Chinese Music: May 2010 Archives

Big in Beijing on The Beeb

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Picture 1.jpgHat tip to my Mum and my brother on this one, they heard this on Radio 4 the other day and dropped me links. Radio 4 isn't to be confused with the American band who came to China recently by the way, it's a BBC radio station back in the UK. It's not the most cutting edge of stations to be honest and you get that in the tone of this report, which is all about the music scene in Beijing.

It's mostly about how or whether Western bands can be successful in China and as a result they speak to Nathaniel Davis from Splitworks amongst others. They talk about the problems of getting foreign bands to play here and take in mentions of Bjork, last year's Modern Sky Festival and Oasis. It's a bit cliched, as these things tend to be (it starts with park music in Beijing) and clearly isn't as insightful as say, a Kungfuology podcast, but bear in mind this is for an audience back in the UK who quite possibly know nothing about music here at all.

Anyway, it's up on the BBC iPlayer and should be for a few days yet so if you've ever wanted to hear a bloke with a plummy English accent interviewing kids in Yugong Yishan about who they listen to, now you can. You'll find it here.
In my write-up of Strawberry Festival, I said something about there not really being any surprises. Not entirely true. One surprise was this. Gia, former frontwoman for Hang on the Box, played the old HotB song 'Shanghai'. It was a slightly odd version, melding the original with her new, bossanova-influenced style, but I enjoyed seeing the song performed live. And Gia played a good set in general - if people had been in the mood for dancing a bit more it could have been a perfect early afternoon festival set played under the sun. Alas, the nearby metal stage drowned out most of her songs and no one seemed to moved by it. After a few songs from her debut solo album and a brave cover of 'D.A.N.C.E.', she announced she was going to play an old HotB song before launching into 'Shanghai'. Check out the video here and for more on Hang on the Box, click here.