Rock Naadam Launch Party: Mohanik, Banana Monkey & Scary Magic
Six months ago on a cold Friday 13th D22 held it’s last show ever, but it wasn’t one of the Maybe Mars team of bands that played the last song in this Beijing rock institution, it was a post punk band all the way from UB, Mongolia – Mohanik. Those of us that were there (and there were many) can confirm it was an epic night in true D22 fashion!
That show was part of a project called run by former Trash-A-Gogo promoter Brian Offenther, aka. DJ BO, who sent a couple of great Shanghai bands, Boys Climbing Ropes and Moon Tyrant, back to Mongolia with Mohanik. He’s done it all again this year for Rock Naadam, bringing Mohanik back for shows in Shanghai and Beijing, and sending two more Shanghai bands, Scary Magic and Banana Monkey, back with them for Mongolian shows. The Beijing launch party was at Temple last weekend, the night before the group flew out to UB.
First up was Scary Magic a recently formed 6 piece party rock’ band, complete with two lead singers and a djembe player. I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of this style of music, but in the right venue, with the right crowd I’m sure it would be a fun show. You can check out video’s of the band in action in Shanghai.
I first heard about the second band, Banana Monkey, a month or so ago from my buddy Eric of Musicdish China, who happened to catch them when he was visiting Shanghai and has been raving about them ever since. And he was right, they play tight and fun garage rock tunes and remind me a lot of Arctic Monkeys. I love the leader singer’s voice and they have one very cool bass chick! The more Shanghai bands I see recently, the more respect I’m growing for the scene down there. It’s great that they’re coming up to play for us, but I’d love to see some more Beijing-Shanghai co-operation going on, maybe we can send a Beijing band with them to Mongolia next time?
Last time I saw Mohanik I remember not having any idea what to expect and being completely blown away by them. Guitarists writhing on the floor, bass player standing on the keyboard, and that was just on stage, the crowd was even wilder! The energy this time was just as high, the vodka bottle was again passed around from band to crowd and the show ended suddenly when their guitarist was hit in the face by his bandmate’s guitar. Musically though their sound has matured a lot. The poppier tunes from their last album that we heard at D22 replaced with more intense post punk songs they’ve been working on this year. The band have 11 songs ready to record when they get back to UB for a new album and hopefully another tour of China when it’s finished later in the year. If you missed the show, then check out this video for a preview of the new album!