Old What and Lone’s Bian Yuan : All grown up, Rock n Roll style

Well, I did manage to make it to the old What bar last week for one of their celebratory 10th year anniversary nights.. And while i would have loved to catch misandao/the unsafe et co. there, I decided against it and waited till Bian Yuan’s new project, Lone (浪), was playing. I’m glad I did.

I got there slightly past 9:30 to find a packed house with people spilling on the sidewalk listening to some strange instrumental folk band that definitely was not Lone ( Headliner). As I sipped one of those mean white russians courtesy of the laoban, those kids grew on me with some really inspired vocals and violin work. I kept thinking that i knew the vocals but it wasn’t until they stepped out of the stage that i finally recognized Yang Fan ( Ourself Besides Me/ex-HOTB). So she’s keeping herself busy while her other projects are on hiatus checking her melodic side. It was actually really cool and I look forward to seeing this yet-unamed project again.

Finally, Lone came up… If you remember Bian Yuan from his Joyside days, well let me tell you baby: This ain’t no bitches of rock n roll! What we had was an all grown up Bian Yuan, going by the alias Hei Shazi along with two others, playing inspired melodic mood songs from Johnny Thunders ( Society makes me sad) and Leonard Cohen (I’m your Man) just to name a few… and it was good!!! Sure, the vocals had a little flavor so to speak but as far as i was concerned, it just added personality. The 40 people crammed inside old What were eating it up… with good cause.

Ok, Cover bands are a dime a dozen, especially in China.. but what Lone has done is rework songs and arrangements, inject them with their own personality and have quite emotional sets. I really really enjoyed that set! There is hope when we’re hearing covers of Suzanne as opposed to Hotel California… It’s hard to explain the satisfaction i derived from seeing these kids takes those songs and make them theirs… and we’re talking Leonard Cohen or Doors songs.

Overall, a fun evening at a fun place. I’m gonna make it a point to spend a bit more time over at the old What over the upcoming months. In the meantime, why don’t you do yourself a favor and check out Lone’s douban for a little taste

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