The countdown to Clockenflap 2018 is nearly over. Hong Kong’s premier three-day festival returns to Central Harbourfront this Friday with a lineup that includes everything from headliner royalty (Erykah Badu) to local favorites (GDJYB). And here’s some good news, dear readers, we’re giving away two sets of 3-Day General Admission tickets to two lucky COCO+ Members! See how to score a pair for yourself at the end of the article.
But first, shall we go through all the highlights? With six stages to choose from and an abundance of music to listen to, the choices can be overwhelming. Luckily for you, Coconuts HK has given a listen to each of the acts performing this week and here are some of the acts we think you should definitely go and see this weekend:
Interpol, 9pm-10:30pm, Harbourflap Stage
Fresh from the release of their sixth album, Marauder, these New York indie legends will be making their long-awaited Hong Kong debut. The band has long drawn comparisons with the likes of Joy Division, Television, and Echo and the Bunnymen, and have been standard bearers for the post-punk revival sound since bursting onto the scene with 2002’s instant classic Turn on the Bright Lights.
Cigarettes After Sex, 7:15-8:15, Harbourflap stage
One year after performing to a sold-out show at KITEC in Hong Kong last year, this Brooklyn-based trio will be one of the acts opening this year’s Clockenflap. The group released their debut album last year, and have a sound that has been described as ethereal and dream-like pop.
Big Shaq, 8:15-9pm, FWD stage
English comedian/rapper Michael Dappah went viral in 2017 when he appeared as his grime star persona Roadman Shaq on BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Fire in the Booth segment, where rappers are invited to freestyle over a track. That freestyle became a viral hit; since then, Dappah has gone on to release another viral hit called Man Don’t Dance this year.
Peking Duk, 9pm-10:30pm, Club Max
Helping to close the first night of the Clockenflap weekend is this duo comprised of Canberra DJ/producers Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles. They’ve been described as one of the most exciting dance acts to emerge from Australia in the past decade.
Mija, 7:30pm-9pm, Club Max
This Phoenix-born DJ producer knows a thing or two about getting people on their feet, and her DJ stints include Coachella, Burning Man, and Road to Ultra. She’s also a frequent collaborator with Skrillex on tour.
Bodega, 6:45pm-7:30pm, YourMum stage
This Brooklyn-based band were the breakout act at this year’s SXSW festival, wowing crowds with a sound that combined raucous post-punk with infectious pop and razor sharp lyrics.
Anpu, 9:30pm-10:30pm, FWD stage
Taiwanese singer-songwriter Anpu, previously known as Deserts Chang, last performed at Clockenflap in 2014. She’s been described as one of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters to emerge from Taiwan in the past 20 years, having first found fame as part of indie rock band Mango Runs. She’s since released four solo albums.
GTB, 5:45pm-6:30pm, YourMum stage
An acronym for “Green Tea Beauty Queens,” this duo is a collaboration between singers Serrini and Yeung Tung. Individually, they’ve made names for themselves in the local indie scene singing unapologetically sentimental pop. As GTB, however, the two women transform into the alter egos Serena and Ruby, two crass, materialistic, and acerbic “Kong Gurls.”
The Low Mays, 9:30pm-10:30pm, YourMum stage
This six-piece Cantonese rap group who dropped their first mixtape in 2015 are making their Clockenflap debut. The experimental group, which has occasionally raised eyebrows with some prodigious Cantonese-language swearing, has carved a cult following in Hong Kong and Guangzhou’s underground hip-hop scene.
David Byrne, 9pm-10:30pm, Harbourflap Stage
Best known as the frontman of new wave band Talking Heads, David Byrne will be performing in Hong Kong for the first time since 2009 on the back of the release of his 11th solo album American Utopia. Expect a smattering of Talking Heads hits on top of his solo material.
Jarvis Cocker, 7:15pm-8:15pm, Harbourflap Stage
The frontman of British rock band Pulp will be making his Clockenflap debut with new material and an all-new band. There might be a gem or two from his back catalog, so get ready to belt out Common People and Sorted for E’s & Wizz (we hope!) on Saturday.
Caribou, 9:30pm-10:30pm, FWD Stage
Canadian musician and recording artist Dan Snaith has performed as Manitoba and Daphni, but is more well-known performing under the moniker Caribou. Known for his compelling live shows and a multi-layered sound that combines electronic twiddling with live instrumentation, he is bound to get you on your feet on Saturday.
Irvine Welsh, 9:30pm-10:30pm, FWD Stage
It turns out the Scottish author who penned such novels as Trainspotting and Filth is also pretty proficient behind the decks. Those looking to end their Saturday on the dance floor to some techno, acid house, and disco know where to look.
Kiri T, 2:30pm-3:15pm, FWD Stage
New York and Hong Kong-based singer-songwriter Kiri T has made a name for herself in the Asian music scene penning catchy hits, that blend indie pop with R&B, and electronic music.
Alvvays, 5pm-6pm, FWD Stage
This Toronto-based indie rock band has been a favorite in the Canadian indie scene since the release of their eponymous debut album in 2014. Since then, they have dropped their follow-up record Antisocialites, and performed at Glastonbury and Coachella. Check out our interview with them here.
