Made In Shanghai Vol. 5 @ Yuyintang
Pic: Sonnet frontman Zhu Baixi in the festival season
What started as getting out of my house to catch up with the Stego guys ended up being an oddly nostalgic night ... the line up for Made In Shanghai Vol 5:
Despite the on-off heavy rain YYT slowly filled to a respectable amount of punters. Fire Scene are a new band of young local guys. They play slap bass and funk driven pop-rock. They got some good energy going and did a good job but undercut themselves slightly over-explaining things between tracks. The bassist has the skills for the slap riffs.
Stegosaurus? were playing without guitarist Levi and had a more stripped down feel but Josh's guitar filled the space adequately and the set had some good peaks that won over a lot of local fans. The vocal pairings were on point and I enjoyed hearing some of the older tracks.
Then two things happened. When Sonnet got on stage I was struck by a wave of nostalgia and then I also bumped into Xiao Bai, former vocalist for Bang Bang Tang and fellow scene goer for many a year. It took me right back. Sonnet have been around on the Shanghai scene for years. I've seen them on and off since 2005 here. They rose and rose until early 2011's release "14." This capped their growing popularity with local fans and they played to full (7-800) crowds at Mao Livehouse, with video screens, lights, the synth lines and samples, the full line up and everyone singing along to the anthem tracks like 了了上海伐老乱哪能立得牢脚. It's the first track at the page, go and listen now.
The track name is Shanghainese and translates to something like "Shanghai, come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" - with tongue firmly in cheek. Shortly after though, there was a falling out within the band and they went quiet for a while, there haven't been any new demos in two years now. At the show they played as a stripped down rock three piece, with Yang Fu moving to bass. Singer Zhu Baixi has still got it though and the set focused on the older rock tracks like Sexy Model Queen and Rejection. The band have been through a lot, and I was thinking I'd love for them to sit down and produce a new record that reflects on all their history.
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