[Gig Review] Funky Beats, Cobra Reloads, The New Buyi and more
So, it’s a busy wednesday with work and no-fun but things are looking up as I might potentially be able to make it to Gang of Four at YGYS when an SMS lands in my phone: Whatever you’re planning tonight, drop it and come over. I’ve learned a long time ago to trust the person that was on the other end and as much as i would have loved to see re-tros that night, I answered the call.
It’s not weird for me to head to 2 KOlegas on a wednesday but it’s quite strange to see it nicely busy on a random night for a show that was not advertised or anything. Heck, let’s call it what it was: A Private Music Party! The whole thing was schemed up by Japanese drumming legend, Funky Sueyoshi along with Buyi’s Wu Ningyue who have been friends for quite some time now. You can actually hear Funky drumming with Buyi on their live record.
on that wednesday though, the lineup was nothing short of special: let me see if i remember everyone.
First up was Funky drumming along at a Jam session with some random Japanese artists.. and let me tell you folks, I’ve been around Funky a few time before and i’m ashamed that I always forget how amazing he can be. The guy is a legend of Rock n Roll in Japan with his own live house and countless records with their own local rock royalty. There were quite a few drummers in the house that day and they were all there in awe watching the master honing his craft.
After the little jam session, we were in for the first surprise of the night: Cobra reunion. Yes, that Cobra, one of the first all female rock bands in Yaogun. THey’ve been on hiatus pretty much since the late 90s with their former bass player moving to the UK where she is a DJ of some sort. For that night though, none other than LI NA was on there t lend a helping hand. and they sounded good! Heck, the original band members are in their 50s now and by their own admission haven’t played in quite some time. But one could tell this was no grandma rock. They put on a tight little 40mn performance without missing a beat much to everyone’s delight. And yeah, it’s good to see an all female classic rock band be appreciated. I didn’t really know their songs but a lot of people were singing along.
Next Up were Sae & Yosuke from Japan’s Loud n Proud, who were visiting Beijing with Funky. Some decent heavy metal and an impressive front woman, Sae, who had quite the pipes. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the whole lineup but i really enjoyed what i heard.
We were also treated to some mean lean one-man metal show courtesy of Japanese guitar hero, Hidemitsu Obata. He was impressive folks.. a freaking one man metal band shredding and singing his way around. Fuck, this one little dude had more energy on his own that a lot of bands i’ve seen in my life.
A Special treat came in the form of a few songs by local hero, Yip Sai Wing, of BEYOND fame… yes, he is one of the last remaining original members of that group and the place went bezerk when he came up onstage hiding under a hoodie. Geee… i thought I knew but i really didn’t! Considering 2 K is such a rock n roll place, this was unexpected.
Last but not least, The NEW Buyi took the stage featuring Funky himself and Acid Live’s Zhang Zhang… and this was what i had been waiting for. I’d known for quite sometime that Zhang Wei was out of the band to concentrate on WHAI but didn’t know how Buyi would fare without him. Well, let’s get it out of the way: They’re gonna be fine! Taking over for Zhang Wei on lead guitar is Out Of Control’s 苗佳 Mojo who seems to have developed a mean lean fun rapport with the rest of the band. and having Zhang Zhang on keyboards is just a heck of a lot of fun. The kid can pound them keys and looks like he’s having tons of fun putting his own touch on the Ningxia songs. For that night, they played some of the more upbeat tunes including Yangrou mian and pulled them off nicely. I do remember complaining at some point in the past that i wanted to see something new out of BUYI.. well, i got it.
This comment on weibo sums it up:
Not a bad night of rock n roll, completely unexpected and eclectic but really really fun! It’s being part of these special little evenings that makes this rock scene so addictive. I look forward to Funky being back in town again and more Cobra gigs. Incidentally, a similar party might be happening in not too long at Blue Stream bar so save the date for April 24th