9m88, 9:45pm-10:30pm, YourMum Stage
We fell in love with this Taipei-born, Brooklyn-based jazz singer when we heard her cover of the Japanese ’80s soul/funk song Plastic Love. For those still trying to figure out what the name means, it’s pronounced “jiu-em-ba-ba,” a combination of the English name “Joanne” and her childhood nickname, “ba ba.” Her sound has been likened to that of Eykah Badu, prepare to be entranced.
Rhye, 8pm-9pm, FWD Stage
This outfit led by musician Mike Milosh will be performing some downtempo yet soulful alternative R&B. This will be the band’s Clockenflap debut, and also marks their second live performance in Hong Kong after performing a sold out show at Hong Kong’s KITEC in 2015.
Suchmos, 6:30pm-7:30pm, FWD Stage
This six-piece Japanese group have a sound that combines soul, jazz, hip hop, funk, and R&B with indie rock. Fresh from the release of their third album, The Ashtray, they will be making their highly-anticipated Clockenflap debut.
GDJYB, 8:15pm-9pm, YourMum Stage
With a sound that combines the the complex rhythmic structures and varying tempos of math rock with the storytelling and oral history elements of folk music, this four-piece, all-female band has been praised as one of the most exciting indie bands to emerge from Hong Kong in recent years. This will be their third Clockenflap performance, and they will also be releasing their five-song EP Squarcle at the festival. Check out our interview with GDJYB here.
Erykah Badu, 9:15pm-10:15pm, Harbourflap stage
The Queen of Neo-Soul will be closing this year’s Clockenflap music festival. The critically acclaimed R&B singer, known for her eclectic hats and headscarves — but most of all her distinct and powerful voice — is considered royalty of the ’90s neo-soul movement, a style blending soul, R&B, jazz and wider elements, from funk and hip hop to African music.
The Vaccines, 8pm-9pm, FWD Stage
This London-based indie band will be returning to Clockenflap after wowing audiences in 2014. The Vaccines have made a name for themselves as one of the most exuberant live acts around since 2010, with their distinctive indie, surf, and punk rock sound.
Khalid, 7:30pm-8:30pm, Harbourflap stage
Also helping to bring the festival to a close is American R&B singer-songwriter Khalid, who will be performing in Hong Kong for the first time. Since his debut single Location propelled him to international fame in 2016, he has gone on to collaborate with Kendrick Lamar and The Roots, and was nominated for five Grammys this year including for best new artist and best urban contemporary album.
Wolf Alice, 6:30pm-7:30pm, FWD Stage
This London-based alt-rock band will also be making their Clockenflap debut, having just won the 2018 Mercury prize for their LP Visions Of A Life in September. With a sound that has been described as “the lovechild of folk and grunge” by music magazine Clash, they are bound to give one of the most memorable performances of the festival.
Roni Size, 9pm-10:30pm, Club Max
With a sound that merges jungle with hip hop, funk, soul, and house, Roni Size has been described by others as “a colossus of the British drum and bass scene,” and is known for his unforgettable sets and festivals like Glastonbury and Coachella.
HKDNB Bass Crew, 7:30pm-9pm, Club Max
Welcome to a mashup of four of Hong Kong’s most established Drum and Bass collectives: Bass Music China/Saiyan, Heavy Hong Kong/Blood Dunza, Synthetik/DJ Lovely, and MC R-Vee. If you like your Drum & Bass fused with a bit of grime, garage, dubstep, reggae, funk, and a bit of jazz, you know where to go.
Bohan Phoenix, 7pm-7:45pm, YourMum Stage
If you’re a fan of Chengdu hip hop group Higher Brothers, you will love Bohan Phoenix. Born in Hubei and raised in Massachusetts, this Chinese-American rapper spits fire in Mandarin and English.
Wu Tsing-fong, 9:30pm-10:30pm, FWD Stage
Taiwanese singer-songwriter Wu Tsing-fong is probably best-known for being the frontman of indie rock group Sodagreen. Earlier this year, he announced that he would be taking time out from the band to pursue other projects, which includes performing solo at Clockenflap for the first time.
Cornelius, 6pm-7pm, Harbourflap Stage
Performing under the solo moniker Cornelius, Japanese musician Keigo Oyamada has been described as “a modern-day Brian Wilson” and “the Japanese Beck” (admittedly very high praise) because of his experimental sound. Oyamada was originally one half of the Tokyo pop duo Flipper’s Guitar.
Instinct of Sight, 8:15pm-9pm, YourMum Stage
Raw and gritty are the first words that come to mind when we first heard Instinct of Sight. Known for their blistering live shows and a sound that combines post-hardcore, metalcore, screaming vocals and heavy guitar riffs, it comes as no surprise that this five-piece group have made a name for themselves as one of the most compelling underground bands in Hong Kong.
Getting excited? Can’t wait to hear more about the giveaway? Well, all you have to do is to join us for the price of one coffee per month and become a COCO+ Member with unlimited access to fresh, original and award-winning content from Coconuts, with a chance to join regular and free giveaways like this one.
Once you’re a COCO+ Member, simply email us at email@example.com the subject line “I want tickets to Clockenflap” along with your full name and contact information.
We’ll announce the winners on Nov. 7, so keep your eyes peeled for that golden email! If you’re the lucky one, be sure to reply and claim your prize within 24 hours, or we will pick again.