Results tagged “pink berries” from Andy Best

Pink Berries demo track at Neocha

pinkberry promo shot
I got to like the newish band Pink Berries lately after seeing them a bunch of times at Yuyintang. After talking to the band a little and joining their Douban group I have got some updates.

Firstly, the official way to write and spell the name is actually Pinkberry, although singer Xiao You joked it was a reflection of her English pronunciation. 

So, also they have just finished a new demo track and a set of high quality promo pictures to go with it. They have taken the pics and the track Pinkberry 小不点 and opened up a Neocha account.

So check it out: Pinkberry at Neocha

You can learn all kinds of stuff when you actually bother to check the band's page, I have found. Did you know that 0093 Studios have a footy team? Joking aside, there's the language issue for me. I'm stuck between having learned it to a certain spoken level (no so hard) and then pressing on to get all the reading and vocab down (too lazy). Anyway, I'm here to blog the shows I go to really, not be one of those interpret the meaning of China people. Here's a story that has a point about that. Some people may be aware that I speak reasonable Cantonese, learned from friends back in the UK for fun. Well, it went on until one day I found myself able to hold conversations and understand people when they talked in a normal fashion.

So, around that time I was in a Chinese restaurant in Winchester, Charles' House, and suddenly I realised that I could now understand everything the staff were saying to each other. I got a chill down my spine in anticipation of the secret world I was about to enter. Here's what I heard:

Hey, got those noodles for table six?
Siu Mak, refill the tea, would you?
Do we have another menu at reception?

... ah, yes.

This blog is down with the flu (bonus song)

This blog is down with the flu. I've been fighting it all week and even went to two shows with it. Now it's all catching up with me. Apologies in advance if this is a quiet weekend coming up.

Here's what I'm listening to in the world of Chinese underground music. I've seen Pink Berries a lot lately and posted up a couple of vids. I always have time for simple catchy 90's punk and this group fits my bill perfectly. So here's a quality recording of their track Run Away. Enjoy.

Youtube: Pink Berries blast off

Well this might surprise a few. I have three videos from this weekend. One is of The Subs playing the Halloween show. It was, as usual, amazing. But, the vid I took is from near the start and from the back as your intrepid blogger heard their third song, a personal favourite, and had to disappear into the mosh for the rest of the show.

Then we have Bang Bang Tang. Great sound, great musicianship and surely going to be a big success down the line. Their last video on the blog was a good one too. Also, and this is very important, someone actually did lights for Bang Bang Tang tonight. It's close up and the most watchable video on the channel so far. But still no dedicated post.

So, get ready for Pink Berries. There's a few intro bars, a brief moment of pause ... "We are Pink Berries" ... and then kaboom. If the previous night's crowd was in front of them, it would have been a riot. 

Pink Berries & Bang Bang Tang live @ Yuyintang

lollipop november
So. The very next night after the oversold massively talked about Subs gig comes the barely mentioned show that doesn't even have any kind of name or billing that I can officially call it. What a shame because Bang Bang Tang and Pink Berries put on their best performances to date.

As the night went on there were a lot of new ex-pat faces showing up. The Subs show has obviously introduced a lot of new people to the club. The first band on was Wildcat who play a bunch of J-rock sounding songs so generic that I got different answers as to whether they were covers or originals. Next time I will try to catch the band early on and get some background as they were fairly tight and got a good reception.

Bang Bang Tang. I see these a lot as they're always playing YYT. I'm not usually a big fan of this kind of music. They play very musical guitar pop-rock. Watching them belt out their very well rehearsed set it struck me that they were just as good as F.I.R. in Taiwan or a bunch of similar bands in Japan. They are great musicians and the singer Xiao Bai has a great voice too. If they were in one of those markets they'd be getting a major deal right now, not playing underground clubs. They have a quality recording on the new Neocha release (free here) and I have added a fourth video to the Youtube channel. And this time the lights don't flash away like a war on migraine sufferers. 

This was a night of if-onlys. Pink Berries had a good, loud sound and after a few bars of intro and a 'we are Pink Berries' they positively ripped into the opening track. I have that one on video too, but with the flashing random lights, alas. This was the best I've seen them. They couldn't quite carry it through all the set but I was left thinking one thing - if they had played the exact same set last night as a support act for The Subs with all those people in there, it would have been a legendary mosh and a career launching performance. 

While Little Nature, Momo and Crazy Mushroom Brigade reside in the rock-soulless Bar 288 and prepare CDs with Soma, these two bands are quietly becoming the next big things in pop-rock and punk respectively. 

pink berries nov

Rock in the afternoon @ Gua'er

pink berries guaer
There didn't seem to be much on this weekend. Well, that's not entirely true. Regurgitator are in town for two shows. But, you know, the blog is about local bands. So, I wandered down to Gua Er (Sus2) bar to check out an afternoon show. I'm assuming that it was on early to avoid a clash with the first Regurgitator show at Logo tonight. There's a thought, you bring over a band like Regurgitator and put them on in Logo (postage stamp in the corner of a regular bar type room with no PA). Afternoon shows did used to be a staple at the now defunct Ark Live House, so who knows.

