Date with the devil metal night @ Harley's

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date with the devil
Wow, a blast from the past - Harley's Bar. A great night but one a little bit spoiled by an unwanted aspect of gigs back in 2003-4.

Metal night tonight. The bands:

Broken Promises

First thing - Harley's have a new PA and when we arrived, in the middle of Six Shot's set, the sound was the best I've heard in months at any gig in Shanghai. The unbelievable clarity of the sound at good volumes made Six Shot's set even more awesome than usual. They are the kings of grind. A good turn out considering the 50 kuai ticket. It did include a drink though.

Next up were Lalaying who played the best set they've ever played. This was helped greatly by the sound quality at that point. The bassist was (again) inspiring with her metal get up and face mask. The night was going great ...

... and then out of the blue, at the end of their set, the Lalaying singer addresses the crowd and says (loose wording, but confirmed by native speaker) "remember the crimes against China by the Japanese in World War Two, we are true patriots." Groan.

Again, hello 2003-4. Hello, ugly nationalism/borderline racism/right-wing rock.

But next came Fearless. They wowed the crowd with their tight riffing, fast drums and virtuoso shredding. Then they ripped into their famous cover of The Trooper (if I need to tell you whose song that is, then you should burn in hades for all eternity) ... and ... the PA blew. It took a couple of fits and starts to get it back again and there could be any number of reasons but for me the real reason it blew was obvious - 

- Fearless were so metal and awesome that they blew their speakers with rock and roll -

Chaos Mind closed the night in style. The sound was still good but the perfection of before was lost after the accident. The highlight of the set was definitely frontman Sam Dust's performance. He rules. Harley's is still a great place to see a rock gig, but - and I won't go into details here - the staff and management are still very much themselves. So we'll see.

Note to other styles of music in Shanghai - the metal crowd have got their shit together and the bands are tight and professional. Some catching up may be required.

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Sad but true... Anti-Japanese tensions are all over China and not just in the music scene. In 2003 I witnessed a gig a day after some of the anti-Japanese riots in Xi'an. One of the first things that happened was that a Japanese flag was burnt "live" on stage...

Hey Max

Yeah. Back then it was being pushed officially too. Then after all the not-officially-approved marches got out of hand it was all rolled back again.

You always think that being into alternative music and culture would make someone more open minded and humane - but it's not always the case. In the UK we had bands like Skrewdriver and there's still a small scene based around their ideas.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy Best published on March 28, 2010 1:46 AM.

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