Some interesting changes taking place around Beijing’s music venue lineup over the past few weeks, let’s see what’s been up:
D-22 is Dead, long live D-22?
The yet unnamed venue that is supposed to become the new home of the noise/experimental/DIY underground had their first trial by fire last weekend as Ruby mentioned. Alex from Beijing Gig Guide has a little writeup about it!
The new spot is a heck of a lot more convenient but far from ready for prime-time… let’s give it some time!
2 Kolegas gets a makeover
Much has been made about the changes at 2 Kolegas and justifiably so. New bathrooms have been setup in the back of the house with more sinks and it’s all looking pretty good. I think the ladies will be happy with the improvements! We’ll wait and see how they will manage the changes when there’s 400 people there. It might get ugly!
The bar is sporting a better selection of booze and there are more beer fridges so it shouldn’t be difficult to get a cold one! Still no draft beer.. too much of pain to deal with when there are crowds according to the Feng-man.
There’s been a few extra cosmetic arrangements but the jury is still out on those…
Blue Stream floats in
I finally had a chance to hit Blue Stream, conveniently located at the corner of Xi Gulou and Gulou Jiu Da Jie… nice place that Slash ( former soundman at Jianghu) has built up! Sure enough, it does have a lot of similarities with Jianghu but the equipment is quite a bit better! The spot is cozy during winter but i expect it to be a hit when the weather warms up! They have a gigantic 200sqm rooftop overlooking the hutongs and I’m looking forward to chilling up there on a lazy sunny afternoon. Avoid the German red wine though.. just a tad too sweet imho. Drinks nicely priced.
I was back there last night for the Jazz Improv and It just doesn’t feel like the same old place anymore. I get the feeling it’s almost elitist at this point… seriously! There are still times when things feel right but the new staff pisses me off… let’s not mention rmb 35 for a mouthful of red wine! I miss the old staff behind the bar and their friendliness. Too many options to settle for that as much as i care about Tian Xiao and the rest of the crew.
Temple: The New Altar
What’s not to like about this place? Great service, friendly folks, good music for free, a musician friendly space without being snobby. Caters equally to Chinese and foreigners without alienating either….. oh and yeah, they got their new smoke extractors so you won’t smell so much like an ashtray when leaving! They are dangerously close to my house and I’ve been ending up there a bit too often for my own liking. They’ve taken Beijing by storm and I can’t think of anything bad to say about Gao Shu, Cedric and Clement… awesome job, guys!
New 2000 seater venue
This is a big one folks… I’m not allowed to really say more but look for some updates very soon about a new state of the art venue that can seat 2000 people and fill the gap for real mid size bands coming to Beijing. The team behind this baby knows what they’re doing and has all the contacts to get things right. It’s a 60 x 40 x 10 meter space with no obstructions, show power, modern backstage facilities, ready to go production systems (sound, lights, and stage), and good rigging capabilities! The picture above should be enough to wet your appetite…. more on this very very soon!