Shumking Mansion
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Shumking Mansion

Central, Central and Western, Hong Kong | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Central, Central and Western, Hong Kong
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Psychedelic




"Four Walls and One Mansion"

Despite only existing for the past two years, eclectic psychedelic rock quartet Shumking Mansion have garnered a dedicated legion of fans. Off the back of their first European tour, the outfit, consisting of Zaid on guitar and vox, Shum on bass, Kent on drums and Jem on the synth and keytar, are set to play the city's hottest new live music venue, Wan CHai's 1563 at the East.

The October 29 show, called BandIT, touts a lineup that reads like a who's who in the up-and-coming scene. Electronic whiz Anello and cross-genre quintet Opium are also on the bill, but Shumking, who are yet to release their first album but promise us it's certainly in the pipeline, are the big draws here. We speak to the guys about their origins, their tours, their day jobs and what happens next on their rising musical journey...

Hi Shumking! So how did you guys get started?

Shum: We all met each other at different places. Mike (The original drummer) and Zaid met each other at a rooftop party and decided to start a band. Soon after, Zaid went looking for a bassist at Sense 99 and found me thumping away at the bass during a jam session one Saturday night. A jam session was then arranged for the next day, during which we wrote our first song together, Eternally Indifferent.

How did you get the name, Shumking Mansion?

Zaid: Shum's apartment at the time had a full-sized casino poker table in the living room, courtesy of his flatmates. There would be at least 10 people of various, mostly South Asian, ethnicities seated around the table every night. They would play poker for hours, even days, at a time and the smoke from all the cigarettes and joints would make your eyes water. There were also two coke dealers who frequneted the place. It was exactly like the stereotype people have of Chungking Mansions in TST, so I came up with the idea of calling the band Shumking Mansion.

How would you define your act?

Kent: Our main objective is to make people dance, groove and boogie to our music, so this is what we keep in mind every time we're writing new material. We always request our venues to clear out the tables and chairs to create a dancefloor, so this should give you an idea of what we're like.

You recently completed a tour of Europe. What was that like?

Jem: Organising a tour in Europe was definitely one of our biggest challenges. We wrote about 150 letters to various venues and we also had to make sure that the sequence of the cities we were visiting would be an efficient, linear affair. The feeling of being on the road, though, is very special indeed, especially when you find yourselves connecting with complete strangers in a country that's completely foreign to you. We had entire venues and bars that were jumping, dancing and grooving to the music we were playing. This is one of the most rewarding experiences any band can ask for.

We hear that you have day jobs. How do you balance that with being one of the biggest bands on the scene?

Zaid: It takes a lot of commitment. Composition and rehearsals are time and energy-consuming affairs and when you take into account all of the follow-up work we have to do with social media, finding new gigs and venues, you get a huge workload that can only be sustained if it's driven by passion. The European tour, for example, was organised by using our own personal financial resources and taking time off work.

What's next for you guys?

Shum: We're aiming to get as much exposure as possible and while we're very good at writing music and performing, we're appallingly horrible at marketing and managing ourselves, so that's something we'll be working on. We might do another tour next year, maybe in North America or maybe in the parts of Europe we haven't visited yet. Oh, and of course, releasing that first album! - Time Out Magazine

"Keeping live alive: Five HK bands share their sound and views on the local scene"

1. Introduce yourselves!
Zaid is the vocalist and guitarist, Shum plays the bass, Mike on the drums and Jem (aka Disko Doktor) plays keytar. We describe our sound as psychedelic dance rock – it’s like applying the “colours” of synthpop, disco and psychedelia on a hard rock canvas.

2. How did you get together?
Mike and Zaid jammed together for a few months before meeting Shum. When you watch one of our shows, you’ll instantly know why the band is named after our dance-loving bassist.
We wanted to expand the band’s sound and along came Jem. We quickly came up with the tune to Travelling Soul Psychedelia. Hearing that keytar intro felt like being thrust straight into a storm of confused, melancholic sound. We immediately knew it was what we were aiming for.

3. Band highlight so far?
Definitely Secret Island Party 2014. It really inspired us to explore how to offer crowds a more connected sonic and visual experience.

4. One thing you think would improve HK's live music scene?
Better integration of the expat and local communities would enrich the live indie music scene. Currently they’re quite separate, resulting in an indie scene based more on ethnicity than genre. Having more shows that bring together bands comprised of expats and locals is important. It’s something The Underground does well, but we need a lot more of those.

5. Essential Shumking track?
A New Wave of Sense. - South China Morning Post

"Shumking Mansion @ Summer of Music"

In just a few months, ShumKing Mansion – previously described as a “drunken tour group on holiday in Ibiza” – have evolved from beach bar boogie-makers to one of the most mesmeric new acts on the HK circuit. Increasingly better attended live shows have bolstered the band’s confidence in their niche musical style, and it seems they’ve stopped messing around after realizing, they’re making noise that crowds dig.

The four-piece blends psychedelic elements into electronic tracks with a classic rock structure. It’s a combination that wouldn’t work if all four members weren’t competent musicians in their own right. And, unlike many electro outfits, having live drums and bass helps too: a solid, driving rhythm underpins each wavering melody and gives backbone to some of the more tripped-out guitar and pitch-bending key noodlings.

