Rock Nadaam @ Mao Livehouse
The Rock Nadaam tour came back to China this weekend and I caught the Shanghai stop. Shanghai's DJ B.O. took some Shanghai bands to Mongolia and tonight they came back and were joined on stage by two Mongolian bands. They were:
The Lemons (Mongolia)
Guests: Beat Bandits
I was doubtful of getting through the entire mammoth line up as I got off work 15 mins before kick off and had to be back at work 8 the next morning. I was determined to see a Mongolian band though.
I got there dead on nine and The Beat Bandits had kicked things off with their instrumental surf rock stylings. There weren't many people there at that point though and Mao is cavernous. Well that is the lot of the opening band at a mid-size venue show. The band fill a niche and fans of the genre will not be disappointed. Then the place started to get a decent amount of fans in and out came Moon Tyrant.
At this point I have to say though. The sound at Mao, the acoustics, the mix, the equipment and so on, is still not sorted out. Everyone sounded like they were playing in a tin can behind a blanket to varying degrees - although it was just about good enough to let the fans enjoy the show. So Moon Tyrant rocked around the stage with front man Ivan providing good energy and movement. This is important, everyone is always blown away by Kang Mao's performance when Subs come to town but how many bands take the hint. Not that many, so kudos to Moon Tyrant who don't need hints.
Ho-Tom has two incarnations, the folk-poet loner with the focus on nuanced lyrics and the full line up with focus on the music. We saw a four piece play fuller tracks that included harmonica solos. Boys Climbing Ropes played a great set with some new tracks. People cheered Little Punk's entrance on to the stage and much singing along was done. The band have been reliably great for a long time now and their sound is their own, so go to the link above to get the sound.
So ... I've rushed through and can finally get to the Mongolia band I saw, A-Sound. They came out wearing sunglasses, swaggering and with the clearest sound of the night ... and played a professional but normal sounding set of typical Brit-rock with a syrupy edge to it. I'm not one of those people who expects bands from other countries to fuse folk in there but I do like to feel the band has their own take or idea or edge to their music. Well, they what they do very well. A Mongolia counterpart to Shanghai's Crystal Butterfly? An inside tip tells me that Mohanik are the ones to check out from Mongolia.
Anyone want to talk about The Lemons in the comments?
Finally ... hat tip to B.O. for putting the whole thing together.
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