Rock Out this Christmas with TLF

The Law Society Live Band “TLF” has always been the highlight at the organisation’s events. This year is no exception - the band will be playing at the Law Society’s Christmas Party on 13 December at Hard Rock Café. 

Founding member and captain, Karen Lam, and convenor of the band, Paul Lui, talked to Hong Kong Lawyer about the ins and outs of the band and their passion for music.

The Law Society Live Band “TLF” (which stands for The Learned Friends) was established in the summer of 2009.  Since then, the band has attracted attention not only within the Law Society but was also invited to perform on different occasions.

Karen Lam, Managing Associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, is one of the founding members and currently the captain of the band.

She said that in the past nine years, the band has played at various Law Society events, including but not limited to the Law Society’s annual Recreation and Sports Night, Christmas Party and its very own Summer Concert.

The band was invited to do a countdown performance at the Militar de Macau last year. “We played for almost four hours non-stop covering over 45 songs. That was our very first out-of-Hong Kong performance. The feedback was great. Our group had a great time in Macau,” Lam recalls.

The performance last year in Macau is only a glimpse of what the band is capable of. Earlier this year, the group blew the crowd away with their performance at the Teen Talk x Law Week Opening last month on 17 November 2018.

“We performed in front of over 650 students at the Kowloon Bay International Trade and Exhibition Centre. I had the opportunity to lead the closing finale song and sang with the students. That has been my most unforgettable experience with the band so far,” Lam says.

Her view was echoed by Paul Lui, Partner and Joint Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Haldanes, one of the convenors of the band. “I agree with Karen that the band’s most unforgettable performance so far was at the Teen Talk x Law Week Opening this year.  I was so moved by the young crowd when they all came to the front of the stage, waving their hands and singing along with us!” he says.

It is not easy for members to take time out of their busy schedule to practice but the band makes an effort to gather every Friday at a studio called Wave Music Studio in Kwun Tong to practice.

“We have our regular practice session at 9 pm on Fridays. It is a Friday night and we are supposed to have finished work for the week, but we deliberately start late so that people can go for drinks and dinner with friends and clients and then join us to play. The downside is, of course, we tend to finish late, sometimes at 1 am or even 2 am. But you don’t feel tired when you are doing something that you really enjoy, right?” Lui says.

The band plays all genres of music: Canto-pop, J-pop, K-pop, rock, jazz etc. “Our songs are not only limited to Cantonese, Mandarin and English. We also do Japanese and Korean,” Lam says.

When Lam was asked if she had ever considered a career in performing arts her answer was a definite no. “I sing and play the drums and the keyboard in the band. Singing is more of a hobby than a career because I enjoy being a litigator a lot,” she says.

For Lui, things are more complicated as he grew up wanting to be a musician but later found that he was more interested in the problem-solving side of the legal practice, so he became a litigator.

“To me, playing music is for fun. If I had to make a living out of it, it would be little or probably no fun,” he says.

Lui, who has been with TLF for four years, says the band is able to put his talent on full display. “When I first joined TLF, I was asked which instrument I could play and I ticked all the boxes. Perhaps this might have drawn their attention and they arranged to see me very quickly. I am a lead guitarist, but I also play the bass, drums and the keyboard,” he says.

Currently, the band has around 20 core members and is one of the 23 interest groups under the Recreation and Sports Programme under the Standing Committee of Member Services. It is actively looking to recruit members and all members of the Recreation and Sports Programme are welcome to join.

According to Lam, the band is looking for instrumentalists such as drummers, guitarists, bassists and keyboards. Vocalists are also welcome.

If you are a legal professional who has a knack for music and showmanship, here is your chance to shine!