This was one of the first advertised gigs coming out of Spring Festival hibernation and kicking off a weekend of shows. The bill looked good with DUDE and two bands i had not heard off before: The O.N.E Band and Binkabi.
Strangely enough, Ruby had never seen Dude live so this was a great opportunity for her to discover one of the funniest most energetic acts in Beijing. The boys didn’t disappoint! for this particular show, the band was getting their new drummer started and they had plenty of support from the audience/friends that showed up to cheer them on. What can I say about Dude that i haven’t said before? They’re a blast. Their renditions of Chinese classic songs with a Comedy-Punk edge is a really cool niche! From Theresa Teng classics like tian mimi and yue liang dao bie wo de xin to newer K-pop standouts like nobody. The boys do it right and they have fun. Good connection with the audience, good showmanship and decent tunes… The audience just cannot help but sing along since they actually know all the words. For this Bob Marley day, They also added two classic bob tunes so that they respected the spirit.
Next up was the O.N.E band, a local jazz outfit that didn’t sound half bad. They looked like they came out of a bad KTV video but they were having fun on there. They missed out the Marley Tribute side of things as there was no hint of Reggae or Bob in their songs.. that said, they were completely non-offensive. Their lead singer looked like he spent a long time studying the moves of that dude with the black turtleneck and raybans that appears in quite a few KTV videos… nice interlude.
Finally, Binkabi was up. There was quite a bit of buzz about them with Matt, DUDE Bassist, praising them and explaining how they used to play together in Ghana with Sunny D of afrokokoroots fame ( who’s a bit of a personality in Beijing’s music circle). Anyways, they got onstage and to the point! The band went through some originals and a whole bunch of classic Marley tunes with Adedzewa (?) on vocals much to the delight of the crowd who was eating it all up. Still, thing went up a few notches when Sunny took up the mic and lead the band through a slew of other classics culminating in an amazing version of Buffalo Soldier where the whole audience was singing along… The band should have left it there and walked out with that gigantic ovation… but they decided to come back to screams for an encore! and that’s when it went south.
With Sunny entertaining the audience and proclaiming his love for China, I thought they would blow the roof off with a cool version of Get up Stand Up… instead, he spent 10 minutes talking about taking 4 wives then 10 wives and taking what was a cool joke too far. Eventually, the band tried playing Get up Stand up, stopped after the first verse and switched to Waiting in Vain... For as good as they had done through the show and their amazing version of I shot the sheriff, it was a shame to have such an anticlimactic end.
still… very cool show and thumbs up to the bands and decent crowd turnout with a good 200 folks grooving to the music Binkabi is quite talented with good personalities and one hell of a bass player. Here hoping they keep the talking to a minimum and do more singing.