Captain Wong

Twat and sometime muso…

[Issue 1]


The guy who played with Neil Finn

Mate, listen: I know about music. I’ve been in the studio, I’ve played with Neil Finn. I know what I’m talking about.

Ok, so with that in mind, let’s have a look at what’s good in Hong Kong this week.

Spermatic Chord

Mate, they started badly by calling themselves experimentalists. I’ve just paid a hundred and fifty to get in and they’re telling me they’re gonna make shit up on the spot. That’s not fucking on, mate. I wanna hear a band at the top of their game, I wanna have some musicians who are coming on and trying to give the performance of their lives, not some artsy wank band doing covers of Mario 2.

Secondly, mate oh mate, they played a cover of Mario 2. A fucking video game, and the worst one of the lot too. The one where they’re all throwing fruit around and fannying about up in the sky, and why the hell am I listening to a cover of that at a fucking gig? It doesn’t make sense, mate, no sense at all.

Actually, fuck this: I know about music. I’ve been in the studio, I’ve played with Neil Finn, and I’m not gonna waste any more of my words on this shit.

Let’s move on, to something decent with a bit of luck.

My Little Airport

Two women as the leads, nice idea. Was there anything about them? No chance. They just stood there like hippies, mate. Fucking awful.

Honestly, I can’t write anymore about them because I walked out after two songs. I know I’ve got readers who wanna know about this kind of shit but I just couldn’t take it. Sorry readers, but you got lucky by missing these two.


Oh yeah, my pet hate. For some reason the editor of this mag, who knows how I feel about the next group of people, sent me to that bar up near Soho in the middle of the stairwell. What’s it called? Yunza? Yumba? Fuck it, doesn’t matter. The point is there was some nasty shit being played inside and I had to sit there and listen to it. Boom, boom, fucking boom.

Mate, it was a fucking DJ.

Some people like them, I know this, I’ve heard it many times. They can follow a beat and they control the rhythm and all that shit, but, honestly, mate, they’ve just pressed play. They stand there with their fist in the air, but they’ve just pressed play. So I’ve got no respect for them, no respect at all. And this isn’t just me being elitist and arrogant and whatever else you wanna call it, and I have been called that before, not that I give a shit, but it has happened, people have said it to me. Obviously people who nothing about music, mind, but no, this is me telling the truth. DJs are people who can’t play instruments. They pick up a guitar, they haven’t got a clue. Give them a keyboard and they don’t know what to do with it. They’re failed musicians, mate, and they’re still trying to get credit for what they do. Which is pressing play.

That’s Hong Kong as I’ve seen it this last week then. And if you disagree, fine, tell me what you can do with a guitar and then we’ll see what we think of your opinion.

Because, mate. Listen: If there’s one thing I know it’s music. I’ve been in the studio, I’ve played with Neil Finn. I know what I’m talking about.

And what I’m saying, mate, is the music in Hong Kong is a joke. God, I miss the UK. That’s where they have all the decent bands in case you didn’t know. And you know what’s big there now? I’ll tell you even though it’s me that’s done all the hard work of discovering them.

The Joy Formidable

Five stars, mate. I’ve heard two songs so far and they’re fucking glorious. As soon as they get an album out there I’m giving it five stars. The best band that’s come along since Interpol, I reckon, and you’re gonna thank me for telling you about them. They’re that good, seriously mate.

If you don’t believe me then be the little tortoise and wait and find out the long way, and by then you’ll just look like a clown for tagging on so late anyway. What’s the point, huh?

And if you don’t listen to me then you’re an idiot really, aren’t you? Because I’ve played with Neil Finn, I’ve been in the studio. I know what I’m talking about.

[Issue 2]

Mate, this week is a blessed relief. After months of going to the Fringe and listening to arty shit, the Gods have finally given me something decent to clamp my ears on. And this isn’t hyperbole, no mate. Other mags or online things might tell you great things about shit acts, but not here, mate. This is something a little bit special.


Mate, I just need to give you a little preface. I know Oasis, I’ve had drinks with Noel, I watched them record ‘Rocking Chair’, I saw them do an impromptu gig in New York. I know what they’re all about, and I’m probably their first fan. That’s how in the loop I am, mate, I knew them when no one else would give them the time of day in Manchester ’92.

Mate, to be honest, I could have even joined the band over Bonehead. Love the guy, he’s solid as fuck, but he didn’t know what the fuck he was doing with that guitar. He couldn’t even hold it properly when I first saw them, but I’m a decent guy, and I didn’t push myself forward for the gig. They were gonna ask, mate, I could feel it, but I don’t do that, I don’t go behind someone like that, not when he was already in place.

