23.9 C
Sunday, May 22, 2022





On his recent trip to perform at Aussie Anthea Palmer’s Jimmy Hornet Creative Restaurant in Zhongshan, China, Australian Blues artist, singer and songwriter Doc White, took a detour which led to him doing shows in Hong Kong. https://www.facebook.com/doc.white1



        bluesman doc white’s china tripbluesman doc white’s china trip   

          bluesman doc white’s china trip


And while he performed a one-night engagement at Jimmy Hornet’s, he found himself in great demand in Hong Kong.  Unfortunately he only allowed himself time enough for a brief stopover to check out the lay of the land in this famous former British colony. Hong Kong has, over the centuries, been the most direct route into the celestial world of the Middle Kingdom, China. That’s the way it rolls in this part of the world!

The big question over booking the Doc for gigs in China was whether his brand of Mississippi / Delta and Aussie Bush Blues would cut the mustard with Chinese audiences. This fear dissipated in an instant. As soon as he began plucking on his Resonator guitar he swamped his audience with his melliferous melodious mouthings of hard times intertwined with the antics of lawyers, guns and money, all wrapped up with the comely beauty of a woman’s touch.

                      bluesman doc white’s china trip

Figure 1 Lamma Island’s famous Island Bar which is the first or last bar enroute to the ferry. Minehost; Bradley Tarr


After his gig at Jimmy Hornet’s on Saturday July 29, the Doc’s Hong Kong sojourn began on the Monday. His first gig was at THE bar on Lamma Island that commands the traffic flow to and from the ferry.  Yes the ISLAND BAR is the only route to convey people on a 25 minute journey to and from Hong Kong Central. Owned by Western Australian and his Aussie family, Brad Tarr has lived in Hong Kong for over a quarter of a century. He is well known across large parts of Asia and Australia for his sartorial splendor, his generosity and support of his community, his sporting achievements as well promoting sport (the local HK cricket team has just returned from playing in Mongolia), his business acumen, and last but not least, his commitment to live music and giving exposure to Australian musicians whenever he can.

                                        bluesman doc white’s china trip

Figure 2 Inside the Island Bar

Being a Monday night, and at such short notice, the crowd wasn’t huge but their response to Doc’s music was engagingly emphatic. He definitely hit a home-run at the Island. Without a doubt, he’ll be greeted by a large crowd excited to hear him when he returns.


bluesman doc white’s china tripFigure 3 Phil Whelan & Frank Howson bluesman doc white’s china trip

Figure 4 The Lamma Ferry, the only transport link to Lamma Is


Luckily he managed to make the last ferry back to Central at 11:30pm. This saved him a swim back had he missed it. He was thus able to get a good forty winks or so in before a Tuesday morning meeting with Hong Kong’s Master of Ceremonies, Phil Whelan. Phil is the presenter of a very popular morning radio programme, Morning Brew, on the official government broadcasting conglomerate for radio and television in both English and Chinese: it was based on the BBC model. What sets Phil apart, and above other presenters, is not only his natural


                        bluesman doc white’s china trip

encouraging interview style, but many other talents and the training he’s acquired in the past. This gives him a leading edge over the rest of the pack. He has played clarinet since the age of 10; is a graduate of Trinity College of Music in London; did play with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; has spent time in Australia playing in the international production of Hello Dolly; and has done heaps of other stuff that has grounded him as a sincere individual who is intrigued and fascinated with every guest he interviews. And yes, he does have a special sensor that reacts very positively with Aussies he has on his programme. After a genuinely interesting and in-depth interview on the roots of Blues music and what inspires him, he asked the Doc to play 2 full songs in the studio. Heavenly blues rang out and filled the studio to the delight of all present.


            bluesman doc white’s china trip


Tuesday night, August 1, Doc’s first engagement was at La Lune Modern European Cuisine and Whiskey Bar. He was delightfully received by a collection of largely Chinese professionals; architects, authors, actors, architects etc. Doc’s Blues and fine grade whiskey poured in equal measure as clients warmed to his music, especially to the sounds of an Aussie accent giving vent to tender and downtrodden emotions. https://www.facebook.com/HKLaLune/

Doc playing at La Lune Whiskey Bar:

‘That Woman Made Me Jump’

           bluesman doc white’s china trip


Following this he was bundled into a taxi in Sheung Wan to make a quick trip through Central to the heart of Suzi Wong’s territory, the Sin-city of Wanchai, and the most prodigal place of sin and salvation, The Wanch Live Music Bar. Owner John Prymmer, at short notice, created a dedicated 1 hour slot for the Doc to strut his stuff in. He set the pace with opening numbers of his own composition and classics of Robert Johnston and other US southern Blues masters. Hong Kong’s own ex-New Yorker on his harps, Steve Starfish, added to Doc’s songs to encapsulate an honest to goodness true southern smokiness to the brew and the audience supped it up with glee. https://www.facebook.com/the.wanch/

                                              bluesman doc white’s china trip

Wednesday August 2nd, Doc White was back on a plane bound for Mount Dandy where his home can be found in old Melbourne town.

S Francis Butler

For any bands, singers, dancers or other artists looking for gigs and connections in Hong Kong and China, contact Ginko707 through Youtube, or email to stanleyfrancisbutler@gmail.com


 A quick glance at Hong Kong: 

Stanley Butler
Currently a writer of ESL materials and a teacher of English and Japanese in Hong Kong, his journey to the East started in the 1850's goldfield town of Ballaarat where the Eureka Rebellion took place on Dec 4 1854. After 2 decades there he then went on to spend three decades in Melbourne to pursue studies at Monash Secondary Teachers College (Rusden) and La Trobe University before taking up an active role in (Asian) furniture making and design, alongside running a business with his partner that had a dramatic impact on migrant education in Australia, the opening up of the overseas student market to Australian schools and institutions, and provided a link for Australian educators to establish their expertise throughout the Asia region, particularly in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. On the way to Asia with an obligatory trip around Australia in mind to see his own country, Darwin and the Northern Territory captivated him. Shortly after arriving, he found himself resident in Alice Springs, in the heart of the Australia, where he had for the first time, contact with Aboriginal people and the problems that confront them in a land that has largely left them marginalised. That was a real learning curve for him and is something that empowers him to see they have their problems redressed in a just and equitable way. For a culture that has existed for over 60,000 years, the world's oldest continuing living culture, that had never been messed with prior to the 1788 British First Fleet of convicts, of whom some of his roots came from, the takeover of their land and their culture deserves nothing less. However the East has always been something that's fascinated him since childhood. After many trips to Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, The Philippines and Indonesia over the years, it wasn't until 2008 that he was finally able to live in the heart of this region, in Hong Kong.