Awhile ago I wrote about how Sino Australian Music Exchange is doing awesome things sending Chinese bands to Australia and Australasian bands to China. I saw my hometown boys Die! Die! Die! at D22 back then and this week I caught my second S.A.M.E. show with Perth-via-Melbs rockers Bone playing Mao Livehouse.
I got there what I thought was early just after the scheduled start at 9pm to find Beijingers Yantiao already playing. I came across their name a while ago when they were opening for someone else I wanted to see, but ended up missing. They only have three songs on their douban, but it was enough for me to put them on my list of must-see bands, so I was excited to catch them opening for Bone. I’m on a bit of a post-rock kick right now and their music just fits in well with what I’m currently listening to. The vocals though didn’t really add anything for me, I think I’d prefer them to go instrumental, but hey, that’s just my opinion! If you haven’t seen them yet, they’re opening for their friends Pairs at Hot Cat this weekend. I’m looking to seeing them again so soon!
Surprizingly Bone, the headliners, came on second in a line up of four bands, BD hadn’t even arrived at that point and I was worried he was going to miss them. He did make it in time, but wasn’t overly impressed saying their songs all sounded the same. They did deliver exactly what they advertised in their album Face Prison, loud, noisy, distorted rock. I thought they lacked the intensity live that I’d heard on the recorded version, and they looked physically tired on stage. Chatting to them afterwards it seems that they’ve been partaking in the awesomeness of China, great food, cheap beer and not so much sleep! They were also hindered by technical issues with the guitarist who was the most active on stage breaking his guitar strap and something else (possibly a string?) by the end kicking his guitar in frustration. Hoping he got it fixed because they’re off to Xian today en route to Shanghai for their final China shows.
Third on were my personal favourites Residence A and the local boys totally stole the show. With the first two bands being showgazery and tired, their lead singer makes up for all their lack on energy and more. The crowd was pretty thin, and as non-excited as the first bands, on a quiet Wednesday night at Mao, but he always plays like he’s in front of a full Star Live. I think sometimes he just does this thing without even realising there are people watching or not. They played all the songs I love, plus a couple of newer songs which are slower and less catchy, but I guess that’s because they’re new, it’ll take some time for people to get to know them. These guys really deserve a lot more credit that they’re given for being totally original in what they do and tight as a band. I was also glad to see the bass player singing voluntarily this time, last time I saw them at D22 the lead singer was having to pull him towards the mic to sing at some points. Residence A are joining DUDE and a few other bands at Mao this Friday for those of you not heading to the SUBS/Rustic free show at 2 Kolegas.
Me Too were on the bill as well, but for some reason didn’t play. I’ve seen them once before opening for someone else and remember being not to enthusiastic about them, but I was looking forward to giving them a second try. Alas not this time though.
Big thanks again to the S.A.M.E. team of Tenzenmen and This Town Touring for arranging these cross cultural music exchanges. Having been in China for over 2 years now, I’ve been missing Aussie music, so it’s cool seeing bands touring here. Next up will be Arcane Saints, also from my adopted hometown Melbourne (but with a Kiwi singer, yay!) who will be landing at D22 next week and Mao the week after. If you haven’t heard of them, checkout their website where you can download their music for free, yes, free music right here!! Tenzenmen also have an awesome bandcamp site here where you can listen and buy albums from the bands they bring to China and also Chinese bands they distribute in Australia. Please support them buying albums so we can get more bands touring!