Guai Li Unleash their Album and the Offset:Spectacles impress at Mao Livehouse

This past saturday was an interesting little gig at Mao Live house that served as the release party for Guai Li’s record (Flight of Delusion) with support from Rustic and The Offset:Spectacles.

Unfortunately, I missed Rustic who kicked off the festivities but I made in on time to catch Offset. Now here is a strange band that I can’t place! They’re from HK, they have natural bluesy, almost organic, kinda sound and they walk the not-so-fine line between extremely boring and extremely interesting. Two songs into their set, I was completely unimpressed and just about ready to walk out of the premises.. then things picked up: The songs became more interesting, the compositions intricate and the sound quite melodic i must admit. As a 3 piece band with a bass player that doubles up as a drummer, they’re doing something quite different from the rest of the scene. I’ve heard them compared to the velvet underground and while I don’t see it, I can understand how it all came about. I’m looking forward to catching them again so that I can compare…

Next up were the stars of the evening, Guai Li, who took the stage with a interesting guest for the evening: a costumed blue rabbit who i guess served as a reference to their recently filmed and released video, Devil Rabbit. The band seemed to have found the address for both Nanwu and Free the Birds costume shop judging by the variety of headgear adorned by the guitar players.

They kickstarted things with their lead single, devil rabbit, and moved on through their usual catalog with the stand out moments being Midnight Hole, Be Cool and Laughing Gas, not to mention their cover of 10,000 maniacs’ Because the Night.
There were quite a few highlights to this show, with the crowd being one of the more important ones: The fans turned out in decent numbers and looked like they were really enjoying themselves. big ups to some of them for not getting too annoyed with the obnoxious rabbit and punching him in the [fake] face.
I really liked the energy of the band: They sounded better and tighter than the previous time i had seen them during the Zippo event.

now, here is the kicker… Wen Jun is one amazing performer! She’s a sort of Patti Smith meets Mick Jagger character and I love love seeing her onstage at this point… She’s fairly unique as far as the female performers around Beijing go where they mostly tend to channel a version of Karen O or another..

that said, the star of the show that night, at least for me, was drummer Shi Xu Dong! As much as my eyes wanted to stay focused on Wen Jun, they just kept wondering back to the drumkit! He was playing with precision and urgency with the rest of the band following course… yes, a band with a lead drummer! I don’t know how i missed this last time at zippo but every thing comes from the percussions for Guai Li…. and that’s cool

I picked up the CD after the show so you can look for a review at some point but I can already tell you I’m liking it! Big ups also to Maybe Mars for having a CD rack out there where we could stock up on some of the label’s other releases! I like the RMB30 price…

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3 Responses

  1. It should be mentioned that Shi Xu Dong is also the bassist for P.K. 14 and at one time even played bass for Brain Failure back in the day.

  2. Beijing Daze says:

    Thanks Matthew, I should have mentioned that indeed. he is one talented lad.

  3. dude says:

    Also, “Because the Night” is a Patti Smith song, written by Bruce Springsteen. They’ve been doing that cover for a few years, me thinks, which is probably one of the reasons why they get compared to Patti Smith a lot.