Let’s face it, we all love a night out in Lan Kwai Fong, but if you find yourself in need of an occasional break from the monotonous music and aren’t sure where to go, fret not! There are plenty of alternatives out there and we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite HK music spots of the moment.
Sense 99 is everyone’s favourite, not-so-secret, secret music bar. It’s a tricky one to find if you’re a first timer as the bar is hidden within a block of flats and you need to buzz to be let in. However, once you’re inside, the atmosphere is very warm and welcoming. On the ground floor, you can buy reasonably priced beers and enjoy an Indie music playlist. Venture upstairs and you will find a drum kit, keyboard, microphone, harmonica and acoustic guitar ready for action should any budding musician(s) want to have their moment in the spotlight. It’s perhaps no surprise that the music gets better once a few more Tsing Taos have been consumed, so be sure to make it your end-of-the-night destination.
Sense 99, 2/F, 99F Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, 9466 4695
Ned Kelly’s Last Stand
Technically a restaurant (I’ve been told that it’s good for traditional pub grub, though have yet to try), Ned Kelly’s is one of Hong Kong’s oldest bars. With its vintage jazz posters lining the walls, low lighting and authentic wooden booths, the Aussie Saloon-style bar is the perfect place to enjoy a pint while listening to some of the best live jazz Hong Kong has to offer. Ned Kelly’s is not your ‘big night out’ destination, but if you want an evening that guarantees good live music that will be sure to get your toes tapping under the table – this is your place.
Ned Kelly’s Last Stand, 11A Ashley Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2376 0562
Club 97 & Home Base
For Salsa lovers, some of the best options in Hong Kong are Club 97 and Home Base. OK, so technically Club 97 is in Lan Kwai Fong but don’t let that discourage you. The bar’s Wednesday Salsa night is sure to be the perfect midweek pick-me-up with its live bongo drummers and tasty Mojitos! When the weekend arrives, Home Base on Hollywood Road is another great option, especially for those who are new to Salsa, as the night begins with lessons at 8.30pm and then turns into a regular club night at 10pm. The crowd at Home Base is a mix of Latin American expats and locals alike so ladies, you will have no trouble finding a partner to practice your newly learned steps.
Tucked away in Lower Elgin Street, the Culture Club is a little gem of a music bar offering a broad spectrum of music to please various tastes from Bossa Nova to New Age, Techno and even Argentine Tango (they also offer classes). Modern art adorns the walls and comfy chairs and sofas line the room; it’s a bit like sitting in a very cool doctor’s waiting room – but in a good way! And if the music is not to your taste, you can host your own concert – Culture Club offers open slots every Friday between 8 to 10pm.
Culture Club, 15 Lower Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2127 7936
XXX in Sheung Wan is more of a club than a bar. Well, in fact there is no bar at all (it’s BYOB), the walls are bare except for video projections, you’ll be lucky to find yourself a spot to sit down and the toilets are two doors down. But what the club lacks in the luxurious décor that you may be accustomed to in Hong Kong, it generously makes up for in its musical offerings and lively atmosphere. XXX’s club nights offer an eclectic mix of music (Indie, Drum n Bass, Dubstep and Hip Hop) featuring both local and internationally renowned DJs. A personal favourite is their Wall of Sound club night, featuring music from the Phil Spector era of the 60s. Ladies, don’t forget to put on your beehives and Twiggy eyes!
XXX Gallery, B/F Fui Nam Building, 212 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Fenella is a British expat from Hertfordshire (think Darcy and Lizzy!) eager to discover new sights and sounds in Hong Kong. Follow her musings on Twitter @fenelladale