The Bollands
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The Bollands

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

Hong Kong, Central and Western, Hong Kong | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Folk Alternative




"The Bollands"

The first time I ever saw the Bollands was on a sparse Tuesday night at the Wanch, when the only thing thinner than the crowd was the atmosphere. Within an hour they had proved that they’re the kind of band that can casually reverse cases of terminal boredom with their music and stage-presence, ‘cause everyone there went home good and toasted, boy howdy (what?!). So who better to start off the show with than with the sprightliest mavericks around? And they didn’t disappoint – with the (unusually) rich sound and (much) better lighting at Backstage they looked and sounded as good as they ever have. Not that making them sound good is hard to do – their simple-yet-not-simplistic aesthetic, the fact that they have two (and a bit) basic instruments and their instantly recognisable sound mean that they’re a pretty sure bet to impress with any rig. And yet things aren’t as simple as they might seem on the surface.
Joyce Bolland’s playful fills belie the heavy lifting her keyboards do for the sound. Her style blends the sweet-sounding chord-oriented tendencies that you need to play folk, and straight-out-of-the-pub, good times, blues-infused rock ‘n’ roll pianos. It’s plinky and merry, but with character – something like the late, great Nicky Hopkins’ style (one of the greatest session musicians in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, and it’s not hard to hear why) because the drive in the music is provided by her like some kind of ghost-bass. Plus, as a personal observation, she has an unusually light touch for someone with classical training – no ham-fisted shoehorning of unnecessary classical-sounding bits. And she’s got a voice that perfectly complements the edge that Chris Bolland’s usually shredded vocal chords bring, so it all balances out.
Chris’ guitar, on the other hand, moves between various styles with ease. There’s something of Irish folk in them (a non guitar-using style that adapted to using it), judicious use of major-fifths and whatnot that make for a rootsy sound. This is mixed with his style to play what I can only call ‘borracho’ chords, and this is not a remark about the musician, but rather the texture of the chords. Joe Strummer had this tendency, and it’s a little about timing and a little about the slight muffling and bending of chords; a purely stylistic quirk that makes the guitar sound a little sloppy in a funny way. When juxtaposed with the basal level of skill it takes to be a good folk musician anyway (which is much higher than with rock), this leavens the sound in a wonderful way. He also doesn’t abuse the capo like many musicians here do, which lets the sound have depth and resonance that would otherwise be sacrificed.
A Chestnut it might be, but “hoary” and “old” it isn’t; it’s instead a wonderful trick of composition; it starts of hinting at melancholia but turns tail while approaching the chorus and becomes a soaring singalong. The slightly cracked quality of Chris’ voice that night added a lot to the feel. In the tradition of the last 3 shows, the guitar maimed itself (by breaking a string) during the very first song, but it really didn’t matter. The foot-stompy Song That… was particularly sparkling, and every moment of their set was testament to their ability to hold an audience’s attention. There were some really spellbinding moments during the gentle ditty that is A Drunk. A certain observer suggested that it is a new truism in HK’s music scene that whenever The Bollands play, it is good. Well, they certainly did play. And it was good.
– Shashwati Kala - Honk Kong Underground


So We Sing (due for release in June 2014)

The Bollands (Self-titled album)(2012)

The Underground Compilation CD 5 (2012)

Taiwan Tour EP (2011)



The Bollands...

"Their live shows are energetic, foot-stomping and legendary"

- HK Magazine

"The Bollands have curated a sound identifiably theirs,.... gorgeously melancholic.....the honest, thoughtful songwriting craft of the band still shines through".

- Timeout Hong Kong 

"I couldn't imagine a two piece act engulfing a hyper-packed music festival before...until I've watched these guys... thank you for a great show!” 

—  Dennis R. Briones, XTASEA WOODSTOCK MUSIC FESTIVAL, ShenZhen, China

"There were some really spellbinding moments during the gentle ditty that is 'A Drunk'. A certain observer suggested that it is a new truism in HK’s music scene that whenever The Bollands play, it is good. Well, they certainly did play. And it was good"

– Shashwati Kala THE UNDERGROUND, Hong Kong 

Always on the road, New Zealand folk band, The Bollands, have been singing their infectious foot stomping folk songs since 2009. With their love of travel, music, good friends & fine wine, The Bollands have gained a reputation for their passion filled live shows.

Joyce, a classically trained pianist, met Christian, a hairy folk singer, at a campfire jam on a remote beach in their home country, New Zealand. They clicked instantly. Since that fate filled night, they have been playing their passion filled songs on the road throughout New Zealand and Asia. In early 2014 Canadian, fellow beard enthusiast & drummer Paul Maclean joined The Bollands.

The Bollands are known for their energetic foot-stomping live shows full of crowd interaction, and sing-alongs. They have received rave reviews from music bloggers, magazines and fans alike, and they have had the privilege of sharing the stage with international artists such as Chris Garneau (USA), Rodney Fisher (Goodshirt, New Zealand), Little Fish (U.K.), The Bads (New Zealand), Sun Eskimos (Hong Kong) and Scott Cook (Canada). They have toured extensively throughout Taiwan, New Zealand and China.

The Bollands have performed live on Hong Kong's well known TV show RTHK's 'The Works' which has included other international acts such as Jason Miraz. They have also had a number of live performances on radio and been featured in a number of music magazines and websites. Their debut album was released in June 2012. Their second album 'Paper Houses' is due for release in June 2014.

Past performances...

Clockenflap Festival (Hong Kong), Spring Scream Festival (Taiwan), The Silvermine Festival (Hong Kong), The Shenzhen Fringe Festival (China), The Hong Kong Fringe Festival, The Grass Roots Festival (Taiwan), The Festival of Lights (New Zealand), 16 city tour of China, 13 city tour of New Zealand, 10 city tour of Taiwan. 

Interviews and features with The Bollands...

Timeout Magazine (HongKong) NZ Musician Magazine (New Zealand), BC Magazine (Hong Kong), Fullcup Magazine (Hong Kong), HK Magazine (Hong Kong), Cloak & Dagger Zine, The Underground (Hong Kong), RTHK The Underground Show, BFM Radio (New Zealand), Kiwi FM Radio (New Zealand) ICRT Radio (Taiwan) RTHK Television show 'The Works'  

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Band Members