The line up changed from the flyer and the first act was a guy and his guitar doing covers. So, the final line up was:

Pink Berries
Tianping Dian

Only Loudspeaker have a page with songs but you can find the other two on the blog's video channel: here. So, afternoon show. The place was mainly populated by the other bands, their friends and about ten non-entourage punters of which five were me and people I know. Gua Er's set up is growing on me and they have the balcony level too, which is nice. 

So, Pink Berries came on and played a six song set. I managed to get a video of my favourite track of theirs Xiao Bai Tu (White Rabbit). They are growing in confidence and their set is genuinely catchy. I have a soft spot for kind of three-chord (or whatever) garage/punk rock. If you know what I mean. Next up was Tianping Dian. They have this big line up rock-rap thing going on with a female vocalist singing the choruses. The last time I saw them they had the curse of the new band going on. That is, two or three strong songs up front and then the rest of the set is hopelessly behind. This time they managed to keep a consistent level. This band are quite active around the rock groups and look like they're going to stick around for a while.

Finally, on came scene stalwarts Loudspeaker. These are the heavier end of the garage rock spectrum. Tianping Dian and entourage had gone home and it was a bit more sparse but Loudspeaker always belt out a consistent high energy performance be it to a packed YYT of their loyal fans or an empty room. These guys just live for playing in a band. Also, they skate and wear stuff like DC shoes and caps which makes me feel right at home. All in all a chilled afternoon hanging with basically the bands themselves. And, as the only non-local in there, my hipster douchebag leanings were fully satisfied. 

Bang Bang Tang live @ Yuyintang

bang bang tang october
I wandered over to a low key mid-week show at Yuyintang and ended up with the perfect antidote to some recent disappointments. The show was advertised on the Facebook group as "Chaos Mind etc" and I expected an empty place and a bunch of metal bands. What I got was a four band gig with good sound, cool people and strong upcoming bands.

The line up:

Pink Berries
Bang Bang Tang
Wang Yuezhe
Chaos Mind

I came in at the end of Pink Berries' set and we've heard a lot about them on here lately. Needless to say, I like them a lot. I'm going to see them on Saturday as part of another multi band show at SUS2, by my house. 

Bang Bang Tang were the real revelation. If it's that mysterious 'local allure' you're after, these guys have it. The crowd were pretty much all local except for me, and Nicky from the Blues Room, and they love this band. Bang Bang Tang played a good tight set, the guitar sound was spot on and their material has branched out a bit. As a punk fan, I winced a bit at some of the pop touches - the entire band doing coordinated left-right-up-down looks. However, I think some people are going to get a surprise when they see the vids later. 

Wang Yuezhe are a new band who play a kind of concept/folk metal. I saw them not so long back - read all about it. They played a short set and then it was time for some Chaos Mind. Chaos Mind are fronted by Sam, the sound guy at Yuyintang. I have a soft spot for metal and Chaos Mind are on the ball. It was a good night and I bumped into a bunch of friends there too. Members from bands like Little Nature and Crazy Mushroom Brigade were down for the show too. I don't entirely get it: Sonnet and Defy = dead to the local crowd, Bang Bang Tang = loving it and even got other band members out to support. I hear from my Hong Kong skateboarding buddy Mark Kong that Saturday's show at SUS2 (Gua'er) is going to be a popular one too. Watch this space.

Another interesting thing is that I have now heard, no names sorry, three different groups who are all planning to open a new venue like Yuyintang but bigger. The one who was looking at Hengshan Road has already been beaten to it though, I read today that Bar 288 are opening a second location down there soon. I hope it's more like a venue than a bar with stuff happening in the background. 

Youtube: Pink Berries live @ Yuyintang

The Mi San Dao gig was a good time and I put videos of both bands on the channel. For those of you new to the blog, you can watch the back catalogue of videos here. You can also go there anytime through the link in the blog sidebar.

The support act, Pink Berries, are a new band on the Shanghai scene. They are the latest project of Tony Yu, also of Mortal Fools. I last saw them opening for Old Doll. I have a soft spot for simple style punk bands even when they are not that 'heavy'. Also, as Abe commented at the show, they take it seriously. So, never mind the support act sound mix, enjoy the raw product. 

Mi San Dao live @ Yuyintang

I'd expressed some reservations about going to this show as I wasn't sure about exactly what type of skinheads Mi San Dao are. Lucky for me, they turned out to be anti-nazi old school punk. And they ruled.

I turned up to the show with Evans, my wife, and immediately bumped into some familiar faces. Frank from Mortal Fools, who was involved in putting the show on, Abe Deyo, 'Super' Sophia and Yixin too. There was a fair amount of people there considering the very specific style of the band and a diverse crowd at that.

