Live Performances Videos

Few things in life come close to the excitement and emotional intensity of playing music live on stage. You cannot hide on stage, there is no where to run, you stand naked in front of the audience and you cannot pretend : you are as good as you are or as bad as you are, the stage is the moment of true. Different musicians react differently to playing regularly on stage. In theory, you would feel bad when you did not play well on stage and you would vow to spend more time practicing and do a better show next time. That is why playing live shows will make you a better player if that is the attitude you adopted. On the other hand I have also come across musicians on whom the only effect of playing live regularly is to make them more thick-skinned and indifferent to the music they play. I have seen a few in my Blues Club. But to me, every show is exciting, every time I step on stage I want to play my best and play something new, for the audience, for my band and for myself.

Throughout the years, from playing as an amateur to playing music full-time, I have had quite a few of my shows recorded on video. Here are some of the moments I treasured. They really are like time in a bottle. These performances spanned over a period of 13 years the first one from 1992 and the last one in 2005. Every time I watch them I remember what I felt during each of the shows, I remember what kind of emotion I was going through and the vibes of each show. Music has given me so much happiness. After practicing law for 18 and a half years I gave it. I have only one regerts : why did I not give up 10 years earlier. Well, better late than never.

 

You Gotta Move

Recorded at the Hong Kong School Of Performing Arts on 5th June, 2009

For the first time, my new band is captured on video. On bass is Alfred Au and on Drums is Lawrence Tsui. In those two I have an excellent rhythm section. They give me all the power and punch I ever need. They are one of the best rhythm section in town. The video was captured by Edward "Noho" Tang and his film crew. Video editing also by Edward "Noho". Here it is.

 

Stranger

Recorded at the Hong Kong School Of Performing Arts on 5th June, 2009

This is one of my all-time favourite Johnny Winter songs. This song was found on Johnny Winter's John Dawson III. Again featuring Alfred on bass and Lawernce on drums. Edward "Noho" Tang and his crew again. Here it is.

 

Crossroads Blues

Recorded at the Fringe Club on 7th February, 1992

I returned from England to Hong Kong in the summer of 1984, and went straight into full time practice as a barrister-at-law after doing the necessary pupilage. By 1990, I had made a name for myself in law and money was rolling in. But I was not happy at all; all my time was spent making money and I had no time to make music. I started to turn away cases so that I could find time to play music.

I have always been mesmerized by the music of Robert Johnson, I just loved his music and loved his slide playing. In around the end if 1991, I took two weeks off work and stayed home to learn to play acoustic slide guitar. I was spending 8 to 10 hours a day learning to play. I knew I could not afford another break like this, my practice was so busy it was impossible to take any time off and I made full use of this lull. A few months later,. I played my first acoustic piece in front on an audience at the Fringe Club on 7th February, 1999. Here it is Crossroad Blues .

 

 

Can't Stop Loving

Recorded at A.C. Hall on 27th July, 1996

In the summer of 1995, I went to JVC/Victor in Tokyo to record my first CD Play My Blues. The backing musicians were from Mr. Kazuo Takeda's backing band and they were just top draw musicians. The recording session went really well and after the session I had a dream to bring the whole band to Hong Kong to do a show. A year after, on 27th July, 1996 my dream came true. That evening I stage a concert at the AC Hall. The AC Hall is a place that has special meaning for me : I had seen many great musicians from all over the world perform at AC Hall and what a place to be able to play there.

For the show, I had the entire band brought over from Japan together with two engineers involved in the recording of Play My Blues : no expense spared. Mr. Masa Oya, the director of the JVC/Victor Studio also came to Hong Kong with the band. Mr. Dominic Chow did the horn arrangements and assembled the horn sections for me. I would like to thank Mr. Edward Chun, my good friend and an excellent guitarist for helping me out.

The show was a very tense affair for me, I had never played such a big show and. I was a barrister-at-law at the time with a very busy practice and never had enough time to spend working on my music. It was impossible to find time to practice and at the same time run my legal practice. In the end, I just took three months off and did nothing but played guitar all day. The entire show ran for over two hours but it just flew by like a minute. Before I knew it, it was over already. Featured here is a song from the show called Can't Stop Loving The Blues.

 

You Gotta Move

Recorded at Con Brio, Tokyo, Japan on 14th July,1999

Of all the professional musicians I have met in Japan, Masa Oya san and Takatani san are two of the best. Technically they are brilliant, great in all styles of music. But the most important thing is they can combine music with feel and humour. It is always a joy to play with them. The organized a show for at bar called "Con Brio" on 14th July, 1999. The place beautiful. On the night, the place was packed. I was very nervous when I walked up to the stage. That was well before I started playing full time and I was so nervous when the audience gave me a great warm welcome while I was making my way to the stage. On the video you will see Masa Oya san and Takatani san on guitar. On bass was Takashi san and on drums was Katsumi san. All these guys were top professional guys and I was only a part-time player at the time. But they were so nice to me, give me all the support I need and all the helped I need.

After a nervous start, I was beginning to enjoy myself and then I really enjoyed myself. That was the first time I got over my stage fright playing in Japan and really got into the music. After that, I enjoyed so much every time I played in Japan. Thanks to Oya san, Takatani san, Takashi san and Katsumi san. Here is one of the tunes of the night, one of my all-time-favorites, a song by Fred McDowell You Gotta Move .

 

 

Johnny B. Goode

Recorded at the last night Of 48th Street on 9th April, 2005

Saturday, 9th April, 2005 was the last day of my Blues Club 48th Street Chicago Blues and one of the saddest days in my life. For four years, that place was the center of my life, nothing mattered more. 48th Street was music itself, 48th Street was where real music was played, where musicians could play what they like without any pressure from me to do any trendy or pop music. The place was my home and also a home to many musicians. But life has never been kind never will be. After 4 years, I found my back against the wall with no choice but to close down the place. On the last night, many of the bands who played regularly at 48th Street came to do their music one last time at 48th Street. The place was packed to the brim. I did the last set. Before I started the music, I made a short speech and of the things I said was "I played more music in the last 4 years at 48th Street than the last 40 years. I made more friends in the last four years at 48th Street than in the last 40 years." Yes, I still take a stroll down memory lane now and again. And I do miss the place. How could I forget all the good times and bad times. How can we feel happy if we never feel sad. All is bitter sweet.

The song here is a Rock and Roll song that needs no introduction. I would like to thank all the musicians who played with me on this song. Incidentally they are all from Japan, Tomiyama on harp, Fukata on guitar, Koya on bass, Taro on drums and Kohsaka on keyboard. And I have to say, I had the best musicians in 48th Street playing with me on this song. Here it is Johnny B. Goode.