So where was I, mate?

Right, the preface. I did all that because I wanted you to understand how much I know about this band. They are practically mine, I guess. I didn’t just help Bonehead, I gave Noel some pointers too. And mate, he never mentions me in interviews, but that doesn’t matter because we don’t need that. He tells me when I see him, when we have a few beers. That’s how close we are, mate. I’m like their guide, showing them the way. You won’t believe it, I know what you twats are like, but Noel knows, Liam knows, the other three know, they all know what I can do with a guitar, and, honestly mate, they can’t emulate it. I’m an original and they doff their cap to me.

Mate, I’ve just stopped and realized I’m lost again. What was I on about?

Okay, they came here, right. Yeah, they came and I went to see them. It was out near the airport, which was a bit far out, but it’s Oasis, mate, when they play you’ve got to walk the miles. So I went, and I got there, and Noel sees me backstage and he tries to get me to come on stage. “Cap, mate, we’re fucking average without you. Get on there.” But I said no, “No Noel, mate, I’m gonna go out there and watch from the front, with the rest of the fans.”

See, I’m humble, mate. I’ve not got a big head, I don’t ask for attention, and if I’m not doing anything with a guitar then I’m not gonna be up on stage. I’m not fucking Bez, mate, I’ve got principles, and that night I was there as a watcher, not as one of the best fucking guitarists of the last two decades.

But you know what really fucked me off? Fucking scenesters, mate. Hundreds of them, thousands of them maybe, I dunno, I gave up trying to count them all.

I’m sorry, mate, but these twats really get to me. These are the ones who loved ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Live Forever’ and then fucked off after the third album. They’ve got no clue. They don’t understand music and I’m sick of standing in the same space as them. I mean, mate, if they wanna listen to music, fine, they can listen to whatever they like, but if they come up to me at an Oasis gig, when I’m probably the original fucking fan, and tell me that they “love this band” then I’m not having it. And I tell them to their face, I’m not having it.

Because, mate, I’ve been with Noel and Liam and the other three right from the start. I watched them record the b-sides, I was at Knebworth, I know what they’re all fucking about.

Krist, my editor’s telling me I have to write something about the HK scene. Krist, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to, but I guess I can put something down.

Summer Junkiez

They’re a big thing here, someone said, so I checked them out. Mate, what a waste. The lead guy sounds like Maroon 5 and he’s got no command of the stage at all. He’s like a karaoke singer, mate. Avoid.


[Issue 3]

Mate, they’re after me.

The music’s gonna take a back seat this week, because there’re things that need to be dealt with. Or people, mate, there are people that need to be dealt with.

Last week the head man comes in and says some guy’s written in to moan about me. Some twat called Tenant. So I read it, and, mate, it’s a fucking joke.

Let me whip out some clarification, because some twats who don’t know two shits about music, like Tenant, clearly need some.


Suedehead, mate. Remember that? The first single off Viva Hate? That was me. No joke. Poor Morrisey, he was tearing his hair out, mate, he was walking up the fucking walls, until he phoned me. You see, we know each other from some Jools Holland gig back in the late 80’s and he never forgets me, not when he’s in a fix.

You see, Tenant, Mozza knew he had to make Viva Hate count. People were starting to talk. They were saying Johnny Marr was the real talent, that Mozza was all lip and politics. It was a complete revision of The Smiths, and fucking hell, mate, even the bass player was getting more credit. So, what did Mozza do? He phoned me, mate.

And what happened next, Tenant? Were you even alive, mate? Or are you just another fucking spotty kid in a fucking Bloc Party t-shirt?

Anyway, I’ll tell you what happened. Viva Hate came out. Thirteen songs, some average, some decent, one glorious. And which one was that, mate? Something you played? No, it was Suedehead, intro by Captain Wong. And the keyline, ‘why do you come here, when you know it makes no sense to me?’ Me again, mate. Seriously, ask Mozza, he’ll tell you. He was sitting there, in a fucking Camden street, writing some wank about the library keeper in old Alexandria and trying to relate it to Thatcher, but it wasn’t working, mate, and I told him, “Mozza, mate, it’s not working, is it?” And he said, “Cap, I’m a writer, but I know I’m trying too much with this. I’m surrounded by forest and I know they’re gonna crucify me if I don’t come up with something.”

So, I sat down and I looked around, and there’s this shitty looking street with shitty buildings around us, and I just said to him, look mate, keep it simple, keep it vague. “Vague, how?” he said back, and that’s when the magic happened. ‘There’s shit all over this street. Why do you come here, Mozza, why? It makes no sense, mate.”

