Hugo Darwin is an alternative rock band led by Gems, Atom, and James. They describe themselves as “a group of friends making dumb rock n’ roll.” The band performed live at PoA White Box, Yellow Lane as a part of the Open Stage program on Saturday 24 September 2022.
The performance was set to take place outdoors during Ari Weekend Market #7, however on the day there was a rainstorm which caused the show to be moved to inside. The space was transformed into an impromptu rock concert hall for audience members who braved the weather to watch them perform.
Hugo Darwin performed eight original songs themed around growing pains. Both the performers and audience had the opportunity to enjoy products from the Ari Weekend Market vendors throughout the show. This helped create a party-like atmosphere of live music, food, and drinks. PoA Open Stage is a creative platform for artists to explore ideas, experiment, and share their work with the community. If you have a project you would like to share through the Open Stage platform, sign up here. ABOUT THE ARTIST James, Gems, and Atom played music together in high school, then reunited in 2019 as a new band under the name Hugo Darwin. Their music expresses daily struggles and personal issues around anger and sadness. The trio released two recorded singles so far: We’ll Never Be Someone and Just Drive. Hugo Darwin has performed live at Knack Market 2020 at The Jam Factory, Pracharat Festival by Amnesty, Rhymes of Rights, Jam Session at Unnamedminor Studio, Open Hat Festival, and Street Gig (No.45) by Bangkok Street Noise. ARTIST INTERVIEW The name Hugo Darwin is somewhat a tribute to their teenage years. This name is a combination of two people they knew in school. “Darwin was our senior, he would wear this ‘The Strokes’ t-shirt with really tight pants, and he mentored us when we were working on the school sports day parade. Hugo was my classmate and he was the one recommending European indie bands like ‘Belle and Sebastian’ to me. That's when we decided to ditch the old band name and use this one, simply because these two are cool people,” said Atom. The band expressed that they don’t really have one specific genre that they follow. Each song has a different style according to what the band members liked at the time. Gems is the one writing all the lyrics, which is mostly about personal issues and daily struggles. “I don’t really talk about my problems with anyone, so I would write them all into a song. It’s a diary that I sing out loud, and every time I do that, I would feel better. It’s like some kind of therapy,” Gems said. While the songs are mainly personal to the lead vocalist, they also have sentimental values to other members. “If this is Gem’s diary, for us it’s like we get to sit down, listen, and talk to our friend. It takes us back to the old days. We don’t know what will happen after but right here, right now, it’s just us enjoying each other’s company through music, all in the name of teen spirit,” Atom said. The trio graduated university a few years ago and are now working full time. They also shared the challenges they faced as young people trying to juggle their professional lives and musical pursuits. “Now everyone has their own jobs to do and we have less time to work on music. So, right now our vision is to release a full EP that the audience can listen to before they come to see us live, and people will know more about us,” James said. “I was losing passion with my full-time job. I felt like life is boring, but when I have a live gig to perform, it’s like I’ve regained my passion and my goal. I’m counting the days until I get to play. It’s something that always excites me,” said Gems. “We just hope the audience comes and enjoys it. If they respond to our energy we would be happy. That’s all we really want.”