This show was Feima's official album / EP release party. I previewed the album here
, where you can link to the online version. The show was great and highlighted how much it sucks that they're are going away. Tonight's line up:
Early show tonight, 696 have to call it a night for live music at 9.30 and things were off at exactly the advertised time. Yin have been around a while now and they have original material on the page there. It's guitar based rock in the pop spectrum with some sentimental ballad stuff that their fans like a lot.
I hadn't seen Pairs play in a while and was struck by a major change in dynamic. Xiao Zhong used to get quickly through the songs with minimal explanation and a few funny / caustic comments in between. Tonight he was speaking in Mandarin at each break, thanking people for showing up, making self-depreciating comments, complimenting the previous band, apologizing for stuff ... and yet the personal tracks were even more intense than ever before, especially the new closing song which mentioned having to hold his abdomen while showering, presumably as a result of his hernia and follow up
butchery surgery. And then F was cool and commanding, radiating presence without having changed much in the way of her stage positioning or general style. Fascinating stuff and a new album is not far away, although it seems that China has broken Xiao Zhong.
Feima were so good and so relevant and vital to the scene, and relevant to the major musical movements of the greater scene that it sucked - because there's basically one more show after this. I don't know where to start. Firstly the set was a full rendition of the album, in order. They were totally in command of their performance and confidently mixed the dreamy instrumentals, the upbeat anthems, "people in this city are hard to be seen ... all the people, hiding in cars and buildings" ... and the experimental jams. The set closer Feedback Tide was especially good, with Belo and Xiao Tang providing a framework for Jun Er to take centre stage and go crazy with the noise. He used sticks to hit things, an oscillator and pedals to create the feedback and noise loops and also Bebot on the iPad for bleeps, synths and swells. At one point he had all three going simultaneously, operating the touch screen of the pad with his foot. The sound was perfect and they knew exactly what they were doing. Xiao Tang got the bass exactly right both for the style and for the underground set ups here: he used an EQ pedal to boost the mid range and produce a tight, metallic sound that didn't wipe out other instruments or get lost in the mix. Residence A also use this very well and it's a trademark sound of China post-punk acts.
Next Friday, August 2nd, is the last big show with Naohai at Yuyintang. Be there.