Third on the bill at The Underground’s last hoorah at Backstage, Shumking reach their stride quickly, soaking the venue with a compelling grunge mutation of reference points as far removed as Pink Floyd, Shy Child and Kasiabian. Frontman and guitarist Zaid scans the crowd, daring onlookers not to move to the funky disco rock-meets-nu-wave electro pulsing from the stage. By the end of the third song there wasn’t a hip in the house not undulating in synch.

‘Travelling Soul Psychedelia’ and ‘A New wave of Sense’, and ‘A Discovery’ sparkle in a busy setlist, and keytarist Jean-Emmanuel programs his white Roland to the “sitar” setting for new song ‘Bollywood’, a glittering blend of eastern influence and snake-hipped city electronica.

Despite retaining the holiday camp image – the neon shades, the flowery shirts, the trademark top hat – onstage shenanigans have tapered now there are enough songs to fill a full set. Nevertheless, idiosyncratic bassist Shum goes down a storm when he leaps off the stage with the giddy dancing Shumking shows are famed for.

Devo without the pop discipline; Nirvana without the overdriven guitar – they’re pushing the boundaries of music without pushing the decibels, and having a hell of a good time with it.
- El Jay - The Underground HK

"Shumking Mansion @ Lamma Fun Day 2015"

I was lucky enough to catch their spell binding set at the recent Secret Island Party. I was most impressed by their unflappability when the small Sunset stage was invaded - at their request - by some 80 monged party people, The quartet had no room to move, but played on with smiles on their faces... Probably because they knew their request to be invited to play at LFD 2015 had been accepted.

Shum King Mansions have been gigging for about a year or so.
They're named after their bassist, Shum. He reminds me of Johnny Ramone in stance and attitude. Yeah, I know, Dee Dee was the bassist.
But he looks more like Johnny. Zaid is the intriguing guitarist and singer. He's wearing a psychedelic striped and mottled smock cum dress. Think Mick Jagger at the Hyde Park show after Brian Jones died.
Mike is the metronomic powerhouse drummer. Keeps it all stable and steady at the back so the rest of the band can explode individually.
Lastly there's Jem on the keytar. Giving it that Studio 54/cocaine psychosis vibe of the sleazier parts of the mid 70s. He reminds me of the Brazilian actor-director Coffin Joe who was notorious for horror/sadistic exploitation movies in the early 1960s. One song is called "Travelling Soul Psychedelia". If you haven't seen them, they are an experience. 'Nuff said. - Nick The Bookman

"Underground 114"

Shumking Mansion

1. Traveling Soul Psychedelia
2. Trippy Jimmy
3. A Discovery
4. Eternally Indifferent
5. Nirvana Trippy
6. What’s On Your Mind?

The next band walked on stage looking like a drunk tour group on holiday in Ibiza; lots of painfully flowery shirts and sunglasses, and a keytar whose keytarist could pass for Zach Galifinakis in poor lighting conditions. However, they drew a big crowd and their crowd knew what to do; they danced their legs off. And why not; Shumking Mansion (the famous name adapted to that of their bassist’s) is a dancey band, and I don’t just mean in terms of music. Pretty much throughout the set, the bassist was on the floor kicking and dancing with the audience, and everyone else on stage maintained a steady energetic jig throughout as well. There’s an element of the new-wave synthpoppy danciness to their music, and a lot of disco beats as well. This was the background against which they basically took a different genre for every song and interpreted it as a disco poppy song; the best example of this is Nirvana Trippy, which took a sort of 1994-era Soundgarden to start and mixed it In Utero-era Nirvana but with danceable beats and a non-depressing motif. Now, being something of a grunge purist myself, this was not to my taste and I prefer the likes of the Presidents of the USA to reinterpreting grunge in this way; however I was very much on my own as the crowd bloody loved it (and I’ll admit, I can very much see/hear why).

A Discovery actually saw a flamenco dancer come on stage for a while to dance with its vaguely bluesy sound, while Eternally Indifferent was a very Noughties rock song with hints of Kasabian, the Killers, and Kings of Leon, and What’s On Your Mind? was like a glam rock song that went beyond the 4/4 beat, so they’ve got a good mix going. Their singer has a very pleasant and radio-ready pop-friendly voice, but I must say he’s an excellent guitarist with a wide range of styles under his command. Trippy Jimmy opened with a guitar bit that could easily have been composed by Hendrix and anyone who can do that ought to be lauded. Still, the dancey side of things escapes me, they’re a tight outfit who seem to really be able to entertain a friendly crowd (judging by their music, though, this is likely to be the case with almost any crowd they’ll encounter in HK). I will say, though, that I felt a lot of their songs went on for too long with too much repetition at the end, and might be worth some judicious editing. Still, they gave a great performance, and were properly enjoyable to listen to and if you’re the dancing type you’re almost certain to enjoy them.

— Shashwati Kala - The Underground HK


Still working on that hot first release.



Combining diverse influences from psychedelic and hard rock to dance and synthpop - Shumking Mansion is an expression of unrestricted individualism originating from four performers who love nothing less than to play music with imagination and energy, and whose fashion sense has been critically acclaimed for its homage to drunkards from Ibiza.  

Band Members