Jurat: Echoes of classic rock melded with the sounds of North-West China

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.

photo from douban

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.


a kiwi, a music lover, a traveller & an IT geek hanging around in the 'jing planning her next adventure.

You may also like...

7 Responses

  1. jtdj says:

    I’m glad you posted about Jurat. He’s a cool dude that shares the love many of the Xinjiang musicians I’ve met have for Floyd, King Crimson, Prog and Psychedelic Rock – besides metal of course. Interesting mix of influences in Xinjiang that makes for an intense music.

  2. Ruby says:

    Thanks James! I really enjoyed the show and it was so refreshing to see/hear a different take on a style of music I love too. I hope Jurat can find a new bass player and get some more shows so others can check it out as well!

  3. Max says:

    Hey, you wouldnt know any website where i can find the artists playing in D-22? Their own website is kinda stuck in 2007 or something. 🙂

    Any other good rock/indie clubs in Beijing?

  4. Ruby says:

    Hey Max

    Douban is the best place for tracking gigs, you can follow the venues, or the artists themselves. If your chinese isn’t great Beijinggigguide translates events listed on douban into English. The expat mags, City Weekend, The Beijinger, Time Out etc also have listings on their websites.

    For clubs, there are so many! D22, Mao, Old What?!, Hot Cat, 2 Kolegas, JiangJinJiu, Mako, and Jianghu all have rock/indie shows.

  5. Max says:

    Ah, i just found a list on cityweekend.com ..

    Is Dolan, Zoomin’ Night, University Night, Pangbianr Third Thursday or Half Mile Radius worth checking out? 😀

  6. Ruby says:

    Pangbianr shows are great. I haven’t made it to a Zoomin’ or University night, but have heard good things about both.

    Dolan and Half Mile Radius I haven’t heard, but you can probably find some of their tracks on douban.

    One of the great things about gigs in Beijing is that the door fee is usually pretty cheap, so it’s worth going and checking out bands you don’t know – that’s how I ended up at Jurat’s show!