Have you heard of Sparky Deathcap? He’s a musician who draws comics (I shan’t bother listing other musician/comic artists, but Sparky got his portrait drawn by Daniel Johnston himself when he supported him recently).

He recently went to Hong Kong (and I think a bit to China too) supporting Los Campesinos at a big festival or something, and took some disposable cameras with him, because Hong Kong is a weird ol’ place and he wanted to document it. You must know the drill by now: here are his photos.

This was the view from our hotel room, looking across the water onto Kowloon Island. The full panorama revealed sky scrapers, spaghetti junctions, docks and an armada of ferries and trawlers against a mountainous backdrop.

On the first night the festival organisers took us out to a terrace bar overlooking the sea. We got very drunk. This is the taxi ride back.

The food was excellent, but relentless. The hotel served dim sum for breakfast and I attacked the buffet like Oliver Twist at a Woolworth’s Pick N’ Mix.

Thrown by our bodies’ inability to choose a time zone and stick to it, Tom and I woke up at 5 am on the first morning and decided to get an early breakfast and explore Hong Kong Island a little.

A man on his way to work perhaps. Or perhaps just en route to a Village People convention.

This is a storefront window. Note the vibrating phallus detailed with what appears to be the face of Santa Claus.

Hygiene in Hong Kong swung wildly from insane neurotic extremes, such as disinfecting the lift buttons hourly, to this kind of thing. Our guitar tech, Andy, ordered some chicken in a restaurant and it turned up oozing blood. Apparently hanging chicken, cooking it partially, and then repeating continually makes it crispy. Fact.

This was one of the weirder creatures we saw. At first it looked like an eel, but closer inspection revealed a terrifying, long, barbed snout. And it was covered in blood as well, most likely the fisherman’s.

The market traders seemed to be -for the most part- somewhat reserved, and this was the only man we managed to engage in Michael Palinesque conversation. From his expressive sign language we deduced that he had rowed out onto the sea only that morning to take this catch. Either that or he was doing the fishmonger dance.

Much of the fish was so fresh that it was undead, and everywhere we looked there were gigantic fish flipping around on the table tops.

We came across what the guidebook referred to as the ‘Live Market’. Sadly no we found no human slaves, but the seafood was out of this world. There were cages piled full of turtles, toads and lizards, some of which I suspect was not totally kosher, judging by the stall holders’ attitude to our cameras.

On many of the stalls the fishmongers sliced the fish open to expose their hearts, which apparently continue to beat even after the body has been drawn and quartered.

More of the market.

Some more of the market.

I really loved the market, it would appear.

One particularly popular product appeared to be dried shark’s fin. There was one street upon which every shop carried almost identical stock, which for the most part was dried fish skin.

Two girls laugh at a crossing. This area is jam-packed full of western designer shops and is just one of many clues as to the city’s immense wealth.

Down the road in the other direction was an M&S. Wasn’t as photogenic though.

We saw this from the bus on the way to sound check. I find that the question is as pressing now as it was then.

The view from the other side of the hotel, with “The Peak” in the distance. The lens wasn’t wide enough to accommodate even half of the height of the buildings. This scene demonstrates just how tightly packed Hong Kong Island is, although Kowloon Island is somehow even more densely populated; at 43,000 per square km it’s the most densely populated area in the world.

My view from behind my little drum/keyboard/guitar station. The crowd were wonderful. Festival organiser, Justin, informed us that whilst there is an emerging scene in Hong Kong, there is certainly not a long-standing tradition of “gigs”. The audience went wild… perhaps a little too wild in one or two cases.

For the first two songs we had a little trouble with our monitor mixes and I got Harriet’s violin very loud in mine. She’s a wonderful musician, so this was something of a pleasure, but I feel sorry for whoever ended up getting my backing vocals.

This is me, Gareth and Ollie hitting cymbals during the last few seconds of the encore.

This is Neil Campesinos! creating what is likely to be an artist’s impression of a lady’s tuppence.

We spent a long time trying to attract the attention of this wedding party from our taxi. When they finally waved back they looked upon us with a pitying, despairing melancholy.

We made sure we treated every cultural site with the reverence it deserved.

The view from ‘The Peak’. We had to take a funicular up the mountain to get there. The guidebooks all advise sitting on the right side of the carriage for the views and there was a rather unseemly crush to get onboard, a couple of families using their children like those little battering rams the police use.