldn’t find it difficult to square the circle: good pop music can wear its words on its sleeve in the same way that good writing should have a rhythm and melody of its own. I’m looking forward to seeing how things work out.
My own contribution? I was thinking of reworking a Velvet Underground classic to fit my new island surroundings. Have I mentioned that I live near a slaughterhouse? Try to guess the tune:
Shan-i, Shan-i, Shan-i’s boots of leather
A scenic garden in the dark
Hear the pigs, they squeal in service
Strike, dear mistress, and cure my heart
Seaside sins of streetlight fancies
Fishnet stockings she shall wear
Sharkskin suits as you slip under
Neptune, Neptune awaits you there
I am tired, I am seasick
A fitful sleep on the slow ferry home
A thousand ghosts that would awake me
Saltwater kisses sting my tears
I’m sorry, what? You want to cancel your side order of poetry and insist on unadulterated music? In that case, may I recommend New Tonic Press? Hailing from Lamma they are another of Hong Kong’s lyric-driven, life-affirming indie talent explosions. Bon appetit.