Mao rocks with rats, ducks and good ass kicking!

“Liberation: break out of your shell and and release your soul!” That’s a pretty big name for 5 local bands to live up to! SQ and I thought we’d pop into Mao on Wednesday night and see if Beijing’s so-called “hard rockers” could pull it off and liberate us from our mid-week doldrums.

(from the band's douban page)

I always seem to end up missing the first band at Mao, they’re one of the few venues that start before 9pm, and they pretty much always start on time. This time we managed to get there in time to catch the last couple of songs of 啮齿先生 (Mr Rodent …. or Mr Wisdom Teeth?) I’m not an indie girl, so these guys weren’t really my thing. And they definitely didn’t seem like they fit the hard rockers label that had been given to the night!

The Amazing Insurance Salesmen were due to come on second, but due to a missing bass player, they let 声源乐队 (Sound Source) jump on stage early. I have to say I was impressed by these boys, great Brit rock sound from an up and coming group. Sadly they were playing to an almost empty room due to it being so early. I got to chat with guitarist Tang Xiaoyu afterward the show and managed to score one of the band’s badges. Will definitely be keeping an eye out for these guys and hopefully catching them again sometime soon!

The bands were moving fast, short sets and quick swaps. Mao is like a sauna even when it’s empty, but we barely had time to grab a beer and head out for some fresh air before the next band started! D.A.D. (Ducks and Drakes) up third and played for maybe only 30 mins. I’ve heard their name around before, but had never seen them. These guys were little heavier than the earlier bands and sounded pretty tight for a supposedly new band.

Finally Maikel arrived, so The Amazing Insurance Salesmen took the stage. Of course, this was who I had come to see and they didn’t disappoint giving the crowd a crazy, loud, high energy set. I love the connection Jean Sebastien and Maikel have on stage just playing off each other’s vibe and Mao Mao just always looks like he’s having so much more fun behind the drums playing with the Salesmen. The guys mentioned afterwards they were cut short by 3 songs, but I think they did play longer than most of the other bands anyway!

Kick Ass were the last band on the line up and they totally lived up to their name … and possibly giving Ruby a new rock crush! These guys are old-hands on the local scene and they showed they know how to work the crowd. Lead by singer Xiao Han, complete with a bull horn (as if he didn’t have every girl’s attention in the room already!) and with a guitarist who looks like Slash after been attacked with a hair straightener, they stole the show for me. Good loud hard rock, the way it should be! Unfortunately they only got to play 3 songs, but wow, if you see these guys on a line up I would recommend checking them out!

The night seemed to be over way to quickly. Soul releasing? Not quite. Hard rockers? Well, maybe some of them. But still an great midweek show to keep us music fans satisfied until the weekend hits!


a kiwi, a music lover, a traveller & an IT geek hanging around in the 'jing planning her next adventure.