First in were Pink Berries. They seem to take any opportunity to play a show and are hungry to improve. They did a good job for a new band and improved greatly on the previous show. The sound was clearer and their songs started to take shape as they got tighter. They also played an on-time and shortish set, about right for a support act. This always scores big points with me considering how many bands play comparatively huge sets peppered with monologues when they are the second band on from six. Pink Berries guitarist Tony brings the Rancid style riffs and ska but overall the band is teetering between punk and pop. Hopefully they can keep together and develop a strong style or look too. 

Talking of strong style, on came Mi San Dao. These guys have been doing it for over nine years now. They are skinheads, in every sense, and had a great presence. They were very professional players who put on a good show and didn't miss a note all night. They also had a great balanced set. They started out with the more hardcore tracks and then broke out the ska and anthems for the second half. Moshes and pogos broke out during the signature tracks much to the confusion of some random suit wearing bloke in the front. They rocked and even non-punks in the audience couldn't resist chanting along to the copious amounts of 'oi's in almost every track. 

I may have mentioned camera guy a post or two back and how it wasn't just me but also Abe who was getting really annoyed with it. Does this guy read my blog or is life just weird. A couple of songs into Mi San Dao, he again took centre front and hoisted his big pro camera up and stayed there all the time, getting in everyone's view/way. Then he seemed to gravitate towards Abe for some reason - and actually ended up camped right in front of him with the camera directly in front of Abe's face. And didn't move again.

At the end of the show we went to out to get a pic with the band, especially seeing as I'd recently shaved my head. I think the blog size photo is too small to see my expression though. That's maybe a good thing. Odd end note: we were walking back, buzzing from seeing a great band with a great attitude when I saw a full-on white stretch limo parked in front of C's bar. Unsurprisingly, a bunch of posers came falling out drunk and they were even whooping and yeah-ing. You can't bring me down, vacuous oxygen thieves. Oi!

pink berries

misandao group

Old Doll live @ Yuyintang

pink berries
If we start back at Gua'er on Thursday and include all the China Now festival shows too. Then last night's show at Yuyintang, featuring Nanjing punk outfit Old Doll, was the end of a six day gig marathon. I managed to see shows on four out of six days, not bad. It was a pity however, that the last band on the last day was the most awesome but was playing to twenty people in an otherwise empty room. It was inevitable that there would be some burnout. The TooKoo show and the Control show were 'big shows' with big turn outs and high energy. 

I don't have a page for Old Doll so you can watch the video clip I made here: Old Doll.

So, I arrived at Yuyintang about fifteen minutes before kick-off to see only three people other than myself in there. As the first band got ready, some more people came out of the woodwork but aside from the bands themselves, their friends and the staff, I think there were about twelve other people tops. I got a small surprise when the singer of the first band introduced himself to me and the others at the bar and handed out a questionnaire that included their song list for the night. It turned out they were a J-rock band from Niigata.

So, Sappie Toy took the stage. They are Japanese musicians who live and work in Shanghai, and again, I don't have a link for them but if you google the name there's a couple of shortish clips and articles. They were a typical J-rock outfit. They had a great sound and played catchy pop rock tracks punctuated by flashy guitar solos and acoustic sing-a-long middle eights. Yes, journo speak! I really wanted to get a song on video but I was confounded by the YYT lighting thing. That is, if the bands don't have a specific lighting request they use that auto function where all the lights flash on and off like strobes to the beat of the sound waves. There is no constant back or front lighting at all so the flashing goes from dark to light ad nauseam. It completely scuppered my TooKoo vid from Friday. It's like a war on epilepsy and headache sufferers, and people with hangovers. 

Next up was Tony Yu of Mortal Fools and his new band, Pink Berries (pictured top). Tony is an old school punk fan and his new songs mix that Ramones sound and approach with some memorable song writing. The singer was cool and she gave an energetic performance. Unfortunately the songs were lost a bit in the bad sound mix, especially the vocals and the other band members don't have the same experience as Tony himself. But, if they stick at it they are going to be a great act on the Shanghai circuit soon. 

Finally it was time for Old Doll. And they rocked. They had a great sound, great songs and were professional performers. The sound is very similar to early Rancid, which suits me fine. Despite the near empty room, they were ripping and going for it as if they had a couple of hundred moshers in front of them. They were on in every way. I was watching the best performance of the week of shows for sure, with almost no one else around. Upon hearing the opening song, the staff all came in to the room to watch. At one point, the back lights were on long enough for me to get a half decent video too. 

Great week. I saw eleven different bands in six days. My highlights have to be:

1) Seeing BCR play Pleasure To Be Here live to a bigger crowd with atmosphere.
2) Getting an early listen to Pink Berries, if they stick it out and get tight there's going to be some great shows in the future.
3) Old Doll taking me back to listening to Rancid and Op Ivy CDs in my bedroom.

old doll


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