In its seventh year (although my first).
A virgin to music festivals because of their association with wellies and mud I have avoided such events. The beauty of Hong Kong's Clockenflap is the ease of getting to the venue and, even better, being able to go home with no necessity to camp in a field.
Kowloon Station MTR and then walk, follow the signs that say CLOCKENFLAP
It is three days of music at ten different stages of various sizes. As well as all that lots of places to buy food and drink and believe it or not the toilets were of a civilized standard with fast queues and no drama.
Their website is easy to negotiate. You can buy your choice of ticket and print it off seamlessly, and if you are more organised and decisive than me you you could have bought a weekend ticket months ago at an early bird discount. Next year I will remember this. I must mention their tone, they write their information in such a friendly way I found it a refreshing change from other Hong Kong events. For instance one of their FAQ says ;
A. No, sorry, but plenty of caterers will be serving delicious food and drinks at the venue. However, we will make exceptions on food and drink intended for babies.
See! They sound like a jolly nice bunch of people to me.
The Actual Music
Sultan Ali and The Red Stripes
There were loads of bands playing at various stages throughout the day and so unless you have super powers you can't see them all. I set myself a realistic target of general milling and checking out the stalls and the art, buying beer and getting something to eat until the serious business of watching Sultan Ali and the Red Stripes at 4.30 on the Replay stage. The Red Stripes are a Hong Kong band and Sultan, having flown in specially for Clockenflap, is from Jamaica. He was a charismatic, experienced crowd pleaser and they had the crowd jumping from the first note. They are a very slick band with their special guest and well worth seeing without him too.
Then I skipped across to the Harbourflap stage for OZOMATLI from the States who were cool as. A multi-genre, multicultural and multi Grammy winning band who were fabulous.
Kool and the Gang
The excitement was building for Kool and the Gang, obviously. When they said "Let's take you back to the 70s" I did have a quick scan of the audience to see if there was anyone around me who was alive at that time and soon came to the conclusion that it was just me. It was no matter and I made a point of pushing my way to front to get the whole full on Kool experience and had a close up view of the brass section as well as the fantastic sparkly shirts they all wore. They still have the moves. They still have the showmanship. They still have the voices and we all obliged by singing all the words to the Ladies Night and Ceeeeelabration time COME ON!
Travis were the headline band on the Harbourflap stage to finish off Saturday night.
It is plain to see the lead singer off of Travis has facial hair. But does he have to have THAT much of it. It's wild. I wondered if he was sporting a beard for Movember because every other male attending Clockenflap seemed to be. Even the provision of a proper barbers chair didn't seem to make any difference in the amount of unshaveness. I find it ironically unfair that the fashion for removing hair from nearly every place on the human body has been embraced while it is a tragic fashion fad to grow a beard where we all have to look at it. At least the pubic region is covered most of the time. Come on boys it's December soon, lets go for a nice clean shaven look for Christmas and well into the New Year. What da ya say?
Lumbersexual is a new word to me but it was apparant that many of the audience were actually walking talking lumbersexuals. I spotted quite of lot of lumberjack shirts and boots and of course the unkempt beard to complete the whole vibe. Although the urban dictionary defines the word as a man with 'groomed' beard who wants to maintain a rugged look. Something is just not right.