ChunQiu was never your traditional Metal band, they’ve always done things differently in trying to bring elements of Chinese Folk into Rock music, most specifically the metal variety. That’s one of the reasons their songs are quite pleasant when done acoustically. I could be wrong but i think that’s what Yang Meng, who founded the band along with Kaiser Kuo, brings to the table.
When I heard that he was branching out with his own folk solo project, Diary of Sun City 太阳城日记, I was really curious to hear how it would be different from the band’s unplugged sets. Last friday, at the release party show, was the perfect opportunity to check it out and see it for myself.
The place was comfortably full when I got there around 9:30 with Yang Meng, Kaiser Kuo and Kou Zheng Yu digging into classic ChunQiu material in between solo songs. They played two sets to an audience that was mostly appreciative of the performance. Yang’s bandmates also served as his backing section for his new material on most songs except two when he solo-ed it on guitar.
How was the new stuff? unsurprisingly similar to the older stuff and I do not mean that in a bad way. It’s a positive statement. What Yang Meng and the gang have done is really merge the monophonic Chinese folk with foreign harmonies and arrangements. There’s a flamenco inspired rhythm at times that vanishes in favor of a bluesier sound only to come back again later. This, however, is more obvious on the CD than that particular live performance.
As usual, the harmonies of 3 guitars is just something you have to hear for yourself because I can’t do it justice. To be fair, the band has to be on their best to pull it off which was not the case for their first two songs. They sounded just a tad rusty! Being the professionals they are, they picked up the slack rather quickly and got things back in order.
Great little night a Jianghu yet again, with maybe the only downside being some of the audience in the courtyard speaking through a few of the songs. It does tend to happen more with a Foreign audience than a Chinese one…
I’m looking forward to spinning Diary of Sun City a few more times.
Should you be interested, the CD is available at C-Rock for RMB50 or you can order it off taobao for the same price at the following location: