Results tagged “The Instigation” from Jake Newby

The return of Banana Monkey?

001372d8a1530b74e6701a.jpgIt's been a long time - about two years I think - but it looks like Banana Monkey could make a surprise return to the Shanghai music scene next month. Following The Beat Bandits' decision to call it quits after last weekend, the Trash a Go Go bills have been left without one of their staple acts, but they've pencilled in Banana Monkey as part of the line-up to support Korean rockabilly act The Rock Tigers at YYT on September 24th. 

Once hotly-tipped as a band who would break out of Shanghai and really put music here on the map, it never really happened for Banana Monkey. If the comeback comes off, this wouldn't be the first time the band have reformed (their shows a couple of years ago were part of a short-lived return). Perhaps with this in mind, the band/promoters are urging caution at the moment, stating 'it's not certain, we'll have to wait and see how things go' in regard to the Rock Tigers show, but there are moves to make it happen. It's not clear if it would be a one off performance or if the band would be making a proper comeback. Either way, the show will also be the last for The Instigation's lead singer Simon, who's leaving Shanghai.

For a bit of background to Banana Monkey and their significance, check out this post.

Something for the weekend

Tonight, Yuyintang hosts an evening of Comedy and Horror (and music) courtesy of Zangnan Recordings. Rainbow Danger Club, Stegosaurus?, Ann, Ho-Tom the Conqueror and The Song Dynasty (that's them in the video on the right here, more here and here) provide the straight up musical side of things, but there's stand-up comedy as well and a bit of both from The Dudettes. Details.

MAO Livehouse meanwhile welcomes back always entertaining Mongolian folk-rockers Hanggai. They had a bit of bad luck with their last show here as you may recall, so here's hoping Friday the 13th goes smoothly for them. Details.

Up at Live Bar, you've got Puppets of Distortion, Tang Trio, Sep and the delightfully-named Pinky Cock. Details.

696 Live hosts a folk show tonight with Xiao Wei headlining. Details.

Saturday and Sunday after the jump

Trash a Go-Go with The Routes at Yuyintang

the routes 011.jpgSo the new Yuyintang eh? Very nice, very nice. Last Friday was my first time in the new place for a gig and it was impressive. Trash a Go-Go packed the place out with the sort of numbers that would have made the old YYT uncomfortable and hard to navigate. As it was, the new venue dealt with the crowds pretty well. With the new bar, the larger main room and the upstairs seating, it's a big improvement on the old Yuyintang, much as I loved it.

And the bands were pretty good too. Things kicked off with local quartet Out of Groove. They seem pretty fresh and only played four songs, one of them an instrumental lead in. No Douban or anything that I can find on them yet, but keep an eye out for them playing again soon, likely with the Trash a Go-Go crowd. They play a kind of bluesy rock and the singer has a good voice on her.

The Beat Bandits were up next and were their usual fine selves - they're just a band it's hard not to love. They were followed by The Routes who played a good set of Mod and garage rock that went down well. And the night was rounded out by The Instigation who I unfortunately missed as wasn't feeling too good by the end. Overall though, great night with great bands and I came away really impressed from my first gig at the new Yuyintang.

Trash a Go-Go in Suzhou

p725006159.jpgAfter over a week away from Shanghai I got right back into it on Saturday night with a Trash a Go-Go show. Well, sort of. It actually took place in Suzhou rather than Shanghai, but still, the line-up was all-Shanghai and a beer-fuelled bus ride to the city ensured that the crowd had plenty of familiar faces too.

Pairs, The Instigation and The Beat Bandits were the bands and Wave the venue. The bands have been written about a fair bit on this blog and they all gave well-received performances so I don't feel like I need to get into that much - click the links above if you really don't know who I'm talking about.

I was interested to see what the venue would be like in Suzhou and it turned out to be a pretty cool little place. Although Suzhou has a population that is slightly larger than Scotland's, it's still considered a small place in China, especially when Shanghai is so close by. Nevertheless, there's been some stirrings of a live music community there for a while now and this venue seems well-equipped to help push that forward.

It's part of an "arts complex" kind of place that also includes a bar and a youth hostel. The venue itself was a decent size, with a good stage and space in front of it. It seems to operate as a bar the rest of the time, but it wasn't like one of those bars with a stage added as an afterthought. At times the bar seemed like it would rival MAO Livehouse's for knowledge of drinks, but they were sweet about it and it was cheap so people got over it and all in all it wasn't a bad little venue. 

It was hard to gauge the size of the Suzhou contingent in the crowd, but there were certainly more than the 30 or so people who came on the bus. I don't know if anyone reads this blog in Suzhou, but if you do I'd be interested to know how regular gigs are there and how well-attended they are. 

Finally, credit should go to the Trash a Go-Go guys and to Xiao Zhong of Pairs for both arranging a show outside of the city and then organising transport to it for everyone as well. It was a great idea and seemed like a big success. And if you're interested, Trash a Go-Go is on tour again in a couple of weeks in Nanjing. More details on that one here.

Trash a Go-Go at Yuyintang

p709577937.jpgBefore we get anywhere, I just want to quickly say congratulations to Lu Chen, the Top Floor Circus frontman, who sent me a message last night to say that his missus had dropped their sprog at last. 陆雍 was born at 6.30pm last night.  

Anyway, on with the gig. Unexpectedly, I found myself at Yuyintang last night. Unexpected, because usually around this time of the month I don't have any free time, but I managed to get out of the office and so headed to the first of two Trash a Go-Go shows this weekend (they do it all over again tonight, also at YYT, with Dead Elvis).

The Instigation kicked things off and were their usually tight, lively selves. If you haven't seen The Instigation yet, you really ought to. They play hardcore/punk in the style of Reagan Youth (whose 'Degenerated' they always close their sets with) and singer Simon sings from in front of the stage, pacing backwards and forwards at the front of the audience. They were very nearly upstaged last night by a crazy Japanese dude who kept jumping on Simon and onto the stage, and by a white guy next to him who was dancing like your uncle at a wedding, but the band were good enough to just about remain the centre of attention. Seriously, you need to check these guys out.

Similarly, if you've somehow managed to get this far without seeing The Fever Machine, you need to sort that out pretty soon. They went on second and were on fine form. In fact, I think the version of 'Dance with Deviance' that they did might just have been the strongest I've seen from them yet. Again, quality musicians with a really tight set up and a strong set of songs who know how to put on a show.

Finally, there was The Beat Bandits (well, actually finally there was Japanese act Goggle-A, but it was getting late and I had to work today so I didn't stick around for them unfortunately). They had Papa from The Instigation on drums last night and I'm not sure if he was just standing in or if that's a permanent move, but as always their surf rock was on the money. They were in foursome form last night, which meant they had the girl on keyboards as well, which always adds a little something.

So yeah, a good night all in all - just as well, as that's probably my last gig for a little while...

Trash a Go-Go beer bus to Suzhou: interested?

e346761.jpgThis blog doesn't often deal in public service announcements, but when it comes to beer and rock 'n' roll, there's not much we can do but help spread the word. Oh, and it's from Pairs so even better. Read on:

On Saturday December 4th we're going to Suzhou to play the Trash A Go Go show.
We're thinking of hiring a bus that leaves from Shanghai sometime in the afternoon, and return sometime later that night, after the show.

Right now, we are just seeing if people are interested, that way we'll know if we need to hire a big bus or a smaller bus. But tickets will most likely be under 100yuan and will include entrance to the venue. We'll also make sure there is beer and drinks on the bus.

If you're interested, please send an email as soon as possible to and leave your name, number and how many seats you want and we'll get back to you with more info later.

The Fever Machine and friends at Yuyintang

e312859.jpgNo promotional problems here. Despite going up against a whole bunch of other high profile events such as the JZ Festival in Century Park and the opening night of Shanghai Pride, the Shapiro publicity machine did its job and pulled in a big crowd for four of the city's best bands last night.

Rainbow Danger Club kicked things off with a great set. Jesse from the band was kind enough to send me a couple of mp3s the other day of demos from the CD they're currently working on and I've had them on repeat ever since. They're a quality band with a great sound and I can't wait to hear the CD when it comes out.

The Instigation were on next and caused the biggest ruckus of the night with their shouty punk. Singer Simon sang from in front of the speakers rather than on stage, marching up and down at the front of the crowd and occasionally getting drawn into the group of people throwing themselves around like crazy. It was a good show.

The Fever Machine took to the stage after them and produced the solid rawk display that you'd expect. Again it was a performance from a band of quality musicians on a night full of them. The band had a couple of new tracks added in to their repertoire and they're another act who are hopefully thinking of laying down a CD soon. In the meantime, you can listen to, and download, some of their tracks here.

Duck Fight Goose were last on and, despite it being 1am by the time they took to the stage, a big crowd stuck around to watch them. They weren't disappointed. The band have received a lot of hype in the local media in recent months and with good reason: they are fucking brilliant. The only worry is that they're going to run out of room on the YYT stage to put all their pedals and effects gadgets - every time they've added something new (last night it was this white, iPad-like box with a glowing red screen, not sure what that was). Their CD should be out next month and to say that I'm excited about it doesn't even come close.

All in all, a great night with four top notch bands.

