No Gimmicks, Just Rock: Erez Eisenman and Borneo at Yugong Yishan
post punk, math rock, emo, prog-rock, acid…… whatever! Sometimes, just sometimes, I wanna tell folks to take their labels and shove them where the sun don’t shine. Rock is rock! you know it when you hear it, smell it, lick it and bathe in it… it doesn’t really need to be labeled much. Saturday night at Yugong Yishan was one such night where it was rock and just that.
I was looking forward to Erez Eisenman whose name had been popping around Beijing for the past few months. unfortunately, some inner-mongolian lamb got in my way (more on that some other day) and we barely made it in time to catch the last 3 songs of his set. I wish i had seen/heard more! Erez has one of those low pitched voices ( think Cave, Cohen, Waits) and uses it well. good tempo, nice riffs with the pre-requisite blues edge. Another surprise was that Nico, Mademoiselle’s drummer, was on the skins that night and he was good. the man might just play jazz most of the time but he can bang them when he needs to! Based on those 3 songs, I’d definitely like to go and catch him again!
Borneo came on next and they were pretty much an unknown entity to me. I actually thought we missed them since we got to YGYS so late… thankfully, we didn’t! And these cats were freaking A-mazing!!! really! The band is made up of 4 foreigners that like classic rock.. fair enough!
They started their set with 2 songs that neither Ruby nor I recognized so I’m assuming they might have been originals. At that point, we were nodding our heads going: “not bad for only their second gig ever”… and then all bets were off!
the band took the leach off and went through such a wide range of covers from Hendrix, Cream, Chili Peppers, Black Crowes and more. I think overall, they played a dozen different songs from completely different eras and managed to do at least a decent job on each. Stuart on vocals, once he relaxed, showed an great range… Honestly folks, there are very few singers/bands that can pull off a version of the Black Crowes “Hard to Handle” as well as the Chili Peppers “californication” as easily as drinking a glass of water. Inaki ( guitar) is pretty darn good too…
Judging by the diversity of their covers, I can’t wait to see how this band matures. They’ve got the right influences, the right attitude and i do hope that they’re gonna be in Beijing for a while. Covers or no covers, I don’t give a flying f**k… those guys knew their music and that’s what mattered.
One thing I MUST mention is that this was one of 3 shows I’ve seen at yugong in the space of a week’s time… the sound was impeccable on each occasion! I’ve given them enough shit over the past few months, it’s only fair to give them some credit too.
Having a straight up rock n roll show like that one was almost an icing on the cake.
… and that makes me happier than a pig in shit!