This show has been marked in my gig calendar for a long time and I’ve been patiently waiting for it to come. I already have albums of 3 of the 5 bands playing, but had only seen one of them play before, Wang Wen at Black Rabbit. Since there was no way BD was coming to this one, I convinced the Post-Rock friendly (in small doses) Alex to join me.
The show was scheduled to start at the stupidly early time of 6.30pm, and being as eager as I was, we got there at 7. That turned out to be perfect timing, Even Less preparing to start their first song as we walked in the door. I hadn’t heard of them before, so wasn’t sure what to expect. Especially since they label themselves ‘depressive rock’. They were great though, singing in English, not Chinglish, with the drummer joining in on harmonies. On one song he sang lead vocals and showed of a gorgeous voice. I would definitely like to see him singing more! Sadly their album wasn‘t available to buy (bring merch to shows!) but you can download one track free on their bandcamp. and they also have a soundcloud.
Since it was so early Alex & I popped out for chuanr & road beers in the break. We ended up taking longer than we expected, so we missed most of Amber’s (琥珀乐队) set. We did catch the last two songs though, and that was enough to convince me to buy their CD. They’re another band I hadn’t heard of before, but will be following their long (most tracks over 8mins) instrumental soundtrack rock from now on.
Up next were Glow Curve (发光曲线), who’s album we reviewed recently here. I said in the review I was a little unsure about seeing them live, worried they would be all shoe-gazery, but I was wrong, they were moving around and really getting into the music, playing so hard the guitarist even broke a string during the first song. From opening of ‘Song for Raying Temple’ right through to closing of ‘Flowers for Godmother’ the crowd were with them, cheering after each song. I didn’t recognise all the songs they played, and many had vocals, so maybe they were new songs not on the album?
Wang Wen (惘闻) from Dalian, were up 4th with probably the largest crowd of the night. Well, it was still only 10pm by this point! What can I say about them that I haven’t already? Not much, I mean who doesn’t love a band that has a xylophone and a guitarist who plays his guitar with a screwdriver? Their music is always great, but I enjoyed this performance better than last time I saw them. Alex agreed on this, turning to me at least 3 times during their set to say ‘I need to get this CD from you!’. Their music is mostly instrumental, but they closed the set with one of my favourite songs ‘Rust Inside‘ which has English lyrics.
Rounding out the show was Hua Lun (花伦) from Wuhan, but I’ve heard they’ve recently moved to Beijing, yay! These guys have been around 10 years and are really well known as the in the Post Rock genre in China. They didn’t say much or really look at the audience during the set, but the music spoke for itself. In the middle of the set the two guitarists pulled up chairs, the bass and drummer left the stage and they played a two guitar solo of ‘上海觀光客‘ leaving the crowd in awe. The next song, the chairs were gone and they were all dancing around the stage. I am really glad I finally got to see them and looking forward to seeing them more often now that they’re in Beijing.
And then it was over, possibly the best show I’ve seen this year and here’s why:
I think we have a contender for Ruby’s Gig of the Year here!