There were a few good shows on last Saturday, Free The Birds were resurfacing at 2 Kolegas, with the help of DH & the Hellcats, Reflector was heating up the 3rd floor at Tango and Mademoiselle et son Orchestre had their last show together at VA. But how often do we get a Shanghai band making an appearance in the ‘Jing? Really not often enough, and after listening to their album all week there was no way I was missing Friend or Foe’s album launch, even though it was all the way out at D22.
Perpetual Motion Machine (永动机乐队) opened the show, I’d never heard of them before, but Rabshaka mentioned Friend or Foe had specifically requested them after playing with them at Midi. A couple of songs into their set, I realised why. They’re a three piece who play great danceable indie rock. Definitely on my list to see again sometime soon!
Yantiao were up next. I’ve seen them three times now, always opening for other bands and I think my reaction has been the same each time. I really want to like them, and I do like their music, but the singing really just doesn’t work for me. They seem to be playing a lot right now, their name keeps popping up on shows and I’m sure I’ll be seeing them again sooner than I think.
We were camped out upstairs expecting Deadly Cradle Death to come on next. Having seen them once before at Raying Temple I knew already their brand of experimental noise was just not my style. Suddenly our conversation was interrupted by some sci-fi music and an alien running past us with a spaceship and we realised what was happening, Friend or Foe had landed! We got downstairs just as they launched in ’Lie to Me’. They played through all the songs I loved from the album except ‘Almost To Much’. Sadly there wasn’t much of a crowd there and those that were there were a little stand-offish and didn’t seem to be getting into the music as much as I’d thought they would. We’re so spoilt for having great bands here in Beijing, that it really sucks that the same crowds don’t come out in support of touring bands. The same thing happened with both Proximity Butterfly and Zhaoze’s album launches earlier this year. Maybe we do just have too many livehouses and shows competing against each other?
Despite that, Friend or Foe played a great set that has made me even more determined to get down to Shanghai to see them and other bands at Logo where there’s a decent crowd. We skipped out before Deadly Cradle Death came on and made it to 2 Kolegas in time to catch DH & The Hellcats encore (with their usual big crowd!) before it all descended into the normal all night jam session we know and love.