Results tagged “hard queen” from Andy Best
And now, coming to the Canart Gallery: Daedalum Films are screening their new documentary about the show, Up From The Underground.
Canart is round the corner from my house in the F-visa ghetto. It's easy to find, being just behind the building with C's bar and Sus2 Music Bar. That is, down that little lane between that building and the hotel with the Kedi Store.
Screening starts at 9.30 on May 9th and it's ticketed. That's good for me as I don't get off work until 8.45. What's more, there's a performance from the band after the movie.
True punk fans also have the agony of choosing between Brain Failure @ Dream Factory and Overdose @ YYT on the same night. Good times.
You know the story by now about Hard Queen's struggle to reach this point and they fully deserved such a huge turn out. I got in not long after 9pm, thinking I was early, yet still had to push my way through the crowds. Boys Climbing Ropes opened with a typically energetic and tight set. They seem to get better every show and were on top form, but this was Hard Queen's night.
Despite Zero donning big sunglasses and playing it very cool, the band looked a touch nervy during the opening couple of songs. They soon settled down however and by the third or fourth track in seemed to be really enjoying themselves. DaMen in particular played the entire set with a huge grin on her face. The band gave a great show, delivering the tracks from their Holiday EP as well as cementing their Mod credentials with a cover of The Kingsmen's Louie Louie. They also added a fantastic cover of Michael Jackson's Beat It before closing out the night in traditional fashion with their version of White Stripes' Hotel Yorba.
3) Bang Bang Tang live @ Yuyintang (Oct): 338 views watch
I made it to the third show in two days. Also, this is Hedgehog and it was a packed show. I made the decision to enjoy this one to the max so no photos, sorry. Or videos. Just to round off this preface, monopod guy was absent and photographers don't get much of a look in when you have over 300 people in YYT.
Amazing turn out as usual at STD promotions. Hedgehog's last visits were packed out mosh fests and they are a genuinely good live act. The only annoyance was that STD DJs decided to play Dance music before and in between the bands. Err ... don't, thanks. I for one come to YYT to watch rock because I am consciously avoiding that sort of music. After the bands is fine, I can go home.
Both tonight's bands have good pages with several quality tracks for listening to:
BCR came on to a packed room and did not dissapoint. Great sound and for once you could clearly hear both the singers. Little Punk now has a distinct stage persona and all the songs went off great including the new material. It was great to hear a band with an original sound playing intelligent music with a soul in Jordan's lyrics. Especially after almost an hour of techno over the speakers while we were waiting. In what was to be a pattern for the night, though, they didn't play my fave track Dirty Bots. Hedgehog didn't play Wink either, you see.
Hedgehog have evolved a lot since they last came. They have a lot of material and are very self-aware. They knew exactly which tracks were the favourites and seemed to have planned their set carefully to build and build as the night went on. Toy61 Festival sent the room into action and it remained that way for the rest of the set. It's becoming a cliche to say this now ... but ... the drummer, Atom, is surely one of the best around. She is both imaginative and in perfect control of the dynamics. That fact that she looks like a elementary school student (she really can't be anything over 4'10") still elicits a ton of superlatives from newcomers to the band.
So many interesting people down tonight I have no idea who to mention. Frank Fen of Mortal Fools was down plugging this show like crazy. Sean Leow of Neocha was there as was fellow Web 2.0 guru George Godula. Brad Ferguson was down with Hard Queen drummer Da Men (Shanghai's own female drum powerhouse). It was Super Sophia Wang and Jake Newby's birthdays, so, yeah ..happy birthday again. Actually, it must be said that over the three shows this weekend I met a lot of people from distinctly different groups and heard quite a few not-for-the-blog stories - so you'll all have to say hi in person next time to hear them.
2) Bang Bang Tang play Yuyintang: 158 views watch
3) Boys Climbing Ropes live at Control: 131 views watch
Gigs are back despite the sporting event that shall not be named still running on a couple more days. I went to Yuyintang to check out Beijing indie band Gar but came away stoked with Hard Queen. So they get the featured post. Check the Youtube channel for Gar also.
Tonight was a cautious foray back into the gig world. The sporting event that shall not be named has not yet finished and the official back to business show is tomorrow at Dream Factory. The headliners for tonight were Beijing indie outfit The Gar.
Check out their myspace page here: Gar
Abe Deyo had predicted a limited turn out at Shanghaiist. It turned out to be reasonable but the August ban has clearly knocked a hole in the great turnouts at YYT this summer when we saw shows packed to the rafters with the local student brigade. I got there in time for the support act Hard Queen and spotted a whole bunch of scenesters, even John P of Sinosplice fame.
Hard Queen played a great set and had a nice sound too. They have enough good material to play a full hour of mostly originals. When I first saw them they clearly had standout songs but now the rest of the material is up there too. At one point, Sheena (singer) pointed out a Hard Queen T-shirt being worn in the audience. It's what they deserve. The material is good, they have their own sound and they have come together live - a fanbase is sure to follow. Hopefully they can cement this with the speedy release of their upcoming CD. Song of the night: We Don't Care.
The Gar came on straight after. The timely start and tight scheduling was down to the sports event that shall not be named, no chances could be taken. I was a bit shocked at the sound. Hard Queen had a pretty good sound which then seemed to take a huge dive for the main act. Then, after three tracks of jangly indie type stuff they left the stage. Odd. During this sudden break there was no activity on the stage and no sound checking or repairing. The Gar are a three piece with all the hallmarks of the latest indie trends including long instrumental sections. I came away from the gig feeling like I'd seen a Hard Queen show.
I have open commenting now, does that mean I might end up with those people who comment on spelling errors? Err, I can spell horse, Brad is from Texas ... it's one of those really really funny jokes ... really funny.
I recently posted on Brad Ferguson's split with Windows Underground right here. Just two weeks later he's already back and promoting a new series of rock shows in Shanghai. This time Brad is branding himself with a catchy name Control. Not literally of course, oh thoseTexans.
The first show is going to be at Dream Factory on the 13th September and Brad's doing it by himself and out of pocket so Shanghai based readers should get along and support the show. Here's the line-up:
The release of their excellent CD City Weather Sailing has established PK-14 as pretty much the top punk/rock act in China now. The CD quality, production and conception is right up there and you can even get the CD details via I-tunes - oooooh. That's rather flash for the China underground scene. They are worthy headliners.
I should also mention that when I was following up with Brad on the details for this post he was careful to say that nothing's planned beyond the first show. PK-14 had already been booked for Windows Underground. So, let's have a repeat of the Tembo Subs show - get to the show make it a success and a good time ... and maybe it'll lead to more shows. Also, if you don't go, those spelling-nazi commenters are going to hunt you down.
Breaking news over at Shanghaiist that I'm going to rehash here as some of my blog peeps don't go there.
Here's the original article.
So, here's how the story of Friday night went - that's last night. Brad Ferguson, the manager of Windows Underground turned up to work to have his boss tell him that he was now forbidden from booking Chinese bands.
Some background, the Windows family has three popular bars in Shanghai. One of them, Tembo, was not doing much so the boss, a local Shanghai woman, hired Brad to manage in the general sense and to turn it into a live music place. After a great start they moved the whole bar to a bigger location and fitted it out with a good sound system, finally re-naming it Windows Underground.
Here's Brad telling the story from the Sha-ist interview:
My boss forbade me from hiring Chinese bands, saying that Chinese people only want to see foreigners, and that rock is a western thing so westerners do it better. She said she herself would rather see a bad foreigner band than a good Chinese one. We argued about it for a while last night, but didn't make any progress. So, I let Hard Queen, our regular Friday night (Chinese) band, do their final show. The accountant warned me that they wouldn't pay for Chinese bands, but I agreed to pay out of my own pocket. The band are friends of mine, so I also told them why they were being replaced. At the end of their set they said some stuff about the bar and my boss -- all true -- then kicked the drum kit over. The crowd cheered and people seemed to be having a good time. I finished out the night, but when I got home my boss called me from downstairs. She yelled at me for a while, then she called the police. I politely explained the events of the night, and the cops agreed that as there were no damages, no one was injured, and no one broke the law, there was nothing they could do. So, I only got fired.
So, Windows Underground is out of the scene. I'm sorry, but cover bands and cabaret don't count. As Brad says in the article.
Also, this is not that suprising in some aspects. Windows bars are notorious for barring locals from ticketed events for allegedly not drinking enough. And coincidentally, a few years back when Windows Too was still in Jing An Plaza, I popped in on a New Year's eve and saw the very same owner turning away locals herself at the ticket table in the hall. Bar owners. Again, not surprising.
This post is more of an anecdote than a gig review but I did get new vid material so it's worth doing. Earlier in the day I had been to see Hard Queen at Eno. I wasn't going to check out the Miniless showcase at Yuyintang but I got a call from Rylan McPhee, buddy of mine, who was already there. So I dragged myself and my tired, heavy head to the show.
I got there in time to see Self Party play. To be fair, they were not that bad despite an average to washy sound and the habit of repeating the same four bars more than thrity or so times in each song. Shoe-gazing fans will like them, I'm sure. The problem was my tired head and the end of the anecdote. Into their final song they got feedback and sound problems and when they looked to the desk they saw it was empty. The sound guy was off at the bar drinking. So, like any good experimental band, they openly laughed to each other on stage and proceeded to abandon the song in favour of continuing feedback and noise.
Unfortunately it was so loud that my prospective headache immediately jumped into nausea-pang-laced throbbing and sent me off home. So, I had to abandon the rest of the show and leave the Clansman of Cranbrook to continue his good work alone. That's clansman with a C, readers nursing a hangover. Yuyintang was packed again and it's good to see the venue get good crowds for all the different styles. A final point, just lurking at the edge of the photo is Morgan Short. Morgan is the bass player for Boys Climbing Ropes who have a CD out called Pleasure To Be Here. Check out the linked page.
Had a terrible night's sleep and knew I had no chance of lasting out tonight's gig at Yuyintang (Miniless Calling). It's one thing to go to a show tired and grab a coffee, it's another if the show is a showcase of 'shoe-gazing', experimental and long instrumentals. Lucky for me, there was an early option.
Eno is a clothing shop/cafe that promotes local artists and designers. They have a big space and put on local bands at events. Today was a demo for artist Popil and playing the event was Hard Queen. It was a cozy set up and one side of the shop, that you can't see in the photos, has a wide bank of large steps going up to the juice bar. That kind of forms mini stadium seating up one side of the floor space.
I'm used to dingy rock venues and darkness so I was disorientated at first. There was a good turn out and I spotted a bunch of people I knew and ... err, I dunno ... scene people. I don't want to say 'biz' because no one makes money. The great thing about Shanghai is that it's a small scene and all the active members are cool, open people who are happy to talk and are doing really interesting stuff. Hard Queen played the first half of their set and then I went down to say hellos.
The artist, Popil, has a Hard Queen T-shirt out and is also doing the artwork for their soon to be finished CD. One of the CD's producers, Scott, was there as was Brad Ferguson of Window's Underground. I bumped into Nial Ferguson, a super talented Australian artist who I first bumped into via the skatboarding scene ages ago. I also saw Sean Leow again. He is one of the brains behind Neocha.com which you'll see if you followed the Popil and Hard Queen links. Another Neocha guy, Adam Schokora, was there. It's worth checking out his vids over at Danwei.org as he often includes China scene bands.
I should just tag this post celebrity gossip and throw myself under a bus already.
Hard Queen played a couple of new songs and had a great sound. The second half of the set was tight and everyone liked the show. I even left with a signed Popil print although the famed PK-14 shirt was sold out in men's style. Next time.
Well I don't want to jump on certain bandwagons, no matter how true they may be but there's a certain large sporting event looming near in China. Notice how I yet again started a post with a disclaimer. Anyway, the news is ... Sophia of Yuyintang told me straight out that there's only three shows booked for the whole of August at this time. Also, I asked Brad Ferguson of Windows Underground what was going on there and the answer was much the same - very little over summer. Live Bar have yet to update their webpage at time of writing.
There's still going to be some stuff going on. Frozen Street are yet to play YYT this month and Hard Queen will continue their regular slot on Fridays at Windows Underground. Talking of Hard Queen, they are playing at an art event in Eno this weekend. Eno is a large shop/studio/cafe that supports local artists, the launch is for Popil. Popil crossed-over into the music world with her famous T-shirt design for PK-14. Anyway, that's on Saturday at 3.00pm. I'll be there in case anyone wants to
stab me stalk me say hello.
