UK rock band TTNG (formerly known as This Town Needs Guns) performed alongside Mylets and Hong Kong rockers Emptybottles last night (7/5) after their hugely successful show in Singapore – but the night took an unexpected turn as it drew to a close.
Apparently in the audience as paying gig-goers were two immigration officials, who were present on the suspicion that the foreign bands did not have the appropriate work permits to perform in the country. Upon demanding to investigate the situation post-concert, resistance from the concert organizers led to quite the altercation.
HK01 reported that, upon this, the concert venue was subsequently raided by backup police, who arrived in multiple police cars, backed up by riot gear, as well as police dogs.
The scuffle that ensued can be watched here:
During the altercation, the bands were holed up backstage, unsure of the situation. Eventually, the concert organizers and the bands were detained at about 1am on Monday, Singapore time.
Rocky, member of opening band Emptybottles, released his own account of the incident:
After the show had ended, a few immigration officers in plainclothes started checking people's ID. But it became very clear that they were here for TTNG members and Henry in Mylets. Members of the audience and venue staff had tried to expel the immigration officers, while the band members were tucked away.
The police were called into the venue to investigate 'a fight' - which I firmly believe did not happen. The police later took venue staff outside and was able to send in the immigration officers. A lawmaker in Hong Kong came to mediate the incident, while the officers took band member's [sic] names. After an hour or so, TTNG and Mylets were escorted to a van and was driven to an office near by [sic]."
Hidden Agenda has had a long-standing contentious relationship with the police, with another gig earlier this year investigated by undercover officers, a show headlined by Canadian indie band Braids. Here's a detailed post by Hidden Agenda addressing the venue's problems.
Hong Kong Free Press reports that seven people had been arrested: founder Hui Chung-wo, a venue staffer, a member of the audience, all members of TTNG, and the sole member of Mylets. Hui and two other staffers were arrested on the account of obstructing officials on duty and common assault.
However, Fecking Bahamas reports that the band members were only detained and released a few hours later, not arrested as reported. This was later confirmed by Mylets.
As of press time, it is known that TTNG and Mylets have been released. They are due to release a statement on what happened as well as their plans for their current tour this afternoon, Singapore time.
Stay tuned to Bandwagon for more updates.
UPDATE 8 MAY 2017: The band has released a full statement on the matter, clarifying that they will be back in Hong Kong on June 5th to report to the Immigration Department, after being released on bail.
UPDATE 12 MAY 2017: TTNG and Mylets have started a gofundme campaign for their upcoming trip back to Hong Kong. According to the bands' official statement from May 8, both artists are scheduled to return to Hong Kong by June 5. Click here to donate.
TTNG's latest release 'Disappointment Island' is available here.
Get Mylets' 2015 release, 'Arizona', from his official bandcamp page.