In a city of over 22 million people, I’m constantly surprised how small this city is.
Or maybe that’s just the expat community, or maybe it’s even just the circles I move in? Anyway, I thought I’d head out and see something different on Sunday, a band whose name I’d heard a couple of times recently, but whose music I knew nothing about – Jurat, according to their douban a Uighur psychedelic rock band. Imagine my surprise when I walked into VA Bar to find I knew both the drummer and the bass player!
I’m a big fan of psychedelic rock, so I was interested to hear it with a Xinjiang spin. One look at band’s leader and namesake, Jurat wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt and I knew I was in the right place. Jurat has been in Beijing playing different genres of music for around 10 years, (including playing with Kazakh musician Mamer who is due to release his new album tomorrow) and his current band shows that, bringing together a fusion of rock, blues, and folk. All the songs were sung in Uighur except for the last one in English and all were Jurat’s own compositions except for one traditional Uighur song which gets the rock treatment. For two of the songs he played a different guitar, which was tuned to sound like a traditional Uigher instrument, giving them a really original feel.
Unfortunately due to the transient nature of Beijing, it’s hard to keep a band together, especially when expats are involved. The current line up has only been together a month, but they are already loosing their bass player to the USA. If anyone is, or knows of a bass player who shares a love of Floyd, Hendrix or the Doors you can get in touch with Jurat through his douban (or contact us here & we’ll pass on your details!)
Look out for Jurat playing at the end of this month at D22 and in August he hopes to take the band back to his home town of Karamay, Xinjiang to play at a music festival.