What luck it was to catch Blixa Bargeld and Teho Teardo live in concert in Hong Kong over the weekend! A random last-minute scroll through the Goethe Institut website revealed that the duo were to play at Hong Kong’s underground music venue Hidden Agenda. If you haven’t been to Hidden Agenda, check it out before it falls prey to property developers (like anything of cultural interest in Hong Kong). It’s pretty much the only alternative live music venue we have to the hole-in-the-wall pubs playing cover bands, or Macau’s casinos serving up sadness, Miley Cyrus, and Lady Gaga.
Bargeld, for those of you not familiar with him, is the frontman of famous German experimental band Einstürzende Neubauten, and former long-time guitarist and vocalist with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. He’s nothing short of a legend in Germany, although it surprises me that he hasn’t gained more renown internationally. For the past few years he’s collaborated with Teho Teardo, a noted Italian composer, musician, and sound designer, to produce moving and dramatic experimental compositions.
Black-clad in a sparkly three-piece suit, Bargeld shrieked and sang his way in German, English, and Italian through a set of songs from the duo’s 2014 album, Still Smiling, which was recorded over two years between Rome and Berlin.
The intense set made use of Teardo’s guitar, cello by Martina Bertoni, and a full string quartet by the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. Simply amazing! The clash of classic instruments with electronics was nothing short of beautiful!
Here are some dodgy iPhone pics of the gig and a music video clip of ‘Mi Scusi’, off their Atill Smiling album. Check ’em out!