Re-Tros build, NovaHeart has soul and Candy Monster amuses at 2 Kolegas

It was a busy week for yours truly with 5 shows pretty much, 2 of which on saturday but the one that did stick out was the shindig at 2 Kolegas with Me Too, Candy Monster, Nova Heart and re-TROS. An absolute delight of a gig with great crowd and fantastic atmosphere. I got there a bit late on account of the Low Wormwood gig at Mako and a somewhat messy encounter with 1000 wines at the Hilton wine fair but it was all good in the end. I did manage to miss Me Too yet again but as far as I’ve been told, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

candy monster

Candy Monster was kicking things off when i entered the premises with their usual blend of innofensive indie rock. I’m still not sure how I feel about this band but they are definitely carving themselves a niche as an opening act. It’s hard to find much good or bad to say about them at this point. It’s basically KTV worthy happy music with songs like Gu Lou that sings: “I just wanna go to my pretty boy, I’m here… I’ll have another beer”. As Sparky said, they’re just cute.


Nova Heart was up next! It was my first time seeing Helen Feng’s newest band and i wasn’t sure what to expect despite having heard some of the music online. She’s joined in this by Free The Birds bandmate, Wang hui, as well as ex-hedgehog bassist Bo Xuan amongst others. The performance I must say was quite entertaining, befitting the Voodoo Priestess of Beijing.

What about the music? take Free The Birds latest songs, slow them down to about 110bpm and you have Nova Heart. It’s still good, entertaining and sexy electro-disco but I’m really wondering what’s the point of having yet another band to do the same thing. I could be wrong and I guess we’ll know soon enough since there’s a Free The Birds show this coming weekend. At least, I won’t be shying away from going to see them from now on… There definitely is soul in the band!

Re-TROS are so much in their element in a venue like 2 Kolegas! So much better for them than a festival stage and Saturday night was no exception. Make no mistake, the audience came for them that night! And whatever you want to label them, sorry… they just ain’t got a label in my book. I heard post-punk thrown around but I’ll stick to calling it “good music” if you don’t mind! Saturday one was one of the first times in a few years i got to watch them up close and really pay attention to the lyrics, harmonies and the whole package… I came out more impressed than ever and I’m putting them up there in the “best of China category”…

Their lyrical aptitude in English is definitely not lacking with songs like “If the monkey becomes (to be) King” or “My Great Location”! Both Hua Dong ( guitar/vocals) and Liu Min (bass/vocals/whatever) are just freaking intense when they perform. Don’t get me started on how difficult it is to snap a shot of Liu Min… almost impossible to get her face. Still, beats, thundering bass, emotions high… and 300 people inside Kolegas singing along to your song is nothing to shake a stick at. They are and keep building something special!

It was overall one of better high energy nights at the drive-in since the summer with a great mix of audience, musicians, sounds and overall good music that reminds me why i love going to gigs in the first place! Getting home at 5:00 is a sure sign of a good night, hey?

I’ll leave you with the lyrics to If The Monkey Becomes (To Be) The King from their 2005 record Cut Off

The system would be stopped in this movement,
Young soldiers are walking in line, without their own minds.
They were hiding in the shadows and waiting for the order,
They are shooting the birds for food, who sings at first.
The lion started screaming as it faced the chaos.
The Country-Zoo is burning, oh it’s burning.
And the monkey, it becomes (to be) the king,
oh, it becomes (to be) the king
“ Oh kill the others!”
“Yes sir, Mr. Captain,
Don’t let them think, speak, survive and
Following the dream to find the truth, Oh yes sir, Mr. Captain,
Oh, yes sir
Can you help me tell my mum, that she was a liar?
The stories that you told on me are not the truth, they are not the truth.
You know?
they pushed me into the cage, and taught me how to be a monkey
They led me into the Country-Zoo, and made me to be the king.
Oh if the monkey becomes (to be) the king, is it so funny?
Oh if the monkey becomes (to be) the king, is it so crazy?
Oh if the monkey
The rider of the time is flowing like the air, so quickly,
And killers in your mind are waiting for a chance to catch me.
The system would be stopped at that moment,
The Country-Zoo is burning.
Oh if the monkey becomes (to be) the king,
Is it so funny?
Oh if the monkey becomes (to be) the king,
Is it so crazy?
They kill your men, your women, your c
Oh if the monkey becomes (to be) the king,is it so funny?
Oh if the monkey becomes (to be) the king,is it so crazy?
Oh if the monkey becomes (to be) the king
Is it so funny will be line any way it’s true or the true
Oh if the monkey becomes (to be) the king,is it so funny?
Oh if the monkey becomes (to be) the king,is it so crazy?
Be king your mind your man your toud your futher your macth your body your music
The Country’s loufe is to be a monkey

Not bad shit, is it? Download it for free if you’re in China over at Google music:重塑雕像的权利&aq=0

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2 Responses

  1. Will says:

    Yeah, “The Monkey Becomes (To Be) A King” is downright brilliant, and they threw a great show…however, “Viva Murder” seriously is etched onto my brain…I can’t get it out …any idea where I can find that song?

    also, you can check out videos of those songs here..

    “The Monkey Becomes (To Be) A King”

    “Viva Murder”

    • Beijing Daze says:

      Yeah those cats are cool.
      I’ll keep an eye/ear open for viva murder and the other 2 songs they premiered that night.