From Candy Shop to Caramel Mint

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melody-nini.JPGOne of my first posts on this blog was about watching the Tian Pin Dian (Candy Shop) boys join Sammy from Black Luna on stage to perform one of their songs. Take a trip down memory lane here. It emerged soon after that this was the new line-up for the band as the original female vocalist, Melody Li, had left due to the pressures of work. It was a shame in some ways. Sammy is a great singer (read Andy's review of Candy Shop's latest gig here), but Melody had really come in to her own as a performer and I was sad to see her leave the band. But she wasn't finished.

Following a recommendation from Melody on Douban, I joined the Caramel Mint group, was added as a friend by their lead singer, Nini, and went to go check them out up at Live Bar in support of Runaway Snail about a month ago. At the time, I was struck by how strong Nini was as a singer and as a performer, especially considering the band was new. Turns out, I shouldn't have been so surprised.
You've probably seen this coming by now, but "Nini" is actually Melody reinvented, with a new haircut, a new band and a new sound. I was fooled, I didn't recognise her at all. Above you can see a photo of Nini performing with Caramel Mint (on the left) and a shot of Melody from when she was with Candy Shop and I interviewed her for SH. Maybe the resemblance is clear, but in the dim lights of Live Bar, the haircut and the different sound totally threw me.

In fairness to Melody/Nini, there was no attempt to deceive. In the personal description box on Melody's Douban, she's written that she has now joined a new band, Caramel Mint, but she uses that profile so infrequently, I've not bothered to look at it for ages. Obviously the reason she doesn't use it so much is because she's got the new Nini profile now. So it's not her trying to lead a double life or anything like that, just me not recognising her. Weird.

Anyway, it's great to have her back on the scene - she is a fantastic singer. You can catch Caramel Mint at the female vocalist show at the Dream Factory on December 12th, along with Bang Bang Tang, Second, Momo, Miss Panda and The Dovetail Joints.

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That's good news. I only caught Melody once with Candy Shop but she blew me away. Although it might have been the daisy dukes she was wearing that night, meh, who knows?

Despite the quality of her performance that night she seemed oddly out of place in Candy Shop to me. Sammi on the other hand seems to fit very well with the band and she hold her own next to YKE on stage which is no small feat :) Melody on the other hand just stood there looking and sounding great.

Reckon i'll have to go up to Dream Factory to check out Caramel Mint and see what she is like as a performer when she is enjoying herself :)

Wait, wait, wait. Maybe Nini is a different person actually and I'm getting the Douban profiles muddled up. Nini is the singer in Fingers Dancing. Unless there's two Ninis now... Sorry, this stuff is so confusing. My head hurts.

Anyway, the point is, Melody is in Caramel Mint, she's a fantastic singer and it's great to have her back.

@Stevo yeah I know what you mean about Melody not quite fitting in with Candy Shop. She seemed a lot more comfortable when I saw her with Caramel Mint

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