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Gorillaz or guerillas? Vivien Westwood or Clint Eastwood? World Music or “world music” or just simply music and without this music being relegated depending on the “status” of a country into some token Third World co-starring role.

As the clip above shows, Damon Albarn understands how music must not have any labels to shut it down from one side to to the other.

The man has his views, he has stands by them and his partnership with Jamie Hewlett might seem to ebb and flow but the two are always creating. Love that. Creativity is a 24/7 job which one should love to stay awake and keep working on. Sleep is for dying.

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So, with this in mind, here’s what I don’t get: Everyone waits for certain acts to show up, everyone goes and sees these acts, everyone raves about the gig and, yes, Then What?

Gorillaz performed in Hong Kong over a week ago and everyone who hauled ass to AsiaWorld came back blown away by the performance- the show, the theatre, the experience, the party.

They raved about the event, they got it all and understood why there was a need for such a large touring party. And that’s ‘cos the concert really was more like a party: Controlled chaos with Damon Albarn playing both the Pied Piper of Hamlyn and The Mad Hatter.

Yes, there were “reviews” of the show, but “reviewers” are like “music critics”: redundant in a Fan Rules and fan-driven music culture. Honestly, who today read “reviews” or gives a toss how many “stars” an album gets?

A group of us were sitting around trying to get our heads around how things which could be built from the building blocks given but which, instead, fall through the cracks through negligence, sloppiness and, perhaps, lack of that 24/7 level of creativity and commitment to it.

It’s like when working for a music company and having to focus on “priority releases”. Apart from the fact that focusing on these “priority releases” meant scant attention to new acts and which made even signing these a waste of everyone’s time, the moment “priority releases” have “run their course,” they go off radars until whenever they come up with another “priority release” and which, these days, is usually three years.

A slight detour: Whatever happened to that surge of creative energy and creative output that came from the Beatles- singles, EPs, albums, concerts, movies, music videos no one knew were music videos? And concerts?

Gorillaz in Hong Kong- Gorillaz in China-Gorillaz nearly anywhere- doesn’t happen everyday. Plus, how many “bands” like them have recorded a track called “Hong Kong”?

Sure, the lyrics are vague, but listen  to the ‘feel’ of the song. It’s as cosmopolitan and as neurotic and is the space oddity that is the city.

How could Hong Kong have made more outta this Gorillaz trip?

Forget the usual reasons like  “not enough time” and “it was a quick trip”.

Could there have been a sustaining campaign- or someone looking at a bigger picture scenario for the band/concert which would make the Main News and not uploads onto YouTube or “reviews” ?Perhaps it’s time for a new form of “concert promoters”. They are starting to remind me of flim-flam men and carnival barkers.

Could, for example, the Hong Kong Tourist Association have been tapped to do something with this track called “Hong Kong”- though the lyrics have very little to do with the city? Just asking.

Or could the promoters have worked something out between Jamie Hewlett and the Association? Or is this not the “promoter’s job”? If not, change it.

Is this the “music company’s job”? Not really. They had nothing to do with the gig.

So, should artist management have looked at other opportunities beyond the tour? No. But, then again, that’s not how it’s done, right?

Well, maybe this is why nothing of any importance gets “done” beyond one concert and one tour?

There is nothing being done to sustain that interest and no one wishing to take the ball and run with it.

It is just one reason why the music industry is down the crapper and why these days few think of music and creativity in the same breath.

The other problem is that many talk the talk but few walk the talk without buckling at the knees. Everyone waits for the other person to do the job or get something started. And yet, everyone is tired and “over-worked”. I don’t get it. Their over-acting is just too good.

Hong Kong calls itself “Asia’s World City” even when it as been over-taken by Singapore and Shanghai and Beijing and probably even Macau.

Hong Kong has an organisation called CreateHK that not too many know about and certainly have very little idea what it actually does. Yet, it is government subsidised and the staff heading it are no doubt paid extremely well to keep this sampan afloat and have it make a few token stops along the way.

Would those running this magical place called CreateHK know Jamie Hewlett from Jamie Oliver? No. They are useless twats.

Jamie Hewlett is an incredible creative talent who gave Gorillaz their identities. He and Damon Albarn work as a creative unit and, sometimes, the unit breaks up and goes and does other things. But when they “play together” it works best.

When with EMI- and beyond my “job responsibilities”-I was “advocating” for Jamie Hewlett to come out to Asia, base himself in, let’s say,  Beijing, for around 6 weeks and work with or hold a workshop for young Chinese- and Filipino and Indian and Korean and whatever- animators.

Hannah Barbera don’t have studios in Korea for nothing.  Korea- and now China and always, the Philippines- have always been great breeding grounds for animators. This talent, these countries, they all need mentors. Jamie Hewlett is a perfect mentor.

Just like Damon Albarn is an icon to all those who grew up with Blur,  Jamie Hewlett is an icon to this community of animators before Gorillaz came into being. Remember his Tank Girl? Seen his short-film, “Money Bee”?

Together with Niamf [spelling?], who looked after the Gorillaz project at that time, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett have always had a soft spot for China. Perhaps it has to do with them having been born in the Year of the Monkey.

Talking about China and bringing this and other “China-centric” projects to the country like “Monkey King: Journey To The West” put them way ahead of the curve- and the pack. It is almost as if China has now caught up with them.


Again, when with EMI, we had numerous meetings about Gorillaz- Gorillaz: The Movie, the Gorillaz line of clothing, the Gorillaz website, all of which almost sounds dated these days.

What excited me was talking about Gorillaz in Asia- specifically China- but few at Wright’s Lane were really listening.

Their concern were exports from China flooding into Europe. Well, nothing to worry about there, anymore as very few wish to purchase CDs.

Meanwhile, I look at Noodle and see a million wannabe Chinese female Rockers in Beijing and Taiwan. I see Noodle as being the “Voice” of an entire new generation of Chinese female rockers.

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I see Murdoc meeting Wu Jing, China’s martial arts champion for the past four years and now also actor- and studying with him.

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I see Gorillaz commuting between Hong Kong to Beijing and Shanghai and setting up shop in some Yum Cha Restaurant and blending with the masses so the masses can stand out.

I see Gorillaz jamming with all the bands in Beijing who are waiting to be heard- Pet Cemetary, yes, Lonely China Day and which Damon should listen to and just how quickly the music scene in China- Beijing, especially- ha become quirky and have discovered through the net Velvet Undergound, New York Dolls, Lou Reed, Bowie, Stooges, Siouxie and the Banshees. All they now need is some love and mentoring.

One Lonely China: Ahhhhh, I f***ing love this band.

The West thinking that China and music still stands for the 12 Girls Band and their “crossover congee” must end.

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Gorillaz In China can help change that perception.

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