Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mystics - HK Pop Portuguese, Macao Descent

According to Hong Kong pop song enthusiasts, there were two different music scenes in the 60s. On one hand there were garage bands like The Mystics (image), Joe Junior & The Side Effects, Menace, Teddy Robin and the Playboys, Lotus, etc. Like our local Singapore bands The Trailers or The Quests, these groups generally sung in English and covered the latest top hits from the UK or the US.

On the other hand there were recording artistes from the Shaw Brothers film studio like Nancy Sit and Chan Po Chu who recorded Chinese versions of international hits. Remember Rita Chao and Sakura Teng? There were also a handful of studio musicians churning out instrumental versions of both Western songs and westernized Chinese songs as well; like The White Cloud Orchestra from Singapore 60s?

One reasonably popular band that had made it to the top was The Mystics. They followed the same formula like covering current 60s English language songs from the west. The group formed in 1965 during the golden years of Hong Kong’s music extravaganza and team members comprised Hong Kong citizens of Portuguese descent.

Again like Singapore's guitar groups, The Mystics were popular at teenage parties, tea dances, and recorded chart toppers with Diamond Record Company, a subsidiary of Polydor Records. They came in the usual LPs, EPs and singles format. Some of the songs recorded were: I Can’t Help Myself, Sweet Soul Music, When A Man Loves A Woman, In The Midnight Hour, Going Out Of My Head, Don't Leave Me (Baby, Baby), What Makes, You Run, Ain't Proud To Beg, I Want To Talk With You, Somebody New, Song Of The Wind, One day and Send Her Back.

While some of these pops were covers, others were composed by band members Michael Remedios (vocals) and Tony Tavares (drums). The rest of the team were: Francis De Costa (guitar), Vasco De Costa (bass guitar), and Clifford Yim (keyboard). Don Choi joined in 1970.

Other line-ups included Ricky Gosano, Ricky Fung, Ricky Souza and Derek Turner. The website also claims that singer Michael Remedios still sings today. Not only has he a great voice, he dances well too. For his appearances he wears thick make-up.

One website wrote that the band was called, "The Bank Flat Boys" (translated from Cantonese) because members usually lived in the area populated by residents who worked in the commercial banks in Kowloon. This particular group was supposed to be Hong Kong's best soul band.

The Mystics' tea dances, HK variety shows, concerts and TV shows had a varied repertoire that also included selection peppered with soul spice like, Arthur Conley's Sweet Soul Music, Wilson Pickett's In The Midnight Hour and Chris Kenner's Land Of A Thousand Dances (Na, na, na, na, na...). The songs were hot choices at that time!

Like other groups in that era, they were just a band in a crowd until the emergence of drummer and guitar player Tony Tavares. He brought the group to a new height when they started recording originals. Popular compositions included, Send Her Back, Song Of The Wind and Somebody New. The group disbanded in 1971.

Information has been extracted and edited from:
The Mystics - Going Out Of My Head 196x by zoundcracker.    


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Unknown said...

Hi Andy! This is a great blog for The Mystics. I only heard their song "Goin out of my Head" in youtube. I was surprised that they were asians like me! They sang clearly and I love their version. I would love if you could post this info about the Mystics in youtube comment... . I guess a lot of people wonder who were The Mystics!


Cholzki Matz said...

This is a great cover version! THE MYSTICS - guys please tell us more about this band. This sang clearly. They have a great voice!

Muffett53 said...

Never heard of The Mystics. Some bands were popular in various locations...obviously this one was not heard of ...where I'm from. I love this song done by The Lettermen much better. can anyone really ruin this great song. It's beautiful. The Mystics do have their own website tho. They have been around for a very long time. I'm glad they have. Great songs from them.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you Cholzki Matz for visiting and your positive comments. I have done what you requested.

Come visit again when you are free.

grahamthemod said...

Derek - where are you now? Graham

Grahamthemod said...

Hey Derek - if your'e reading this, where are you now? It's been a long time. In the words of Pete Townsend "let's get together before we get much older" Graham from Tottenham

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I hope Derek gets to read this one Grahamthemod. I agree, no one getting younger and the times get to be tougher ahead.

So Derek better get in touch and quickly too. I just hope you notice these letters and read this posting.

Musclebound Canucksfan said...

Wow I didn't realise the Mystics were so big. It hits close to home for me since Tony Tavares is my uncle.