From Music-China Wiki
The Underground is a Hong Kong indie music event organizer.
The Underground was founded in 2004 by ex-Sisters Of Sharon singer/guitarist/songwriter Chris B. The Underground quickly became very successful and have sprung into projects in multiple dimensions, including regular gigs with 4-8 bands an evening, concerts for overseas artists, an elaborate web site with one of the most comprehensive performance review profile for bands that have performed at The Underground, artist referral agent for off-shore festivals, and music publisher. While more or less separate from the core business, The Underground team also manages the annual Global Battle Of The Bands China stop and local Music Matters event.
Gigs are the core business for The Underground, as at its prime The Underground host numbered gigs in bar venues around the business district. Notably the shows are always in an alcohol-serving venue, and all the events have a A5 size band bios sheet, which will double as an advertisement for the next event on the back. The shows are always MCed, usually by Chris B, and have professional photography and one video per band has been produced in the recent years. The Underground gigs are always reviewed and reviews are posted on The Underground web site. As such, The Underground web site contains one of the richest band profile asset among all info sites in Hong Kong, spanning time accurately as well. Underground 100 was held on March 17, 2012, which featured a reunion of Audiotraffic, who said it was a one-off performance to support the compilation CD 5 and Audiotraffic would not play again. The exclusively made by Zippo Underground 100 Zippo lighters were released on the show, and were given away for free by lucky draw. Subsequently, Zippo also made guitar pedal print Underground zippo lighters that were available for sale.
Related to the gigs, The Underground publishes a regular newsletter which also cover local indie music events and news.
In the recent months, the progress of the numbered gigs has slowed while many shows are themed. These include Underground Heavy, Underground Electronica and Girls With Guitar, all of which have seen multiple installments.
The Underground Compilation CDs
The Underground work with Mark-1 Music to release the annual Underground Compilation series of CD, again, numbered, with a loose theme. All the tracks in the compilation CDs are specifically recorded at Mark-1 Music Centre instead of submitted. With the indie community changing rapidly, many bands have actually disbanded, while having left a mark.
The four released Underground Compilation CDs are:
The CDs are sold both locally and internationally, in physical form as well as in digital download. The digital version in IndieMusicBox uniquely also contain all album artworks, but only #1 to #3 are currently available.
Underground events outside of Hong Kong
There had been two sets of offshore Underground events. One was the Underground Macau, which has since stopped. Usually a show would feature one band from Hong Kong. In addition, a show was held in Shenzhen, China, just across the border from Hong Kong, and also featured one Hong Kong band among Shenzhen bands.
There are two regular shows that is related to The Underground events.
Shazza Music is the music label that publishes the Compilation CDs, and Shazza Music is also running a numbered series Shazza Music Showcase, held at The Wanch, which regularly see staff members from The Underground manning the stations.
Xperience Live Presents …, another numbered series of showcase, is also managed by The Underground team of staffers, and it is held at another venue in the business district.
Global Battle Of The Bands
The Underground team of staffers manage the annual China Global Battle Of The Bands. In 2010, selection of bands are held in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau. The winning bands from each city takes the final battle in Hong Kong, after which, the winner would battle in the global final in London, U.K. The Global Battle Of The Bands hold a regular attraction as the winning price tend to be very rich.
- Pete Jackson (2012), HK Underground - Chris B on why HK rocks!, published on 15 August 2012