And that’s it, mate. That’s what Captain Wong does, he fucking inspires. Is that what you do, Tenant? Tell me, mate, whose ear you got right now?

And before you write in again, saying, ‘where’s the credit for it then?’ I’m gonna tell you, again, that it doesn’t work like that, mate. The best don’t need to give it, and I don’t need to hear it, not from the press. Because I’ve got their ears, mate. I know what role I’m playing.

And if you don’t understand it by now then I can’t help you, because, mate, how many different ways can I say it?

And, Tenant, if you wanna know whose ears I’ve got then let me make a short list for you. Neil Finn, played with him. Morrisey, saved him on Suedehead. Billy Corgan, he phones me every week, mate. Last week, he phoned me. “Cap, I still can’t find an angle, a way back in. Maybe I’m too old for all this,” he said. And what did I say? “Bill, mate, you’ve got the same problem, you’re trying to go forwards, not backwards. Revisit ‘Rhinoceros’ and go from there, mate.” And there’s more…[Ed – I think that’s enough, Cap. How about the local music scene?]

Fine, mate, what’s happening locally?

Some shit called ‘Born to Hula’, mate. Another two-piece, ‘The Yours’. Honestly, they’re so shit I’m not even gonna give them sub-headings.

[Issue 4]

Mate, I’ve had about enough of this.

I think you all know what I’m talking about, and there’s no debate, mate, this is getting silly. Yeah, forty-eight new cunts have just entered my world and they’re all trying to claw a piece out of me.

That’s right. Forty-eight letters, mate. Forty-eight fucking letters. Forty-eight tossers with nothing better to do with their lives than write in here and take potshots at me.

Seriously, mate, why am I even calling them out on this? I’m a musician. I’ve played with Neil Finn. I’ve played a stage at Glastonbury. Google me and you’ll find whatever you find, Toby. I don’t give a shit. I’m here, I know what I’ve done.

But tell me, Toby, what have you done? Come on, write back in, mate, tell me what you’re doing right now? Tell me what stage you’re on. Tell me what studio you’re playing at. Tell me who your band is and what you’ve influenced. No, better than that, mate, tell me your address. I’ll come round and we can have a little back and forth, nice and intimate.

Oh wait, what’s that Toby? You’ve only got a myspace page?

No, really, that’s stellar, mate. Anything else?

You played at The Wanch? Well, shit on a string, mate, that’s a fucking revelation. Tell me when the next one is and I’ll come down and make notes. You never know, maybe I’ll have something to say about you next issue.

Sorry, what’s that, Toby, mate? They won’t take you back anymore. Oh shit, mate, that’s- [Ed – Cap, this could run and run. Maybe you should write about something else?]

Fine, we’ll switch it up a little, I don’t care.

Festivals, mate.

Anywhere else in the world and you know you’ll get a line-up. Here? You get a list. A grey list, mate. Names and names of local amateurs you don’t know and don’t give much of a shit about.

I’ll fire out an example for you. Some beach I went to last week, don’t know where it was, Lantau island maybe. They were putting a show on. Silvermine Festival, the posters said. Great, outdoor music, beers in the ice-bucket, let’s see what we’ve got.

First up, four IT tech guys with a silly name. ‘In love and pain’, mate. And what did they do for us, the loyal beach sitters. They got up, stood there like dummies and screamed out some emo-shit over crappy guitars.

Mate, to summate, it was bad. I almost got up and walked into the sea, that’s how shit it was. The lead guy, he didn’t have a clue. He stood there rigid the whole set, leaving a big fucking space in the middle where all us poor cunts had to stare into. Seriously, I’m not joking. Has no one ever tapped on this clown’s shoulder and told him he has a bit more room to play with? That the real singers plan out their space pre-gig and work out where they can and can’t go?

I mean, ‘Love and Pain’, mate, you’re a band, not Johnny Cash. I don’t wanna see four cut-outs standing still. You’re not the fucking Strokes. And, mate, even Casablancas knows his shit movement-wise, even if he is a snail.

But, whatever, ‘Love and Pain’. It’s a detail you don’t need to fret about, really. Your music’s shite.

Next, Gong Wu. Never heard of them before, mate, but there they were, on a stage before me.

So they were shit, right? Well mate, I won’t lie to you, they weren’t Pink Floyd, but, hands up, they weren’t awful. I mean, they knew how to use space, they tried to talk up the atmosphere a bit, and they had some life about them. And the guitarist knew his shit, I’ll give him that. He could play. But, mate, that hair. He knows what I mean, and he knows what he has to do.

So, there you go, Toby. A festival for you, mate. Hope it brings some joy into your life. And if it does, call up, mate, contact me, thank me. We’ll meet up, have a chat, man to man.

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