Results tagged “696 Livehouse” from Jake Newby

Something for the weekend

Here's a cursory glance at what's on gigwise this weekend. 

Tonight is strange foodstuffs night apparently: Silver Apples at MAO Livehouse (bish), Plastic Chocolate (that's them in the video) EP release with Pinkberry at YYT (bash) and Androsace and friends at Live Bar (bosh). And if you're wondering why Androsace counts as a strange foodstuff, just think about it....

Saturday everyone's doing double headers. Well, not everyone but YYT has Exit A on before The Fever Machine invade and Live Bar has Flamer followed by a separate show involving Battle Cattle. MAO Livehouse has those Second Hand Rose guys and 696 have a folk thing. LUNE meanwhile, have a free show with X is Y, Next Year's Love, Moon Tyrant and Girls Like Mystery, as discussed before.

Slovakian hardcore on a Sunday? Yep, that's what they've got at YYT. MAO Livehouse has some weird anime thing and Live Bar has Miss Panda (who gig like this) according to the flyer, but a slightly different line up according to the Douban listing. Take a gamble.

It's a big weekend of live music

p458963873.jpgUPDATE: Check out the comments where a couple of people in the know have made up for my ill-informed support act ramblings.

So things are supposed to quieten down here in the summer. Someone forgot to tell the local promoters evidently, as there's a whole bunch of 'shit, I'm really not sure which show to go to' moments coming up this weekend. Here's how it's going down:


Not Me, FREE! It might not be live exactly, but Sacco's Indie Heart Attack is off. The. Hook. Go, go, go.


MAO Livehouse, 40RMB. Duck Fight Goose and Boojii bring their Adventure of Strange Rock tour back home with a show at MAO. The Fever Machine are in support so make sure you get there promptly (9pm). As if that wasn't enough, the bill is completed by 8 Eye Spy, the Nanjing experimental rock act whose album Yang Haisong says is the record he's most proud of (he produced it).

Zhijiang Dream Factory, 150RMB. Caribou, the Canadian guy and his band, not the Pixies song, hit town thanks to the good people at Splitworks. Not sure who's in support, but it's a big show all the same.


MAO Livehouse, 80RMB. By all accounts excellent Beijing bluegrass act The Redbucks come down our way to promote their new album.

Not Me, 25RMB. The latest Mini-E showcase sees Sun Ye take prominence with new material and remixes of his stuff by ZiSTER and MHP, the other two acts to play on the night.

Yuyintang, 40RMB. More Canadian band action as Jets Overhead land at Yuyintang. If you were at Midi in Zhenjiang last year, you probably remember them. The brilliant Pairs are in support, which makes for a nice match up at 40 kuai.

696 Livehouse, 50RMB. 696 haven't revealed the name of the local band that they've booked to play tonight. Wonder why? Maybe they're a bit controversial or something? Who knows? They're promising a (ahem) top (ahem) act though so might be worth heading up to Hongkou for a look...

That lot should keep you busy anyway.

Xiao He and Zhi Wang, 696 Livehouse

4590470741_147b555f64.jpgIt's always a bit special when Xiao He comes to town and last night's gig up at 696 Livehouse was a bit more special than most. The man himself was on good form, but what made it truly memorable was the impromptu performance of some Top Floor Circus songs. I wrote earlier in the week that this wasn't going to be the show where Ding Ma would make a surprise return to playing live in the city. That was supposed to be another gig, but Lu Chen confirmed last night that it wouldn't be happening after all. 'Shanghai still doesn't welcome us,' he said before the gig, 'we're the Shanghai band who can't play in Shanghai.' Mei Er added that they were willing to play, but that venues were worried about getting in trouble with the authorities, before joking that they were going to start booking gigs around town just so that venues would pay them not to play. Despite such talk, a few hours later they ended up on stage playing a new Ding Ma song.

