Hedgehog and Naohai, Yuyintang
Sometimes there's nothing wrong with a bit of familiarity. This was a classic night in the newly-refurbished Yuyintang with a packed house being sent into a sweaty frenzy by Hedgehog ripping through their old favourites.
Of course, there were plenty of new songs too - the Beijing three piece were in town to release their new album after all - but when they closed their set out with what was effectively a greatest hits run-through it invoked the kind of jump around, big grin atmosphere that Hedgehog are so adept at creating. They're just one of those bands that you'd have to try really hard not to like and their live shows are infectious. People had to jump around and by the end it was a hot, sweaty mess of a crowd that screamed for an encore - like numerous Hedgehog gigs at Yuyintang before.
The new songs sounded great too of course. There's not been a massive shift in direction by the sounds of things (I haven't played the album yet), but that's not a problem. It's always hard playing a bunch of new songs to an audience who hasn't heard them before, but there were enough hooks and jump along moments to keep people happy until the more familiar tunes came around.
The other new element to the night came courtesy of support act Nao Hai, a band that I mentioned being interested to see live the other week. I've not seen them on any bills before anywhere, but they have some good demos on their Douban that had caught my interest. Still, given their lack of live shows to date, I'm not sure how they got on the bill to support one of the country's best bands, but their short set didn't seem out of place. They're still pretty fresh and a bit rough around the edges, but overall it was a solid showing of Gar-like rock that went down well with the crowd. Hopefully this is the start of them gigging regularly, they've got a lot of potential.
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