Thursday, October 08, 2015

jc's gig

I was lucky to score a gig last night playing for a singer from Hong Kong. 

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* Pix by Juan

The last time I played for him was when he was in Singapore starring in the musical, Snow Wolf Lake, held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in 1997 when I was 22 and still studying at NTU. That gig was one which all the musicians playing in remember dearly, because of the music, the scale and glamour of the production, and the high wattage star power.

Funny things which stick in my mind include playing Frisbee with the musicians during breaks in the cavernous dark corners of the Indoor stadium, and seeing JC walk past looking taller and skinnier than expected in denim overalls to grab a food pack.

This time, this guy, who was one of Hong Kong's Four Heavenly Kings, has been paid to fly in and sing for a private bank gig at the (freezing cold) 5000-seat The Star. (I think its the same bank I played for back in 2012. What a nice, rich bank) 

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* My tag

The top tier of the theatre was closed off, but at least 3-4,000 seats were available, and by invitation only. Who were these people? We expected high rollers, Tatler types, people who invest millions with the bank. Instead, we saw very normal-looking types, like you and me, all happily waving light sticks, singing along to songs which they grew up listening to. 

Excepting one local pop singer surnamed Sun whom I spot in the front row, with her husband, also merrily waving her light stick and singing along with gusto. She seemed to relish being just one of the audience and nodded in full agreement when JC said to the audience in Mandarin: "Someone called me a God of Song. Goodness, what God of Song? I’m just a singer."

These gigs are good. Because it’s well-funded, standards are a notch higher. We play sitting on risers with safety rails (in other gigs there may not be safety rails meaning we could drop from height if we miss a step) and there are loads of special effects including lasers and dancing lights.

We, the 16-piece string section sitting in one straight row behind on the highest tier, are treated to mostly JC’s back or side view. 

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* Wearing what seems to be the standard rehearsal attire: Cap, jacket, jeans and boots

Some of the players are young, they don’t know who JC is. But for those who do, it is a real treat. I turn up the volume on the Vox (voice) channel to the maximum, and my spine tingles when through my earphones I hear the heart-melting quaver in his voice during the two rehearsals and performance, singing familiar favourites like 爱是永恒 and 祝福.

These gigs are also good because players are treated well. We don’t have to go hungry or pack our own bites when rehearsals stretch through mealtimes, bento box dinners are very nicely provided (any client who provides food is a good client in my book). 

And post-concert at 10pm, we make our way to Long Beach Seafood Restaurant at Dempsey where the entire support crew enjoy champagne and a full Chinese dinner-supper with black pepper crab and prawn and lala and chicken and fish and mantou with chilli crab sauce and vegetable and whatnot until nearly midnight.

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* That towelette packaging!

It’s also where we grab the chance to take photos with him. Everybody wants one. JC, who unfailingly turns around before and after rehearsals to thank the players (in English because the players have flown in from all over), gracefully obliges every single request. The man, by the way, is aged 54.

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* Joelle, me, Bingling, Ye Zhi, Jitmin, JC, Chun (who organised the gig), Gerard

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4 comments:

Jo said...

WOW!!! Jacky Cheung!! Truly a Legend. He looks skinny and tired tho.

Dee.. said...

I cheer for you for being able to have a good COOL night out!!!

Sher said...

dee: all thanks to kk and my folks... without them i cant do any of this.

jo: he IS v skinny. i din think he looked tired tho, thot he looked great for his age. i will prob look much more tired at age 54!

Zhiwei said...

My idol!! Love his voice!!