Old Doll live @ Yuyintang

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pink berries
If we start back at Gua'er on Thursday and include all the China Now festival shows too. Then last night's show at Yuyintang, featuring Nanjing punk outfit Old Doll, was the end of a six day gig marathon. I managed to see shows on four out of six days, not bad. It was a pity however, that the last band on the last day was the most awesome but was playing to twenty people in an otherwise empty room. It was inevitable that there would be some burnout. The TooKoo show and the Control show were 'big shows' with big turn outs and high energy. 

I don't have a page for Old Doll so you can watch the video clip I made here: Old Doll.

So, I arrived at Yuyintang about fifteen minutes before kick-off to see only three people other than myself in there. As the first band got ready, some more people came out of the woodwork but aside from the bands themselves, their friends and the staff, I think there were about twelve other people tops. I got a small surprise when the singer of the first band introduced himself to me and the others at the bar and handed out a questionnaire that included their song list for the night. It turned out they were a J-rock band from Niigata.

So, Sappie Toy took the stage. They are Japanese musicians who live and work in Shanghai, and again, I don't have a link for them but if you google the name there's a couple of shortish clips and articles. They were a typical J-rock outfit. They had a great sound and played catchy pop rock tracks punctuated by flashy guitar solos and acoustic sing-a-long middle eights. Yes, journo speak! I really wanted to get a song on video but I was confounded by the YYT lighting thing. That is, if the bands don't have a specific lighting request they use that auto function where all the lights flash on and off like strobes to the beat of the sound waves. There is no constant back or front lighting at all so the flashing goes from dark to light ad nauseam. It completely scuppered my TooKoo vid from Friday. It's like a war on epilepsy and headache sufferers, and people with hangovers. 

Next up was Tony Yu of Mortal Fools and his new band, Pink Berries (pictured top). Tony is an old school punk fan and his new songs mix that Ramones sound and approach with some memorable song writing. The singer was cool and she gave an energetic performance. Unfortunately the songs were lost a bit in the bad sound mix, especially the vocals and the other band members don't have the same experience as Tony himself. But, if they stick at it they are going to be a great act on the Shanghai circuit soon. 

Finally it was time for Old Doll. And they rocked. They had a great sound, great songs and were professional performers. The sound is very similar to early Rancid, which suits me fine. Despite the near empty room, they were ripping and going for it as if they had a couple of hundred moshers in front of them. They were on in every way. I was watching the best performance of the week of shows for sure, with almost no one else around. Upon hearing the opening song, the staff all came in to the room to watch. At one point, the back lights were on long enough for me to get a half decent video too. 

Great week. I saw eleven different bands in six days. My highlights have to be:

1) Seeing BCR play Pleasure To Be Here live to a bigger crowd with atmosphere.
2) Getting an early listen to Pink Berries, if they stick it out and get tight there's going to be some great shows in the future.
3) Old Doll taking me back to listening to Rancid and Op Ivy CDs in my bedroom.

old doll

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This page contains a single entry by Andy Best published on September 17, 2008 5:39 PM.

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