Noughts and Exes
Noughts and Exes are an indie folk rock band formed in Hong Kong in 2007. The band consists of Joshua Wong (vocals, guitars), Gideon So (piano, keyboards, glockenspiel, melodica, vocals), Alex Bedwell (drums, vocals, percussion), Winnie (Wizza) Lau (bass), Winnie (Bago) Lau - (violin), and Alix Farquhar (vocals, percussion, glockenspiel). After a successful run with the band 'Whence He Came', singer Joshua Wong recruited a group of musicians to accompany him in during live performances of his new solo project Noughts and Exes. This would eventually become the first incarnation of the band.
Act One, Scene One
After leaving successful band Whence He Came, singer Joshua Wong began working on a new solo venture called Noughts and Exes. Wong began recording new material and sought the talents of musicians he admired to perform certain parts on the album. , Nic Tse Jo Yum on electric guitar and Jennifer Skidmore on cello and piano. On April 22, 2008 Act One, Scene One was released. Appearing on Act One, Scene One are; Marcy Masashi (Buddhistson, Oceanlane) (drums) Martijn Groeneveld (bass), Jennifer Skidmore (cello, piano, vocals), Nic Tse Jo Yum (unwed sailor, TSTGU, thelovesong) (electric guitar), and Joshua Wong (programming, keyboards, bass, guitars, effects, vocals). Though the project initially began as a solo venture for Joshua Wong, it quickly developed into a proper band. Ah Ding (drums), Benson Looi (bass), and Gideon So (keyboards) joined Jennifer Skidmore, Nicholas Tse, and Joshua Wong for the live performances of "Act One, Scene One" material.
After the album's release, the band went on hiatus. Eventually, Joshua Wong and Gideon So got together and began working on new material and the next incarnation of Noughts and Exes performed at The Underground 83 on August 8, 2009. This was the first performance for the band with Alex Bedwell (drums, vocals, percussion), Kerrie-Anne Butler (vocals, glockenspiel, percussion), and Marianne Bunton (cello). Winnie (Wizza) Lau was recruited to play bass shortly after.
The Start of Us
In 2010, the band began work on their next record with producer Martijn Groeneveld. The album was then mastered at Groeneveld's Mailmen Studios in the Netherlands. On December 22, 2010, The Start of Us was released to wide acclaim. The band were gaining increased commercial popularity, with their songs being played on numerous MTV programs. Additionally, they were said to have one of Hong Kong's best albums of 2010 by Time Out magazine, as well as being named number 2 on a list of the top 5 bands to watch in 2011 by Time Magazine. In 2011, Marianne Bunton left the band and was replaced by Winnie (Bago) Lau.
In August 2011, the band began a tour in support of the album. They played venues in various countries across Asia such as Kuala Lumpur, China and Singapore, in addition to playing the Ocean Midi Music Festival, Clockenflap, The People's Party Tour, and the Singapore Baybeats Festival 2011. They also completed a Tour of Canada playing at several venues and Envol et Macadame Music Festival in Quebec. Guest vocalist Karmen Cheung was brought in on some of these dates as Kerrie-Anne Butler was unable to attend. Kerrie-Anne's permanent departure from the band would be announced in September, 2011. Their new additional vocalist Alix Farquhar officially joined the band's lineup in April 2012. On September 23, 2011 Noughts and Exes announced their signing to US Spectra Records.
Noughts and Exes (self-titled album)
In 2012, the band launched a campaign on crowdfunding web site Kickstarter to raise funds to make a new record. Their goal was to raise $10,000 and, not only did they achieve their goal in May 2012, they surpassed it. On the closing date of their campaign, May 5, 2012, Noughts and Exes had raised $12,278. In doing so, they became the first band from Hong Kong to ever successfully complete a Kickstarter campaign. Outside of studio recording in 2012, they played shows around Hong Kong including Clockenflap where they released the EP A Fine Line as a prelude to the upcoming album.
The band finally launched their self-titled album at the Vine Centre in Hong Kong on 14 September 2013. With ever more harmonies, interwoven melodies and intricate drum beats, the latest songs have been described as 'epic' with 'sunshine vitality'. The first single from the album, "Hearts", reached number 1 in 903 radio charts and drummed up a large wave of publicity from their music video: a music flashmob with 50 musicians from the local indie scene shot in Times Square despite tight security control.
Awards and accolades
- Number 2 on Time Magazine's Top 5 Bands to Watch.
- The Start Of Us named top ten album in HK for 2010 by Time Out Magazine.
- Vapor Music Artist of the Week
- CNN Best Hong Kong Band to Hang Out With
- September 2011- Noughts And Exes win the PlanetRox selection for Hong Kong and perform with other winners the world in Quebec City, Canada at the Envol & Macadam Festival
- Music video for "The Start of Us", directed by lead singer Joshua Wong, is screened at 2011 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Fesitival
- Selected by the HK Government to represent Hong Kong by performing at the Berlin Wasser Musik Festival 2013
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (June 2014)|
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- "China's Best Albums of 2010". Tim Out Magazine. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- "Artist of the Week: Noughts and Exes". Vapor Music. February 14, 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- "Best Hong Kong bands to rock out with". CNN. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- "The Start of Us [Noughts and Exes]". Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- "Rock In China". Rock in China. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- Kuok Leese, Samantha (31 January 2011). "Eastern Promise". Listed as the 2nd band in a top 5 list (Time Magazine). Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- Maar, Dwight. "Best Hong Kong Bands to Rock Out With". CNN. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "Music in Hong Kong". TimeOut Hong Kong. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "Artist of the Week: Noughts and Exes". Vapor. Retrieved 22 July 2012.