Joker support Jeff Lang, Yuyintang

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Joker.jpgSo once again this weekend, Yuyintang was packed out both Friday and Saturday nights. The crowds couldn't have been more different though. For Convenience Store on the Friday, it was mostly young girls who had come to swoon at the Beijing indie-popsters and the support act Fusion. Most of the talk in the crowd was about how handsome the various members were. I'd known that Convenience Store were a bit poppy, but I hadn't realised quite how pop they were or quite what a poser their lead singer was. The crowd lapped it up, but it wasn't really my cup of tea and I left part way through their set.

Bluesy folk-rock guitarist Jeff Lang was always going to bring in a different crowd on the Saturday and so it proved with YYT packed to the rafters with an older, more male crowd and a significant increase in the number of expats. Alas, this included the really annoying people who insist on holding loud conversations at the bar throughout the gig. If it's a loud rock band, this doesn't matter so much. If it's one guy and a guitar it's just rude and irritating for everyone else watching. The same thing happened with Jens Lekman at Glamour Bar a few months back.

Anyway, Jeff Lang captivated the rest of the audience for nearly two hours. I have to confess that I'd never really heard of him before I started seeing the advertising for this event, but he was a very impressive performer and it was yet another top quality gig from Splitworks. Their next big show is Handsome Furs on September 5th - another one to really look forward to.
So I might not have heard of Jeff Lang, but I was really looking forward to catching the support act Joker. They too play a bluesy-influenced kind of rock 'n' roll, which is something of a rarity on the Shanghai scene unless you count The Sultans of Swing playing their covers down at Time Passage (who are worth checking out if you like a bit of Creedence incidentally). They played a fairly short set (although mabe it just seemed that way relative to Lang's) but it was a good one and they really got the crowd going.

Alas, despite there being a bunch of Jeff Lang CDs on sale at the door for 100 kuai a pop, Joker's 5 track EP was nowhere to be seen. In fact, when I asked the vocalist from the band about it, he looked a bit confused about what I meant. It could have been a good chance for them to get a bit of a following or at least to sell a few CDs, but it seems like a bit of a missed opportunity now. Anyway, you can hear the tracks by clicking that link above or by visiting their artist page on Douban and if you want to buy the CD, 0093 have it on Taobao here

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Yeah Joker were definitely a real highlight especially considering the age of these guys. Sultans of Swing have been around since 2000 (and are in their 30s vs. the obviously just out-of-school Joker) and as far as I know they haven't put anything out yet.

I was amazed by the number of Chinese there. From what I'd seen at YYT first blue night I was expecting a lot less. Some of the expats were annoying especially those that just came to get drunk at the bar. Go hang out at Barbarosa or something and leave us to Jeff Lang and the music.

Overall an amazing night.


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