Shanghai Rock: There is Some Music Down South with Fever Machine, Pinkberry et Co.

Admit it folks: we’re spoiled in Beijing with live music just about every night of the week and over a hundred bands, some of which are quite good, competing for your ears, eyes and hard earned RMBs. But what’s it like elsewhere? The picture is not as rosy but that’s not to say there’s nothing available!

Ruby was in Shanghai a few months ago and had a hard time finding an show on… let’s call it “expo-related malfunction”, shall we? Over the past few weeks, some Shanghai bands have been making a bit of noise and venturing up north to the capital, seeking a new audience! Cool thing is that many of them have tons of tracks available for download on Douban and elesewhere! Here’s where they stack up so far:

The Fever Machine - Picture from We Live in Shanghai

The Fever Machine
Dan Shapiro‘s baby rock show! They came up to Beijing during the world cup but yours truly was away. Still, I heard pretty darn good reviews of said show and the few songs they have on douban + videos running around Youku make have them sounding like one of the best bands down south. I wish they could come up again soon. the opening riff to HeartBrokenBleedingAgain is pretty fucking rocking!

How can you not love this band? They came up a few days back and opened for Hang on the Box at Mao Live. Yes, they’re somewhat idiotic but that doesn’t take anything away from them talent-wise. The band is slightly schizophrenic in their sound due to having 4 different songwriters and it shows!
They’ve already got an album out and it’s available for free on their bandcamp:

X is Y
Much like Stegosaurus? , they have only popped up on my radar recently. They got a record out already and it’s also available for free on their site. I took it for a spin yesterday and it wasn’t half bad: some songs are definitely good while others sound too much the same. The videos I saw on youku show them slightly more energetic live than the record sound and definitely high on musicianship
Download their record here:

One of the first Shanghai bands i heard off. They played a few festivals in Beijing and I guess they more or less compare to Bigger Bang with their sound. interesting lead singer, good stage presence and a sense of hunger. Their songs cover a wide spectrum of genres with the earlier demos being heavier! They released a CD a while back, most of which can be downloaded on their Douban. Give a listen to the maradona song, live in live and one time for UR mind

Top Floor Circus
These guys sound like a cross between Buyi and Nucleus. They’re in the process of recording a CD as far as I understand and have put tons of songs up for download on their Douban page. They actually sound pretty darn good as far as rock music goes! They’re also quite melodic IMHO!

Of course, this list is by no means comprehensive.. it’s more of a little taste of Shanghai from bands that peaked my interest. For more info on Shanghai bands / Live music scene, check out the great blogs of Andy Best and Jake Newby at Kunfuology.

any other recommendations?

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6 Responses

  1. Bren says:

    Here’s a few more awesome Shanghai bands with free music for you

  2. Zhang Si'an says:

    To me the top floor circus sounds more like a Taiwanese band called “The clippers”, a band that has been playing around in Taiwan for a while.

    Check yourself:

  3. Reggie says:

    you forgot the two best bands in shanghai

    Duck Fight Goose (
    Rainbow Danger Club (

    and all bands have CD coming out soon.

  4. Reggie says:

    I meant to say BOTH bands have CDs coming out soon. Been hanging around Chinese people too much!

  5. Josh Feola says:

    definitely some interesting stuff coming out of Shanghai!

    just did an interview with X is Y, they mention a few more SH bands and labels worth checking out:

    they’re playing at Yugong Yishan on friday (11/12) and D-22 on saturday (11/13)

    ironically another Shanghai band, Boys Climbing Ropes, is playing at 2Kolegas on saturday as well: