A couple of weeks ago, while every venue in Beijing decided to close up for spring break, the folks at 2 Kolegas decided to turn on the lights for one evening to welcome Kunming’s Quebec Redneck Bluegrass Project. This had been booked for a while with Beijing’s Redbucks originally on the bill. However, due to the untimely departure of uncle Luke, the French-Canadians were left standing on their own. Considering it was a cold Tuesday, Chinese New Year’s eve, I’d say the turnout was definitely not too bad with a good 60 persons in the audience…. and let me tell you folks, they all left happy, sweaty and bluegrassed.
The band came on around 10 and got things going with their standard “sweet mama yeah” which is a nice introduction to the band’s style. They then proceeded to rip through their whole catalog in stomping, yeehawing, hand-clapping hour… and the crowd was eating it up. Heck, at some point, we had a moshpit going near the stage…. to Bluegrass….
How to describe these kids? They’re actually mostly members of punk bands that get together and play good old fashioned bluegrass.. cool thing about their brand of bluegrass is that it’s trilingual which I’m pretty sure makes it as unique as it gets. They got the English vernacular down, the Patois is like French’s answer to Southern slang and kunming hua the same. Mixing all 3 in the same song can result in funny effects.
Not only did the band not take themselves seriously, they were just all around funny cracking jokes and boy did they have a good time.. honestly, I think they possibly had as much fun as the audience members if not more. Just because they’re funny, it doesn’t make them any less of good musicians…they delivered the tunes without a hitch! heck, after seeing them, I really think it should be mandatory for each and every band to have someone in cow pajamas on stage.. they can even play the chopstick and the spoon if they wish.
The band carried on for a good 2 hours alternating songs, singers, instruments and languages. Cool thing is that the crowd just stuck around forever. As the night progressed, more people were turning up at 2 Kolegas. By the time the Jam session started with the remaining redbucks and friends, it felt like we were gearing up for a whole new concert all over.
Big ups to the crowd that turned up for braving the cold. Big ups to Gao Feng and his lady for opening 2 Kolegas on their own and providing us with a place to party.. and big big ups to the Quebec Redneck Bluegrass Project for an awesome show. You guys come on back and see us soon now, ok? and Don’t forget the CDs this time!!!
Funny thing about this is that I’m pretty sure i’ve seen more bluegrass shows and more people stomping in a dance floor over the last year in Beijing than 8 years of living in the bible belt… that’s horrifying and funny at the same time. What a better way to bring in the year of the rabbit that to be hopping like one ???