Results tagged “Layabozi” from Jake Newby

Layabozi turn three tonight

ATT00001.jpgThe good people over at are celebrating their third anniversary tonight with a show at Yuyintang. Here's the details:

Starting at 8pm


- Indie Art Exhibition by the trio of power-indie-ladies Ziggy, Nora and Squinzzi. 

Nora and Squinzzi debut. Nora with her first set of paintings, and Squinzi with a selected mix of her best photographies. They will be supporting the lovely return of Ziggy with her wild paintings. 


9pm Yay! starts the music!


We have a hot surprise to start the party.


Theo Croker and his band Charles Foldesh, Curtis Ostle, Nick Rosen, will start up the fire of DynamoOn concert with a couple of tunes to call to the stage the spirits of the great beatniks and ask together for permission to the muses to start the ritual for long life, prosperity, and playfulness with music.


LON, will set up the machines and line up the chords by beats and loops, taking us on a ride with electronic sounds to leave us on the land of grooves and melodies. LON beating pulses can draw colors in the air.


The Song Dynasty will use machines and electronic instruments to project and play with sounds creating harmonies that will open doors and windows to experiment music in vast ways. The music of The Song Dynasty is delicatessen for savvy listeners.

New Candy Shop

p394676405.jpgCandy Shop have put up a new demo. It's for their track Love Song, which you'll recognise if you've seen them live. Listen to it here. If this is your first time listening to Candy Shop, it's possibly not the best introduction to the band, particularly their more guitar-driven live shows, but then this is a band that mix so many genres, they're kind of hard to keep track of at times. Here's how Shanghai's best website described them recently:

"saccharine pop, hip hop, nu metal, pop ska punk, a little thrash -- it's all in there"

Which brings us to the second point about Candy Shop. You might have seen that picture on the right there already by now. It's in this month's Time Out as part of the main Music feature written by someone or other about the band and a locally-organised, community-based event to promote Shanghaiist also used the photo recently, although they failed to actually mention the event and instead set about attacking PETA and, by association, the gig, but never mind. A bunch of other places have used it too (see below for the links) and have supported an event that has its roots in the local music community here.

It's been set up by Andy (he's the one on the left of that photo in case you're wondering) in conjunction with Xiao K at Yuyintang and the band themselves (all locals). The photos were taken by Shanghai-based photographer Tim Franco, who has been documenting the scene here for a long time and was recently taken to the States by Maybe Mars to cover their tour there. Splitworks, the music promoters who have been involved in the scene for years and have always ensured their international acts are supported by local bands, provided the studio. So basically a lot of people who care a lot about local music are involved and, though we said weren't really going to write about it much on the blogs, the coverage it's been getting warrants a post I reckon. Here's a few of the highlights (other than that Time Out piece obviously, ahem):

SmartShanghai made it the feature event for their MP3 Monday, here.
Layabozi, who recently launched a podcast by the way, have given it their support, here.
It's even gone international, making it on to the Discovery Channel's Planet Green website, here.
Not bad, not bad at all. February 25th is the date, it's at Yuyintang, is completely free, is supporting a great cause and will feature both Candy Shop and one of my favourite new bands, FAF, as well as DJ Sacco. Yes, the DJ Sacco. What more could you want?

It's on (and I'm off)

2000sduel.jpgEvery time about this time of year we're inundated with end of year lists. This year, listmakers have been outdoing themselves with end of the decade lists and what not. Some of these I put more stock in than others.

Morgan has done his usual piss-yourself-laughing-hilarious lists of flyers (here for the good, here for the bad) and he's also done a round up of his favourite gigs from the last twelve months (here). Andy's contributed his own thoughts on that last category here. Morgan's also done one on DJs by asking nearly everyone in Shanghai to submit their favourite DJ performance from the year. I'm in there (as a contributor, not as a DJ) way, way down near the bottom somewhere.

Over at Layabozi, Zack's got an interesting take on the whole listmas (sorry) thing by organising a kind of list showdown, a fight to the internet-based death. Bring it. You can read about the whole thing here and the lists themselves should be going up in the next couple of days, including one from me, so get out and vote dammit.

Finally, I'm heading back to the UK for a little bit so the blog will slow down a bit. In the meantime, I have a sneaking suspicion someone else might pick up the slack... 