Friend or Foe and friends at YYT

p623206965.jpgThere was a solid turn out last night at Yuyintang for a midweek gig that featured The Instigation, Friend or Foe, X is Y and The Beat Bandits.

The Beat Bandits and X is Y have been written about before on this blog, the other two less so. Unfortunately, I only caught the tail end of The Instigation, though I did catch them tearing through a Reagan Youth cover which was excellent.

I don't have an awful lot to add to what I've written about X is Y and The Beat Bandits previously, so let me just rattle through them quickly before writing a bit more about Friend or Foe, the newest act on the bill. X is Y went on third and had a new bassist, which should see them have a more settled line up now. It's math rock and it's played well, though I felt their set went on a little long last night. That's not necessarily their fault - just that someone needed to remember that it was a Wednesday and that there were four bands on. 

The Beat Bandits closed the night out and were excellent as always. They were in four person mode, with the girl on the keyboards. They're a tight outfit, play some great songs and have an energy and enthusiasm that's hard not to like. The crowd always feeds off them and it only took a couple of songs before everyone was attempting '60s-style dancing out on the floor at YYT.

However, the thing I really took away from the night was the performance of Friend or Foe. This was my first time seeing them - I think they've only had a couple of shows previously - and I was really impressed. Not that their competence was particularly surprising, their line up features Zack on the drums, Adam on guitar and Fish on bass - all strong musicians. I don't think they have a Douban or anything yet (please correct me if I'm wrong on this) so I'm going to describe their sound to you as broadly funked up rock and occasionally just straight up rawk. They reminded me at times of Cake and at other times of Soulwax songs like 'Too Many DJs' or 'Much Against Everyone's Advice'. But maybe that was just me. Regardless, they're really good and you should make sure you catch them next time they're playing live. Photo courtesy of 幽小巫

This weekend is a biggie

3936540837_297d90ca08.jpgWe mentioned this before, but this weekend is one of the best gig-going weekends in a ong while. Time to get those cobwebs blown out of your ears. There's every possibility that I'll spend the next four or five nights at Yuyintang. Here's why:

Tonight - X is Y, Friend or Foe, The Beat Bandits and The Instigation

Tomorrow - Choir of Young Believers

Friday - Boys Climbing Ropes and The Fallacy

Saturday - Streets Kill Strange Animals, Bigger Bang! and Pairs

Sunday - Hydrophobia

Ka-boom. Alright, so I might flake on that last one - deathcore on a Sunday after all that lot might be too much for me I'm afraid - but that's not a bad few days of gigs. Added to the mix are Queen Sea Big Shark at MAO Livehouse on the Saturday for some corporate gig thing (likewise I think Bigger Bang! are involved in flogging Puma goods at MAO Livehouse on the Friday with Mavis Fan). 

Take that summer malaise...
Sept 8th show.jpgI was out of town this weekend, meaning my barren gig stretch was extended. Shame, because it sounds like Chaos Mind tore shit up.

Nevermind though because tomorrow night at YYT sees a chance for redemption. If, like me, you've been in a bit of a non-gig-going rut recently, it's time to get over the summertime blues and head to this show. 

On the bill are The Beat Bandits, The Instigation, Friend or Foe and X is Y. The Beat Bandits are really good and The Instigation is another of Toshi's bands so (though I haven't seen them yet) I'm sure they're quality. X is Y I've written about before on this blog and I'm pretty sure I've emphasised before that they're well worth seeing. Friend or Foe are a new band, but one I'm keen to see as they've got that nice Zack Smith boy in their line up. 

So basically, it's a night worth getting into work late on Thursday for.  

Stacks of tracks

coverpeople.JPGIt is, as Mr Best has noted, slow season for the live music world in Shanghai. To be honest, it's the slow season for everything really. Fair enough. It is, as Nina Simone has noted, too darn hot.

Anyway, there's still been a plethora (yeah, that's right, a plethora) of new tracks uploaded in the last weeks. I might have missed a few, but here's my attempt to rattle through them all in no particular order:

First up, some lo-fi folk from Coverpeople. Also, looking at her artist page, she's not played live in ages - what's that about? Let's have a Coverpeople gig soon please. Anyway, the new song is here (the top one).

Laid back folk not your cup of tea? Try Puppets of Distortion on for size instead. They've uploaded a bunch of tracks from performances at Yuyintang last month (the bottom ones) here.

Plastic Chocolate have recently uploaded some tracks, though they were all recorded years ago by the looks of it. It's indie-pop, take it or leave it.

Heading into the trip hop realm, the lovely ChaCha has uploaded a bunch of new tracks. They're her with a bunch of friends and they're great. Go listen here.

Want to know what the new Crystal Butterfly album is going to sound like? C'mon, you do a little bit. Here two tracks from it here.


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