Friday, September 09, 2011

Something for the weekend!

I don't think this can be a candidate for my 'Great Love Songs' strand, because, frankly, I have no idea what it's about; the lyrics are too dark and weird for me to decipher. It's not quite a 'Great Drinking Song' either (although it was first introduced to me by Best-Barman-In-The-World-Ever, Big Nige, last year, and has been a popular fixture in our 12 Square Metres playlist ever since). It has an incantatory aspect to it that's very powerful; but it's just not singalong stuff. Well, apart from that groaning na-na-na-nah-naah chorus, maybe. But no, it doesn't have that rollicking, get-you-in-the-mood-for-another-round quality about it. Yet it is a great song.

I love this band, one of my favourite discoveries of the past year or so. I believe they provide potent support for my theory that great bands tend to have great band names (and vice versa). Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is surely one of the coolest band names ever (it's the name of Marlon Brando's biker gang in The Wild One), and on first hearing of them, I feared that they would struggle to live up to it. But they've got a stripped-down, grungy blues-rock sound that's right up my street, and they've come up with a number of hauntingly memorable songs.

Plus, of course, their drummer is dead sexy.

And they're playing in Beijing this weekend, headlining the Intercity Music Festival in Chaoyang Park on Sunday. Wild horses couldn't keep me away (although I suppose really bad weather or a dose of the laduzi might).

Here, then, is probably their best-known song, our 12 Square Metres favourite, Beat The Devil's Tattoo. The sound's not great in this version, but it is a very cool b&w performance video.

Here's another good version, performed for Santa Monica's KCRW.

[Another great performance from a show in Seattle last year here (but the video's not very good), an interesting acoustic session recorded for Paste magazine here, and the original video (which is a bit of a non-event) here.]


Froog said...

A great set from BRMC last night, playing just about a full hour - pretty much everything from the last album. They redeemed what was otherwise a criminally overpriced (220rmb for ONE DAY??!!) and deeply sucky day (of the other bands on the roster, only Reflector raised any interest in me at all; and even they have become lamentably bland and poppy in their maturity).

For once, Beijing Daze's Badr was in agreement with me on how good they were. Our tastes almost never coincide!

However, I think they would be even better in a small venue. They don't move around much, or make a lot of contact with the audience (one of them shrouded himself in a hoodie, to protect against the chill night air, for the first 20 minutes; and even when he shed it, he was staring at the ground almost the whole time - you couldn't get a clear view of his face). But they are very intense about the music that they're playing, and I think that passion would come across much more powerfully in an intimate setting. It's a great pity they didn't set up a side gig in MAO Livehouse (apparently they are playing the much bigger sister venue down in Shanghai today) or 2 Kolegas. If they come back here again, I hope they will.

Gary said...

Saw them in LA a couple of months back. Great band!!

I think you're right about more intimate venue suiting them. The crowd were feet away from them and it was electric.

Froog said...

I envy you seeing them up close. Where was that?