By Hans Ebert
Courtesy of wwww.fasttrack.hk
When it comes to the ‘live’ entertainment served up every Happy Wednesday, unless actually being at Happy Valley racecourse, and knowing, first hand, the drawing power it has with regulars, and a constantly expanding customer base, no one will understand just how much things have evolved over the last 2-3 years. Attendance last Happy Wednesday, for example: Over 20,000.
These days, the venue Adrenaline is booked out almost two weeks in advance. Other than the balcony offering a great view of the races, the people, the buffet, the banks of television screens, the competitions, and the atmosphere, there’s the music of Jennifer Palor and a band comprising musicians who only get together to play here.
Why? Like Jennifer Palor, it’s in a class of its own, which helps to bring out the best in the players. The material performed- three songs in between races and with the music continuing for over an hour after the last race has been run- is not warmed over hotel lounge fare. It’s music by acts like Flume, Tori Kelly and Camila Cabelo. We’re also predicting that the constantly improving co-vocalist Kel, below, is destined for bigger things.
Especially this racing season, the feedback has always been about the professionalism and vocals of Jennifer. This is a given. She’s the best in town. More and more regulars, however, plus guests from overseas, are being knocked out by this small kid with the big voice attacking songs by The Weeknd, Chainsmokers, Hozier, Rag’n Bone and making them his own.
At the Beer Garden, meanwhile, is the musical mainstay of that outdoor venue- Carnivale, with its showmanship and infectious Latino rhythms led by two very good frontmen in Jordie Guzman and Chris Polanco, one of the most popular performers in Hong Kong. Speaking Cantonese helps.
And because variety is the spice of life, there’s the Rock outfit led by the pint sized Kat and guitarzan Jay.
There will also be more and more cameo appearances by upcoming locally based cosmopolitan outfit Back with solo appearances by the band’s singer-songwriter-guitarist Xavier.
It’s horses for courses, and different music for different venues. One size doesn’t fit all. Not even John Size.
The facelift horse racing needs to attract everyone from new and possibly young racing fans and business partners wishing to reach these customers can be found at every Happy Wednesday night. At the Beer Garden. At Adrenaline. At The Gallery. Wherever people congregate at Happy Valley racecourse to simply get away from it all and have a good time.
Just ask the jockeys and trainers. And their wives and girlfriends.
Just ask recent guests like the excellent band from Singapore called The Sam Willows.
Just ask football legend Kevin Keegan.
And there will be more and more names added to this list next season. If music be the food of love, then play on and on and on…