The Best of Clockenflap 2018: 5 Bands to Watch

Clockenflap, Hong Kong’s biggest music and arts festival, returns in November with a lineup of superstar global names, local heroes and next-big-things

To help you plan your Clockenflap 2018 experience, the festival’s music director, Justin Sweeting, picks out the acts you simply shouldn’t miss.

The live spectacle: David Byrne

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Music magazine NME said David Byrne’s American Utopia tour ‘may be the best live show of all time’. Q magazine stated it ‘completely reinvents the pop concert’. The reviews are overwhelmingly glowing across the board, and we’re so delighted that we’re able to bring over the full tour production for his highly anticipated performance at Clockenflap.

Brimming with greatest hits, spectacle and surprise, this is a joyful, life-affirming show you really must not miss. Come find out why Byrne is one of the most absorbing creative talents on the planet right now.

Festival favourites: Amadou and Mariam

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Both blind from an early age, this Malinese husband and wife’s unique take on Afro-blues has them placed firmly at the pinnacle among African music icons. They have collaborated with Manu Chao, Damon Albarn, TV On The Radio and David Gilmour among others, and shared the stage with the likes of Coldplay and U2.

Not bound by any genre definitions, for me theirs is the truest form of world music. It’s music for the world, with songs that can touch your very core in a way that everyone can appreciate. It’s music best shared live, and I defy you not to dance along to it.

Hong Kong heroes: GDJYB


From the moment I heard GDJYB’s Double NoNo single back in 2014, I was hooked. Melding math rock and indie pop with a quirky Hong Kong perspective, GDJYB have continued to push the boundaries throughout their work. I’m always drawn to artists that take creative risks and are so dedicated to their craft, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them play in a more prime time slot this year. It’s exactly what they deserve, and I’m sure it will be a really memorable set.

New urban legend: Khalid

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When 18-year-old Khalid released his debut single Location in 2016, he was immediately thrust into the global spotlight. He’s not looked back since. His highly rated album American Teen followed, along with collaborations and features with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Martin Garrix, Marshmello, The Roots, Benny Blanco and Halsey, all of which continue to see him bother charts and social platform stats across the world. This is the new generation of incredibly silky R&B, and we’re all for it.

Hotly tipped: Shame


In my humble opinion, Shame are the most vital and exciting new band to emerge in the UK in the past few years.

The post-punk five-piece from South London are leading something of a guitar revival, with their uncompromising sound as charged as it is anthemic. Make sure you catch them Friday night at Clockenflap, as you definitely need the full, high-octane and contagious live experience to really get it. We promise you won’t forget it and you won’t regret it.

Clockenflap is held from 9 to 11 November. Flight and ticket packages are available through Cathay Pacific Holidays

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