Zhi Wang, Lu Chen's other band, had opened the night. Their material is more experimental and involves the use of a Macbook and various computer-generated beats and effects. They've also added a new member following the departure of Ba Fang to Beijing. She's still on their forthcoming album however. They played a short set last night, with only four or five songs in total, although each song was admittedly around five minutes long.

Xiao He came on almost immediately afterwards. His shows are always unpredictable, but always entertaining. He started by playing a couple of his more well known songs, rather than out and out improvisation, which resulted in the crowd singing along to the choruses. the singalongs continued as he diverged into a medley of classic children's TV show theme tunes and other old favourites, before playing some less conventional material. He engaged the audience throughout, inviting their participation and trying out his few words of Shanghainese. At one point he made a few jokes about the Expo and welcomed everyone to the "696 pavilion". He soon invited Lu Chen to take the stage and "sing a Shanghai song."

As Xiao He took to the drums, Lu Chen asked for requests. Despite a few calls for it, he didn't play 'Shanghai Welcomes You', but did play a Top Floor Circus song. He then called on other members of the band to come up and join them. It wasn't a complete line-up, but four fifths of the band was enough for them to play a few Ding Ma tracks, including a brand new song. It was an unexpected but very welcome treat.

Top Floor Circus welcome again in Shanghai?

tfc big-thumb-350x396.jpgUPDATE: Hmm, seems like this won't be happening after all. Venues are understandably still a bit worried about attracting unwanted attention.


This is one of those posts where I'm going to have to keep specific details at a minimum I'm afraid. No one seems too sure how confirmed/public this is at the moment and so I don't want to get anyone into trouble if it's not really supposed to be happening, but - whether they're allowed or not - it seems that Top Floor Circus will be playing a show in Shanghai in the next few days. If you're not sure why this is a big deal, then you can follow the story of their anti-Expo anthem and their subsequent performance ban by clicking on the links in this post.

The gig that I've heard they will play at still doesn't list them as amongst the acts in its online listing, hence my reluctance to say which show it is, but if I can get permission from those involved I'll post the details here. In the meantime, choose your gigs wisely this weekend.

It's not the most obvious choice either. That would be Saturday's Xiao He show up at 696 Livehouse, but Zhi Wang (Lu Chen's other band) will be in support for that, not Ding Ma. Zhi Wang are also due to release a full length album in the next month or so, so keep an eye out for that and for them gigging more regularly in the next few weeks. Xiao He, if you haven't seen him before, is an amazing live act incidentally and well worth checking out. He was superb at Strawberry at the weekend and you can read about the last time he came to town, supported by Zhi Wang as well, here.

I'm not going to do a proper weekend preview post this week, but other than Xiao He and Zhi Wang, there are a couple of shows I wanted to highlight: Reptile & Retard at Yuyintang tonight, just because they're brilliant, and the Qinghai benefit show at YYT on Sunday. That one has a band from Qinghai playing with some top special guests from Shanghai including FAF and The Mushrooms.

696 Livehouse is back

696livebar.jpgRemember when 696 Livehouse opened down on Weihai Lu? Don't worry if you don't, it was a pretty short-lived residency. Opened under the Live Bar name in July, it was all over less than six months later. But now they're back.

Not quite as convenient as their last spot, the new venue is up in Hongkou, in the 188 Creative Park on Dongjiangwan Lu. I'm not going to lie to you, I haven't been up there to check it out yet, but it looks like a decent space from the photos they've got here. Pretty small would be my guess, but there's nowt wrong with that.

Already booked in for early next month is a Mini-E (that's the Miniless electronic spin off) showcase featuring your man Sun Ye, Confirm-X and all the lo-fi electronic acts you love.

In other venue news, Yuyintang are now saying that they're going to stay open in May, even as the event that shall not be mentioned draws near. In fact, they say that May and June are full in terms of bands - international and local acts. Good news right? Well, sort of. The plan is to put on a load of instrumental jazz acts, at least initially. You can't get in trouble when there are no lyrics - that's the thinking anyway.


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