Two Gallants face the curse of Yugong and come out shining
Is it so wrong to see the same band three times in 10 days? In my defense, the first show was to see them, the second to see two other bands and they just happened to be on the bill, and the third was to see an international act who they just happened to be opening for. Oh, and they are one of the better up & coming bands in Beijing …
Yes, I think I’ve firmly sealed my spot at Residence A’s laowai super fan (although my gig buddy Alex is still challenging me!) But actually I went to Yugong on Wednesday for Two Gallants, it was just a bonus that Residence A were opening! We got there super early and were surprised to see a decent crowd out for a cold midweek show. Granted it was only RMB60 for a international act, which is pretty good these days, The Album Leaf, here a few weeks ago, were charging RMB200+! It was also a predominantly laowai crowd, which is great for Residence A to get more exposure. There’s not much more I can say about their set that I haven’t already said, except that I hope they’ll have their regular bass player back soon. Their friend who’s filling in is great, but it’s just not the same as the original line up.
I started checking out Two Gallants’ music when I heard they were coming and through their 3 albums, they’ve already made me a big fan. With raspy impassioned vocals, bluesy guitar, soulful harmonica and intricate drumming, they build an original sound, that’s seems much bigger than just two people. Unfortunately the curse of Yugong sound system struck once more, which meant my first experience of them live was slightly disappointing. The mix was just out, the drums turned way too loud so they were drowning out the guitar and vocals, guitarist Adam seemed to be having to scream more than normal to make the lyrics heard and drummer Tyson’s backing vocals were barely audible. They requested the guitar be turned up at one point, but turning up bad sound doesn’t make it any better.
The strange thing is I didn’t seem to notice the sound problems when Residence A played. Alex & I have mused before that maybe local bands are just used to played with crappy sound and know how to compensate for it? Despite that though I still enjoyed Two Gallants, and the loudness did help to drown out the regular Yugong chatter. One of the many resaon’s I’d rather go to Mao than Yugong is the different crowd’s they attract. You go to Mao to see a show, you go to Yugong to be seen at a show. The crowd were hanging back from the stage for both sets, but fans of the band didn’t let the annoying chatter stop them from enjoying the show, calling Two Gallants back on for a two song encore. They played through songs from their 3 previous albums, including ‘Las Cruces Jail‘, ‘Steady Rollin‘ and ‘Despite what you’ve been told‘, but skipped my favourite ‘Fly Low Carrion Crow‘. They also played 3 new songs, so hopefully that means they’re be a new album out sometime soon!