Friday, January 22, 2010

Place your bets...

Well, it is now less than 100 hours before The Killers are due to play at the Workers' Gymnasium on Gongti Beilu here in Beijing.

Who reckons the gig will actually go ahead?

Not me. But I'm embittered and cynical because we've had such a dreadful run of last-minute cancellations of visas and/or performance licences blighting the live music scene here over the past few years.

I understand The Killers are a pretty wholesome bunch, as rock stars go: no known involvement with drugs or irregular sexual activity; no strong political stance; no photographs taken alongside the Dalai Lama or Rebiya Kadeer. But there is still time for the (not so well named) Ministry of Culture to turn up some 'dirt' on them, I'm sure.

Not that I'm being a curmudgeon just because I couldn't afford a ticket, mind you. Oh no - I have friends who are going; and I wouldn't want to see them or the other fans disappointed.

What I'd really like to see is The Killers allowed in to strut their stuff, and then calling for the release of Liu Xiaobo before they start their encores. (I wonder if they've already signed Charter '08? Maybe somebody at the Ministry should check?)

If you're hoping to enjoy a good show at the Gym next Tuesday, I wish you well. But if I were a betting man - which I am, on occasion - I wouldn't be putting any money on it.


GracieLi said...

Wow, look at you predicting the future.

Froog said...

I guess the announcement may already have been out by the time I posted this - but I hadn't heard yet, honestly. And I have been saying the same thing to friends for weeks now.

It seems the whole Asian tour is off (but no reason given, as yet) - so maybe disappointing ticket sales were the reason. I had thought they might struggle to fill the Workers' Gym. They've got very little recognition among the Chinese audience as yet, and the tickets were very expensive.

My chief disappointment now is that we didn't get to test out the anxiety of the Chinese censors with this. Although they are talking about rescheduling the Asian dates "as soon as possible", so maybe we'll get back to this story later in the year....