Friday, May 07, 2010

More on Midi

Well, not quite yet, no. Topicality is beyond me at the moment, since - after three or four months of miserable inactivity - I am suddenly ridiculously overstretched with work again. Always feast or famine for us freelancers!

I'll attempt to post a few more thumbnail reviews of the bands I saw and share some of the pictures I took, if I get a free minute some time next week. At present, I literally do not have a single free minute between now and Tuesday afternoon!!

For now, I'll share another link to the blog of Beijing's biggest music fan, Badr - his post about the last day of the Midi Festival on Tuesday. I was there too that day, but - remarkably - didn't run into him (his photos would seem to suggest that we watched almost all of the same bands, and from almost identical positions!).

Unfortunately, a huge electrical storm broke two songs into Free The Birds' set (awful name, Helen, awful name), and the power was immediately cut. I assumed this was done deliberately, for safety reasons; although some have speculated that there was a power outage all over the park (the food vendors didn't lose their power until several minutes later than the stages, so I don't think that's the case). It also seemed unlikely to me that there would be any chance of continuing with the day's music: it rained for half an hour or so, the first 10 minutes of it utterly torrential. Even if the storm passed over (and it was continuing to buzz and rumble for quite some time), it would take ages to mop the stages dry and check that all the sound equipment and cabling were fit to use again. There were only four bands remaining to play on the two main stages by this point (about 6.20 in the evening), and three of them - like many of the festival-goers, including myself - bugged out of there as soon as the rain started to let up a little.

However, the last act due on the Tang stage, Miserable Faith, gamely stuck around to see if there might be some way they could still play some of their set for the few thousand diehard fans who were lingering optimistically. When it eventually became apparent that it was not possible - or just not safe? - to fire up the PA again, the organizers hastily improvised a new stage arrangement with flashlights and bull-horns, enabling the band to play a handful of their most popular songs acoustic. Badr has photos and a couple of videos - check it out. It looks as though it was a quite magical experience. I am kind of sorry I missed it (almost, but not quite!).

[And I think I must make an effort to check out this Miserable Faith as soon as possible. They sound really rather good. I have long been put off by their godawful name, which makes them sound like just another bunch of generic Chinese death-metallers; an assumption that had been reinforced by the fact that they so often play with bands of that ilk at Club 13 and Mao. But no - there's much more to them than that. I have been unfairly ignoring them these past two or three years.]

1 comment:

Ruby said...

Yes, you really must catch Miserable Faith! They were one of the standouts from the disaster that was Strawberry Day 1 and then repeated that by saving the evening at Midi. I wish I had been there to see them again, even in the rain!