Saturday, December 15, 2007

In no particular order

Last night's gig was indeed a corker - more than living up to the high expectations I'd had for it in advance.

After years of failing to catch Ziyo, I've now seen them 4 times in just over a month. And they just seem to get better each time - absolutely awesome set last night! I believe they're bringing out an EP soon - I want it. And damn, I am so in lust with their gorgeous singer, Helen.....

SUBS, alas, were not playing after all (although their awesome frontwoman, Kang Mao, was hanging out in the audience); and there were some other unexplained alterations to the originally advertised line-up. At least there was a sheet of paper beside the entrance with the running order of bands written on it - an extremely rare phenomenon in Beijing! However, it was barely legible; and one of the bands' names was written only in Chinese, which was no use to me. And it didn't inspire any great confidence in me that these would actually be the bands appearing...... or that they would come on in that order.....

Ourselves Beside Me opened. Never heard of them before, but worth watching out for again - catchy songs, punchy drumming, good musicianship.... terrible name. Then we had 24-hour Party People - originally from Xi'an, I'm told: another tight little trio, and they sing well in English. Excellent warm-up..... and then, Ziyo - wow!

I feel a little ashamed of my slutty disloyalty (and I hope my appreciation is grounded in the music, rather than just the fact that Helen is so damned hot), but I rather think they are edging out SUBS for the accolade of being my favourite band. Although, hell, it's hard to judge, hard to make any comparison, since they're so different in style - Ziyo far more melodic, more commercial (this is both a pro and a con for me...) pop-punk, whereas SUBS are raw, raving angry-punk.

Last on were, I suppose, the band with the Chinese-only name. They had a thankless task going on after Ziyo. And after 2 hours of blistering music, I was getting a little weary...... and a little impatient to get back over the road to the Pool Bar; I quit after a couple of songs. They might possibly have been Queen Sea Big Shark (about the right number of characters!), who had been advertised on the flyers for the show; although, if they were, they were unrecognisable - having chosen to dress as dowdy students in non-descript slacks and sweaters rather than their usual sexy rock'n'roll look.

Yes, another great night at Mao Live (although they yet again ran out of local beers rather quickly - first the cans of Yanjing, then the little bottles of Tsingtao - and I do object to paying 25 or 30 kuai for a crappy imported brand like Heineken or Corona). Despite being stood up by my intended companion, The Choirboy, I had quite a sociable evening, running into several people I knew, and making some new friends too.

Ah, yes, and I even managed to win a few games of pool before and afterwards as well. A fine start to the holiday season....

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