Sunday, December 13, 2009


I'd decided against joining the foreign journalists' Christmas bash at The Bookworm on grounds of cost (and value).

I'd run into Abigail Washburn at the Tag Team Records party on Friday, and learned that she was playing a Saturday night gig at Yugong Yishan. That was very tempting - but then I remembered the misery of the last time she played there: the acoustics are so poor, and the background hubbub from the bar/lounge area at the rear of the room so loud that acoustic bands (and even some of the quieter electronic ones) get drowned out; Abby performed there a couple of years ago with some Chinese traditional musicians, and they were struggling to keep playing over the din, they couldn't hear themselves. Wretched. I gave up and left. So.... I didn't fancy suffering that experience again (even though the sound system is somewhat improved at YY these days, the background noise problem isn't).

Luga has been advertising another of his Chinglishly titled 'Football Watch' parties, since there are a number of big match-ups in the English Premier League this weekend. Again tempting - but no early kickoffs on Saturday, alas. I could have sworn Luga had published a programme of games spread throughout the evening - maybe he's showing re-runs on Sunday??

Ginkgo was having an "Arabian night", with a guest chef and belly dancers. That sounded like it might be fun (and it is a conveniently short walk from my home), but their erratic marketing may have let them down again - the place was near deserted when I wandered past mid-evening.

So, I was rather at a loose end.... until....

.... I discovered that Mao Mao Chong was closing down (I'd met the owners a few times at 12 Square Metres; they're friends of the folks there). Well, moving out, I should say. They've found new, larger premises just off Jiaodaokou Nandajie, and are aiming to relaunch by the end of the week (so, another party on Friday....). Their initial venue has been on the aspiring-to-be-trendy Wudaoying Hutong; a curious concept - a t-shirt boutique that also has a small bar.... and a very fine selection of unusual spirits and imported beers. (Their new place, I gather, is going to emphasise the bar aspect more than the t-shirts, and is also going to be a pizzeria. Proper pizza, just off Nanluoguxiang??? Now, that I'm looking forward to.) Their idea last night was that it was going to be a pain-in-the-arse to carry all their stock over to the new place, so they would invite a few friends over to try to drink up as much of it as possible. Half-price (or rather less than half-price) on everything all night. Oh dear. Even I was feeling quite giddy, after 7 or 8 strong ales (one easily loses the knack of drinking proper beer in this country). One of my friends drank about two-thirds of a bottle of whiskey, and then forgot his own name.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.....

Maybe I would have been better off with midnight football or inaudible folk music or belly dancers....


utica band guy said...

Hey thanks for the update. I enjoy this blog.

Froog said...

Well, I hope so. That does sound rather like a spam comment - but Mr Utica does have a blog of his own.

Drop by again some time.

Froog said...

God, Luga is a hopeless case!

His 'Football Watch' party was scheduled for the following night, Sunday.

He had been promising full, 'as live' re-runs of the Chelsea v Everton at 6pm and Man Utd v Aston Villa at 8pm, followed by the live Liverpool game at 11pm.

I don't think the Villa game appeared at all. The re-run of the thrilling Chelsea/Everton clash didn't start until nearly 9pm; and then Kthey only showed the 1st half!!!!! And, of course, the Sunday afternoon live game at Anfield didn't kick off until midnight, Beijing time (I went home to watch it).

Dear, dear Luga. Lovely guy - but quite incapable of reading a TV schedule, or working out timezone differences. Luga's Villa, alas, is never going to make it as a sports bar.