What other people are writing about

hollerado.jpgUPDATE: According to Brad in the comments, about 300 people were at the ReTROS show. Not a bad turn out, but not good either - last time they were in town there was around twice that many. Given that there was a quality support act in the shape of Boojii as well, you've got to think that a turn out of 300 is disappointing. Of course, promoting events here has never been all that easy, but for this show it seemed particularly poor. 

I didn't make it to ReTROS and Boojii at Mao last night - I wasn't feeling too great. If anyone did, I'd be interested to know how it went so drop us a line in the comments. ReTROS always draw a big crowd, but the promotion for this show had been pretty dire. My feeling is that you can probably just about get away with it for ReTROS because they're one of those bands that people seek out the gigs for, but the fact that Shanghaiist didn't even include it in their music preview last week shows how little marketing had been done. If someone went, I'd be interested to know what the turn out was.

So yeah, I'm feeling a bit crappy, but I'm hoping to make it to tonight's Hollerado show at YYT. I don't usually spend much time on foreign bands on this blog, that's not the point, but I recommend checking this show out. I saw them at Midi back in May and, though I'd never heard of them at that point, I enjoyed their set. Their music is pretty easy to get into, but the thing that struck me about their performance was how genuinely excited they seemed to be playing China. The crowd could see it too and it made for a great atmosphere. They were one of the few Western bands to play that festival who didn't patronise the audience. The fact that they're back within the year shows how much they enjoyed themselves in China and you can read more about them and their love for the country over at Mr Shapiro's blog here.

While you're there, you might want to check out his piece on the year in Soma records and all of their era-defining achievements. That's here.

Dan writes that the label's lack of any releases has been due to a 'restructuring of priorities' and their concentration on opening Mao. And Shanghai's hot shot venue is the subject of an insightful piece over on the Radar. Go read it here. As well as an appraisal of the space, the article talks about how Mao and Soma have changed the game in Shanghai and how promoters who were bringing bands in before Mao opened, are now being cut out when the same bands come back to town. It's a very interesting read.

Meanwhile over at Layabozi, Zack has not only joined the ranks of The Mushrooms admirers, but has eloquently expounded his views on the recent photographers debate. Click here to read his thoughts.

Elsewhere on the interwebs, CNNGo and Shanghaiist have managed to arrive fashionably late to the Top Floor Circus anti-Expo party. I wrote last week about how the band had put a twist on their song Shanghai Welcomes You when they played the 0093 CD release and now, following a translation of the updated lyrics over on ChinaGeeks, both sites have posted the video and regurgitated the translation. Shanghaiist at least realises that it's a new take on what is now a fairly old Ding Ma song and drops a link to this here blog. Anyway, the kids are digging it apparently, sticking it up on their Kaixin wang pages and bbs fora etcetera. The video has been receiving a lot of hits, hopefully helping the song to become a real anthem by next May.

Layabozi's 60 best Chinese albums

Picture 1.pngJust a quickie (chortle, chortle):

See, this is why I like it when Layabozi has more regular content. They've produced a list of the 60 best albums to come out of this country. It's a great list with a wide variety of picks and a real "something for everyone" flavour to it. Here's how they did it:

"The criteria was totally subjective and attached to luck and the law of whatever will be, will be. The only thing that was not random here was the selection of the people we asked to do this."
Hence, you'll see Han Han, Super Sophia and some bloke called Andy Best amongst those making the selections. Go check it out now.

Comebacks and time outs

HardQueen.jpgSwings and roundabouts. A couple of bands are making comebacks this month, while another local favourite are taking a break.

I mentioned last week that Hard Queen had pulled out of the Layabozi Culture Clash night at Yuyintang. They were also scheduled to appear at NeochaEDGE's Search for Creative City event the next day, but cancelled that too. So what's going on?

The band have had a few line up problems of late. First Zero, the bassist, quit and then his replacement broke his foot. It seems that following these issues Hard Queen will put things on hold for a bit. Sheena has said that they're "on a break" and won't be playing any gigs for a while. "At the moment I'm not sure when we'll perform again," she told me. It all sounds worryingly indefinite, but I sincerely hope they'll be back soon.

Sheena is a great songwriter and anyone who's seen Damen play in Hard Queen or her other bands (Boojii and Duck Fight Goose) knows what a quality musician she is. It'd be a real shame if this latest set back proves the end of the band. For now, Sheena is insisting it's just a break. Let's hope so.

