Results tagged “ann” from Andy Best

Manbanpai @ Mao live (and nothing anywhere else)

hama mannequin
Friday night and all was not well in the world of music. I was heading over to the metal show at Yuyintang when it transpired that the man had decided to check out all venues on the rock scene as part of a report they are doing. Others noted it here and here.

By coincidence, Mao Live were doing the latest installment of Genohmang that same night. It's a drinks promotion and doesn't have any cover charge or ticket sales. So despite getting the visit, they were not required to cancel the show. I made it there in time to catch one band in full:

Kind of an average turnout considering it was free and nothing else was on, but enough to make the place seem lively. I caught the last song of space rock band Ann. Manbanpai play straight up pop in the folk style. The songs are driven by wandering finger-picked guitar and they kind of meander along. The lead guitarist fills in with light jazz riffs and solos and the whole act is very nice. It seemed odd to see young, cool looking people on stage with guitars playing easy-listening, but if it's your sort of thing, they play it well. Singer Hama has developed a good vocal range since her previous days in J-rock act Second and seems to have found her style. 

I went out to see Chaos Mind, though. Not really the same thing.

Sister Whale and others @ Yuyintang

whale logo
This weekend I opted for Yuyintang and their show called when we are together.

Here was the line up:

I have written a lot about Pairs lately so I want to talk about Sister Whale mainly with a quick round up of the others. You can find a full review at Layabozi here. It's like a real review as opposed to my reports.

Sister Whale is a solo act. She performs a kind of retro folk in the vein of 60's style with a hint of Velvet Underground. The first half of her set was done with guitar and the second half with a piano sound. To give you more of an idea, her other act is called Grand Flower Children. She is confident and stylish, but I think the show was undermined a bit by it being a bar crowd and people not being familiar with her songs. If all the songs were available beforehand and the atmosphere was more intimate, it would be perfect. 

Pairs were good as usual, there was a new song about hat-wearing indoors and people who date indoor hat-wearers. Yes, like me. Ann play a kind of space rock with flute lines and long instrumentals, they are pretty tight these days too. Baby #13 are also good musicians and gave a good showing. Check the pages.

Bang Bang Tang live @ Yuyintang

bang bang tang backstage at mao shanghai
Update: It occurred to me just now that YYT's Zhang Haisheng told me recently of his plan to change the band room into a bar room. Maybe that was the case on Friday? The general point below still stands though.

Friday night at Yuyintang and indie-pop act Bang Bang Tang were putting on their own show called Rock My Own Zen. Here was the line up:

Bang Bang Tang 棒棒糖

The night was pushed hard on Douban and the turn out was great. Bang Bang Tang now have a good number of genuine fans and the atmosphere was good on the night. They even went to the trouble of printing flashy tickets.

Ann are are self-styled Brit-pop band that lean towards the longer atmospheric tracks. They started out with regular sounding pop songs and then moved into the longer instrumentals, even utilizing a flute. The Rake were similar in style but leaning more towards compacted tunes.

Bang Bang Tang came on with a bang. Singer Xiao Bai is a real star these days. She has great talent and the band's style revolves around her powerful voice and impressive range. The music is indie-pop with a hint of virtuoso musicianship for good measure. The crowd were here for them and they were well received.

Ultimately though, the show fell way short of its potential. The band have built up a set and a following. They promoted their own headlining event and put effort into the flyers and tickets, succeeding to fill the venue. Bit like the Mushrooms did last year. After a strong start it petered out due to woeful mismanagement of details. The support bands were both newish bands and there was too long a stretch of average show, it undermined the night as a whole.

Xiao Bai is the star attraction but the lighting guy kept turning off the front lighting, often for whole songs, leaving her in darkness. The sound, as usual lately, was messy and forever changing - often dropping her voice right out for whole songs. In moments were we could clearly see and hear her, the audience were captivated.

There was no stage management at all. The band room was just like another bar room, full of random people and smoke, the side stage door was open and unmanned and full of people too. This was a show with breaks and changes and planning, poor Xiao Bai came off stage for such moments and had to just stand in the general bar area, flustered and mobbed. This led to planned moments, such as guest appearances, becoming slowly executed and overlong. It killed the energy and momentum. And the general attitude to this aspect destroyed the mystique and impact of the performance (which was definitely able to be there).

This night should have been a big turning point for BBT and a legendary show but it ended up being a bit of a struggle. Another thought. I don't want YYT to have bouncers or bad tempered rules, so maybe we should all show the bands some more respect and give them space. Just saying. It's becoming a mess of unpaying guests, backstage hangers on and camera enthusiasts. When you operate on a community or friendly open level, then we all have to be responsible, right?

Believe me, Bang Bang Tang deserve our respect and support.


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