Results tagged “Archie Hamilton” from Jake Newby

Archie Hamilton: Time for local bands to step up

inline.archie.jpgInteresting comment piece on CNNGo from Splitworks head honcho Archie Hamilton, a man more qualified than most to comment on the Shanghai music scene. Here's a taste:

'Beyond institutional progress, bands need to realize that their futures are in their own hands.

'It's a global phenomenon to be sure: in a world of DIY distribution and promotion channels and more direct-to-fan options than you can shake a stick at, why is it that most bands still harbor the dream of signing to a major label?'

Read the whole thing here. Presumably CNNGo are working on getting this translated for their Chinese-language site? UPDATE: They just have, here.

Get your clicks

24hoursfield.jpgBored? Here's a few places for you to double click your mouse.

First up, The Guardian's New Music on a Wednesday blog, which, as you may have already guessed, writes about new music on a Wednesday, has picked 24 Hours' Mr Stevenson as one of the tracks to listen to this week. They've even included a link to this humble blog. Read the NMOW post featuring 24 Hours here and then add the blog to your RSS or Google Reader thing as it's always a good read. Theirs I mean, not mine.

Speaking of Maybe Mars bands, you've probably been reading over at China Music Radar about a bunch of them heading over to the US of A. Well Dan Shapiro was apparently stowed away in one of their suitcases or something and has now surfaced with a piece all about them in Time Out New York. Not too shabby. Have a read here.

Managing to be in two places at once, Dan has also just published a piece in Shanghai's CityWeekend about the Neocha boys and their newish venture NeochaEDGE. You can read that one here. Proving there's no end to my seemless linking, Neocha (now apparently a person) also pop up on CNNGo's list of 20 people to watch in Shanghai.

I'm not on said list, sniff, but friends of the blog Archie Hamilton (Splitworks maestro) and Zhang Haisheng (Yuyintang founder) most certainly are. You can see the whole list right here.

Right, reading that lot should ensure that you don't have to do any work this afternoon. You're welcome.

Boys Climbing Ropes support Handsome Furs, Yuyintang

BCR.jpgBefore I get into last night's concert, I want to draw your attention to this article right here. It's an interview with Split Works' head honcho Archie Hamilton and it's a great read. I bring that up for a couple of reasons - one, last night was a Split Works-organised event; two, it's written by Morgan Short - bassist in Boys Climbing Ropes, who were the opening band last night. So it seems to have double relevance. If you've seen SmartShanghai you'll know that Morgan is a great writer and if you've seen Boys Climbing Ropes you'll know he's a great bassist, but what you might not know is that he also has some great DJ tips (as a DJ himself under the name Desert Fuck Eagle). His advice to me at Not Me on Thursday was as follows: "the trick is to turn it way the fuck up". I suggest you try that with Boys Climbing Ropes' EP too - you can get it here and download some tracks from their Douban artist page, linked above.

Anyway, last night's gig. Yuyintang was predictably rammed, though with a different crowd to those who usually pack it out (and I assume to who will come out for Glorious Pharmacy tonight). Despite there being a few people in the audience who clearly knew members of Boys Climbing Ropes, the crowd was largely pretty still for their set. They weren't unappreciative of the band - each song was met with a roar and there were long calls for an encore (until Morgan pointed out that there was such a thing as etiquette and that, as support act, they wouldn't be doing an encore). But more jumping from more people would have been good. Maybe that's just me though.

Boys Climbing Ropes were excellent regardless. They played some new material as well as some classic old tracks from the aforementioned EP. Little Punk looked a touch nervous at the start - not an emotion I'd usually associate with her - but she seemed to settle more as the gig went on and the whole band were on top form to produce a cracking set. Let's have that new album soon please.

Then the headliners took the stage. I've got to admit I was always more into Wolf Parade than Handsome Furs, but I've still been listening to their stuff for a while and was excited to see them coming to China. They didn't disappoint, producing an outstanding and memorable performance that sent the crowd crazy - on-stage snogging, crowd-surfing and all. They were brilliant.

Ben Houge, Not Me

benhougenotme(2).jpgBen Houge played live at Not Me last night. If you don't know who Ben Houge is yet, you've not been paying attention. More on him on this very blog here. His show was part of the Indie Heart Attack night they do there. Doesn't ring any bells? Again, more on IHA here.

Not Me isn't realy set up to be a live music venue to be honest. It's a smallish bar on Dongping Lu with the music side of things looked after by Reggie from STD and it tends to be mostly DJs playing there. So Ben was set up with his keyboard on the dancefloor and his laptop sat on the shelf behind him. I got there ridiculously early but there was a decent sized crowd (the biggest I've seen at an IHA night) by the time Ben opened his first set. He'd told me earlier in the night that his first set would be an "acoustic" one which confused me a little because he had a keyboard and a laptop, but turned out he meant the first set was keyboard only and the second (a little later in the evening) was laptop-backed. He also mentioned he might play a third, crazier set if there were still people left later in the night but, as it was a school night, I'm afraid I headed home after his second set and a bit of Archie's DJing.

So yeah, last night Ben was in synth-pop mode and it was great. He played the songs from his 3 Heart-Shaped Cookies EP with 99 Men, transforming the short pop-punk tracks into upbeat piano Ben Folds Five-esque songs, as well as some of his electro-pop stuff and my personal favourite 口口口口口口口口. Last time I saw him play this material, it was at the Antidote Festival in Zhujiajiao but he was the opening act that day and people were still drifting in when he started. He also had to borrow a keyboard stand from Resist! Resist! which was a little short for him. This meant he played the set legs akimbo as it were (at the time I actually just thought he was affecting a rock star pose). But this time everything was the right height, the crowd was good and totally into it and he showed what a great performer he is. If you get a chance to see him live, do so.


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