Results tagged “taikang road” from Andy Best

More Barfly, pictures and chat

hanging garden
Another update on the New Pants thing: I decided to follow up this story by contacting Kenneth Tan of Shanghaiist for a comment. He declined to answer at all so it's snubs all round. Hooray.

End update

I'm all excited. My cold is clearing and the worst is behind me. This weekend - shows! Great. So, before normal service is resumed let's clean up some odds and ends.

I recently spotted a small-ish column in Enjoy Classifieds talking about the scene. Check it here. So, Barfly continued to have a look at the music scene this week too.

I'm glad he did. I don't like to be negative and Barfly had a very similar experience to me in a certain area, so I can quote him instead of posting it as my own.

What the f*ck am I on about? Check this out first: adventures in cabaret

So, Bar 288 (Melting Pot) has recently opened a new location right on Hengshan Lu in the main bar area. I have been avoiding this for the same reasons I laid out in the linked post. At the bottom of this post you can see how it turned out. Barfly went there last week and here's what he had to say about it.

Barfly was going to be about the Melting Pot's new Hengshan Lu location and it's live music potential. I had it completed, and then decided it could be summed up in one sentence - the new Melting Pot has little potential aside from the funny sensation you get when walking into a Chinese club laced with purple velvet walls and disco lights, with Irish fiddles playing in the background.

That about sums up what everyone is saying except for the odd stage placement in there. The column is joking about Chinese mainstream clubs. This is not a cultural thing. YYT and Live Bar don't seem to have any problems. I personally just think the owners are just more club than venue, that's all. Also, Bar 288 on Taikang Lu is a pretty cool place to hang out, they just don't have any idea how to put on a rock show beyond letting a band play inside the building.

So, talking of YYT. Gemnil, a performance manager there, is starting to dip into some band promotion and photo shoots. YYT owner Zhang Haisheng only officially manages one band, Yu Guo. But now, together with 0093 studios, they will start to get more into developing talent. With 0093 releasing their first EP for the band Joker and Indie Top recording for 13 acts at the moment we may be able to double the amount of true albums from Shanghai based new generation bands by New Year. So above and below are some shots of Hanging Garden (Kongzhong Huayuan). See a video of these mellow indie balladeers at Yuyintang here.

Update: A sample of Gemnil's Pinkberry shoot added below

hanging garden

xiao you

Adventures in cabaret

bar 288
Yesterday I watched The Mummy Three in the cinema. Yes, I paid to see it on the big screen. This will tell you two things about me. I love good ole fashioned adventure and I love torturing myself. This is quite coincidental.

This weekend's line up at my usual haunts is just not for me. The show of the weekend is going to be Motek at either Yuyintang or Live Bar, depending on which day you want to see them. Motek are from Norway and they play post-rock. Check out their blurb:

Every great passion ends in the infinite... Likewise, Motek is driven by instinct and the thirst for sultry recollections of forgotten emotional states. Sticking layers of effect-laden guitars, underpinned by a needy bass and entrancing drums create the texture of great music for the best moments of your life. This sonic dream closes the gap between wishes, wants and imagination with melancholy, madness, consolation and hope.

... and their link (to be fair) - listen here

I'm only going to stick out more post-rock shoegazing if the band are local and relevant to the scene. Not because I have something against polished, signed acts from abroad - because, as a personal entertainment choice, I have something against post-rock. 

So what am I going to do? I'm going on an adventure.

First of all, I'm going to get a sandwich at Kommune cafe in the Taikang Lu arts area. I swear down it's nothing to do with trying to be hip or a true scenester. It happens to be near the bar and their build your own sandwich deal includes baked beans on the fillings list. Baked beans. Other Brits abroad know what I'm talking about here. After that I'm going to Bar 288, The Melting Pot, to hang out and watch whoever happens to play there. 

Why is this such an adventure? Their house bands include Little Nature and Crazy Mushroom Brigade. They are famed as a local muso hangout. Check out this recent news/endorsement of their credibility, talking about the China Now event: 

This free festival being organized by the people behind Taikang Lu's 288 Melting Pot bar is part of the Shanghai Tourism Festival. According to Head Organizer Ruby Hsiao, "It is the government's intention to support original music, and to earn more attention from the younger generation in Shanghai - Chinese or expatriates."

Well, did you read this earlier post on when I was last there? They filled the dance floor area in front of the stage with tables and let people play dice games with their backs to the great band who came all the way from Korea. They delayed the show start an hour and fifteen minutes because someone there had a birthday and wanted their friends to perform some pop hits to a backing track. They are not trying to support local music, they are treating it like a background cover band and even bumping it for a keyboard guy. And I hope that quote was added in by enthusiastic newspaper editors - letting two rock acts play a park for tourist day does not compensate for the past three months. Unless support actually means kill in the above case.

Since they seem to inspire annoying critical rants in me, I'm going to try again.

I will conquer my fears and my hate and head out of my immediate area at night. Then again, I've just had a thought, perhaps it's some kind of psychological thing. The closer you get to Taikang Lu, the more you start to think and behave like a dismissive, holier-than-thou hipster. Well, lets see what happens on my adventure. Will I actually come back with a good report from a great Mushrooms gig ... or will it all go down the pan and I have to be bailed out by yetis - my god, that film was s*%t! I mean ... yetis! 

No. 1 Korean live @ bar 288


no. 1 KoreaI missed this band at Yuyintang last night so I decided to catch them at Bar 288 (AKA The Melting Pot) on Taikang Road. No. 1 Korean are a ska band from ... Korea, and they are pretty good.

Check out this Youtube clip of them performing live.

So, I rolled up to Bar 288 with Evans at around 10.00 thinking we'd be right on time only to be told the band went on at 10.30 ... not too bad. But, we were about to experience the curse of the Shanghai local stylee club/pub. Let's be clear, there's nothing inherently wrong with the Shanghai local stylee clubs, as long as they don't mix with my rock gigs.

The first sign is when you enter and the whole area in front of the stage is filled with tables and young cool looking people are all playing parlour games such as dice. In fact, as someone was setting up the stage, the air was filled with the sound of dice shakers, not unlike crickets chriping away in the tropical evening. Then we found out there was a warm up act.

The warm act was in fact a crooning KTV guy singing pop hits to a backing track. Why? Whhyyyyy!!?? Because it was someone's birthday party. Yes, they let someone have their birthday do at the bar on a gig night and put they show back to 11.45 to accomodate a round of KTV crooning and some announcements etc. This is totally normal in the local stylee bar environment and dice shakers continued unabated.

When the band finally did come on they kicked ass. High energy ska, professional and a wicked horn section. But still the tables remained. We kicked ourselves for not seeing them at Yuyintang and being able to have a good dance or whatever. They are doing Live Bar tomorrow night, so who knows.

bar 288 


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