Thursday 14 November 2013

Rock out for a great cause TONIGHT!

Hey people! Tonight there is an event in Hong Kong that you are not going to want to miss. My favourite band in Hong Kong - mOdO are playing, and as a double bonus, they are raising money for a great cause - Movember.

Here to tell us a little more about the band and the gig, is bassist and back-up vocalist, Darren Boey. 
Rockin' Out! Who can help but love a band with a chick on drums!!!
Can you tell me a little bit about mOdO?
We're a three-piece unit consisting of Paul Taylor on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, me on bass and back-up vocals, and Joyce Mak on drums/percussion. We like to think of ourselves as indie-folk focused, but to get the gigs, we mix it up with our acoustic takes on some of the big popular mainstream tunes that are out there. So our set list is pretty eclectic - on one end, you have the Avett Brothers, the Lumineers and Mumford&Sons; on the other, you have Oasis, Cold Play and Guns n' Roses. Maybe our style is best described as somewhere in between!

And this Thursday, you are doing a fundraising gig for Movember. Can you tell me a little about that?
Movember is a global charity that's promoting men's health issues. It started in Australia a few years ago, spread to Canada and now around world. Promotion of men's health is a serious issue - a lot of us blokes are taught/socialized to think that we have to be tough and going to the doc's is a last resort. Well, too often when it comes to serious health issues like prostate cancer, when the symptoms manifest themselves serious enough, it's too late to do anything. Movember is about changing that mindset in men - and those who love them.
So - to that end, the `Mo Bros' around the world grow moustaches for the month of November, often enough look ridiculous doing so, try to promote the cause, and raise funds in the process.

How is the Mo going? Or should I say, growing?
Hmmmm, keep working on it Darren.
Lucky you are already engaged!
It's like Melbourne weather in spring time - actually like most times of the year - patchy with glimmers of hope.

Why did you pick Movember as something that you wanted to get involved with? Was it just to impress the ladies?
If I said yes to the second, my fiancé would kick my ass. In honesty, it was part of an initiative at my office - Bloomberg is getting behind it worldwide, and we have teams in all of our biggest offices. Also, I kind of find that the older I get, and with the prospect of marriage and children around the corner, the more I'm thinking about how I can prolong my meager existence on this planet so I can see my kids grow up. I suppose that's why this cause resonates with me.

I know you are getting married soon, what does your fiancé think of the Mo?
She's supportive enough. The comment that she left on my Movember website was ``it's coming off soon as this month is over'' -- that speaks for itself, I think!

And when you are playing a gig, do you find the Mo adds to your overall charm?
Someone did say that I look more like a folk-rock musician now, so maybe. Having said that, another mate said I look like the Indonesian finance minister - so maybe not.

Can you tell me a bit more about mOdO. It’s an unusual name, how did you come up with that?
It's actually the nickname of a very good mate of ours who left Hong Kong for New York around about the time that the band was forming. I think it was Jane (Darren's fiancé) who suggested it one night, and it became our working name and has stuck. It works for us - it has an enigmatic, intriguing feel to it - and short enough to be remembered easily.

How do you juggle being a rocker and manage a day job?
It was a lot of work early on because we were building up our repertoire - plus I was playing in three bands. Now it's a little easier because it's a matter of maintaining our setlists and adding a song or two for each new gig - and I'm not playing in the other bands anymore. Where we struggle is finding time to write songs and our own music - and then time to jam those out and refine them. I think we've refined the process and have a pretty good system worked out - watch this space!

Do you dream of one day being a full-time musician? The next Bobby Gillespie or Anthony Kiedis perhaps?
It would be great to do this full time, but we harbor no illusions about our talent. There are too many good musos out there with more skill, more dedication and more will to put up with the crappy pay and hours - you just have to go down to Wan Chai and check out some of the awesome Filipino bands who get paid next to nothing to do what they do. 

Ultimately for me, the journey is the destination - it was much like training for my marathons - it's not so much to be a kick-ass runner, it's about the process and experience of getting there - and with the music, it's about living the dream for just a little while - and if people enjoy what we do, that's an added bonus.

What’s the coolest thing about being in a band?
Having the front-row seat for a room full of people shout-singing the chorus to `Don't Look Back in Anger' at the end of a long night - and then screaming for an encore. You can't imagine that feeling you get from connecting with a crowd and knowing exactly how much they're loving it. We get a lot of entertainment from the crowd reaction. Also - free beers at the gigs.
There are quite a few chicks in this photo of fans....
I'm guessing they don't do do badly on the ladies front. 

Is it true that guys in bands get more chicks? Do you have any groupies?
More chicks? You'd have to ask Pt about that one. We definitely have loyal friends who come to most of our gigs. Because this blog's about running, I gotta say we can always count on our running buddies - Adrian Lowther and Peter Hopper most notably. Adie twerked at one of our gigs once. Hopper would sing with us if we gave him the chance. What about you, Jane? Can we count on you for a twerk ?
(Ummm, I'm not so sure about Twerking Darren... I'm a runner for a reason. But it's a very generous offer. I think I'll stick to clapping and cheering instead.)

What’s the most fun gig you’ve ever played?
We did a gig once, as part of the bigger band that first brought Pt and I together, in that amphitheatre area in Lan Kwai Fong. It was the Carousel Music Series, an afternoon thing, we were 2nd-last band on and the crowd had filled up by then, and were pretty liquored up. We played a great set and we had the crowd up and dancing around. I remember we got to the final chorus of Coldplay's `Yellow' and the whole crowd was singing along - the voices coming back at me, that sheer feeling of elation that these people were having the time of your life (and you might have had something to do with that) - I stopped singing and just smiled. Singular greatest moment of my humble musical career.

I’m sure the gig on Thursday will be a huge success. Can you tell me where people can check you out, and how to donate?
We're at Peel Fresco, which is on Peel St, closer to the Hollywood Road end. Here's a map. We're on between 9pm-midnight.

For Movember, check out my site, or just go to and hit the big `Donate' button at the top right. The Mo Bros of the world thank and salute you for your support!

To read more about mOdO click here.

1 comment:

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