Talking of PK-14. I have been listening to their new CD, City Weather Sailing, this week. They have been abroad recording it. The scope/production of the CD is right up there, as good as anything produced by the scene as it's been for the past few years. Ironically though, it takes them away from the raw punk/indie feel that I like. Is that ironic? I think we're heading for an Alanis Paradox here. You know, it starts with noticing that there's no irony in the situations presented in the song ironic and it ends with finding no acceptable definition of Ironic except the traditional literature one - the reader knows something the character doesn't. Wait, is that a paradox?
Tonight I went over to the Blues Room to watch this Battle of the Bands show. I must admit very low expectations. Blues Room is basically an ex-pat bar on Tong Ren Lu with a token 'stage' area in the corner for cabaret circuit light jazz and blues acts. It has no sound system and no sound guy and is basically unsuited to rock or indie acts. Never the less, some good bands were going to play and Tonerider came in as the sponsor.
Aside from bands formed just to play the show one off, the line up was Hard Queen, Mortal Fools and Crazy Mushroom Brigade. I made a point of going to catch up with Hard Queen as I've seen the others several times already.
Well, there was a sub-standard drum kit, two free standing amps and a dark corner of a bar dominated by tables and non-rock people - but actually, it turned out quite well. Brad Ferguson of Window's Underground was on hand to tweak the sound and it exceeded everyone's expectations.
So, Hard Queen. They have a neocha page with earlier demos and pics right here. They went on first and made the best out of the set up. They have a good set of original material including great songs like We Don't Care and Fat Girl Slim Boy. They have a new CD in the works and me and Cameron are looking at shooting a video for them so after their performance I went upstairs to City Diner and talked to both Sheena Du, the singer, and Scott Mitchell who is producing the tracks. So, it turned out to be an interesting night, but I left before the 'winner' was announced. Anyone want to reveal that in the comments?
Here is a video from the Blues Room, but like I said, it was underlit, be warned. Not my fault. Honest.
This blog is not exactly an academic exercise or full representation of the scene here in Shanghai. It revolves a little around the fact that I live near certain venues and my own taste. I'm going to try to right that a bit this week. To be fair, when bands are gigging in Shanghai, they usualy play all the venues and I rarely miss out on anyone by sticking with the West Side.
So, first I want to talk about the noise scene. Shanghai has a whole bunch of acts who do experimental and noise music. What's more, they are very good at organising and promoting themselves. You could start on their net trail with the NoiShanghai home page - here. The most famous noise act in Shanghai is Torturing Nurse and you can listen to their stuff at their Myspace page. It's a diverse scene: Nurse describe themselves as Harsh Noise while you also have acts like Xu Cheng (sound art) and also Ben Hogue who moonlights from his job as a sound engineer for Ubisoft.
I'm busy this week with two mid-week shows at Yuyintang. And I just want to say that I'm going purely for my blog. Tuesday is Wang Wen who describe themselves as post-rock. I'm just listening to their page now and it seems they do 7 minute long ambient instrumentals. Also, a surprise gig just popped up in the listings tonight for Wednesday. The night is called Hotter than Teppenyaki and the only info is that it's an impromptu metal night put on by ex-pats. Any band that plays a gig with original material is part of the scene - but I won't write up utter piss takes or cover bands. Also, the first show of the weekend at YYT is called "Watch, Bag, DVD" - a famous joke among ex-pats (it's what you hear when you are foreign looking and enter a market). So I think I'm off to Window's Underground to watch Hard Queen instead.
Went out to Yuyintang last night to see one of my favourite Shanghai bands, the Crazy Mushroom Brigade (Fengkuan Mogu Tuan). They are one of a handful of Chinese underground rock/punk bands that are in total command of their instruments, sound and performance. Watching them is a religous experience, but, as they are native to the Shanghai scene, they haven't made the step up to play to a good sized crowd like they deserve. The scene here being quite small still.
The headlining band was actually a Japanese industrial act called God Deadalist. For some reason they opted to go on first out of a 5 band bill despite being billed as the headliner. A singer and a guitarist played live to a backing tape of the drums and bass. I dunno, it was pretty good but more like looking at a piece of art than watching a good band live. photo at the end of the post.
Evans stayed at home so I hung out with Lin Lin who's a manager there, and also Evans' old classmate, Flower, from her high school days. Also met a couple of Fenebache fans from Istanbul. Cool guys. Last night I also checked out Hard Queen at the new Windows Underground venue. I'd love to see the Mushrooms play there to 4 or 500 people. I should harass Brad Ferguson, the manager, about it, he lives by me.