Meanwhile, two other bands who have had a fair bit of coverage on this site are preparing to make comebacks at the end of this month. I wrote before about the Rock Shanghai/0093 compilation CD finally seeing the light of day at MAO on the 28th and the line-up is a really strong one. Top Floor Circus are heading up an all star line up of local acts that also features Tian Pin Dian (Candy Shop). But the night will also be notable for the return of two scene favourites - Bang Bang Tang and Pinkberry.

When Bang Bang Tang were filming their music video I was trying to get Xiao Bai to tell me when they'd be coming back, but at the time all she would say was after the national holiday in October. The Rock Shanghai CD release party at MAO has now been confirmed as their first live performance in months and they're currently rehearsing hard to make sure they come back with a, err, bang.

Pinkberry have had a number of line up changes recently. Toni and Xiao You - the couple who are the major force behind the band - are determined to continue however, and they will also perform at the CD release show with a new line-up.

All in all, that makes the CD release a huge night. Maybe someone should do a call to arms...

Podcast Two: 24 Hours "Your Song"


Welcome to podcast number two. This week, we talk about coverage of Chinese bands and their politics in the Western media, review the Misandao, Culture Clash and Runaway Snail shows from the weekend and preview what's coming up in the next couple of days including 24 Hours' album release party. Then we realise we've got a bit of time left at the end and go back to talk about Low Wormwood's gig last Sunday, before playing Your Song, a track from 24 Hours' new album.

Here's some links for you while you listen:

Political Articles

Alice Liu's article on Chinese bands being "too pampered for politics"
China Music Radar's post on the Alice Liu piece.
Andy's response and the ensuing comments

Show Reviews
Write-up from the Misandao show
Mortal Fools' MySpace
Misandao's MySpace
Culture Clash write-up
Write-up from the Runaway Snail gig
Video of Runaway Snail

24 Hours' new video
24 Hours on MySpace
Rustic on MySpace
Video of Second live at MAO
Second's Douban page

Low Wormwood show write-up

Culture Clash, Yuyintang

Picture 1.pngIn the absence of a review on their own website, I thought I'd give you a quick word-of-mouth-rundown on Layabozi's event at Yuyintang last Friday. Before you get into that, you can check out a few photos from the night here, courtesy of Graeme Nicol - including this one of Little Punk on the right. You can also read about how I thought it was going to be an interesting face off against the ultimately poorly attended punk night at MAO by going here and, finally, you can hear the whole thing discussed in Andy and I's dulcet tones by listening to the podcast here.

So anyway, I saw one of the organisers on Sunday and they said that the night pulled in about 250 people. They mentioned that it was a mainly foreign crowd and that quite a few of the punters said that they'd never been to Yuyintang before. Hopefully they'll come back for more then.

By all accounts they were given a good taste of what the Shanghai live music scene has to offer besides dodgy cover bands in dodgier bars. From what we've heard over here at Kungfuology towers, all the bands - Duck Fight Goose, The Dovetail Joints, Weyghur (still not sure how I should be spelling that one, sorry) and Boys Climbing Ropes - put in strong performances. Crucially, there's been praise for how the event was organised and run, even though BCR didn't get on until 2:20am. Get on the comments if you went along by the way.

Congratulations to the folks over at Layabozi for pulling off a successful night. They've said their focus is still the site obviously, but the plan is for more events bearing their name in the future so keep an eye out for those. Now they just need to update the site a bit more regularly.

Podcast One: Lava Ox Sea "Home Hell"


Welcome to the first ever Kungfuology podcast featuring Jake Newby and Andy Best. This is our pilot show/demo. We are aware of some technical teething problems, but go ahead and comment on them all the same. We like comments, there's a lot of material to comment on ... and you don't have to register.

On the agenda this week:

Midi celebrate ten years with ... an awards show. Thanks, Chinamusicradar.
And where were Lava Ox Sea in the nominations!

This weekend was the 12th 0093 showcase at Yuyintang.
We liked New Vector and Fanqie Chaodan with his new band.

Gigs are back on at Harley's bar it seems. promote their first show in the world of indie rock, but go head to head with the old school punk night at Mao Shanghai.

Finally, listen to "Home Hell" by Lava Ox Sea.


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