Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top Five Lamented Music Bars

We still have plenty of decent music bars in Beijing, notably What Bar (which turned 9 years old a couple of months back), Jianghu (which, amazingly, just celebrated its 5th birthday this last weekend), 2 Kolegas (which turned 6 this summer), and Jiangjinjiu (which must also be 6 years or so old now). And the last couple of years have seen a rush of newcomers like Tiny Salt, Gulou 121, Alanting, Zui Yuefang, VA Bar, and (my personal favourite of these) Hot Cat.

But I still get a little wistful about some of the places I enjoyed in my early years here.

My Top Five Disappeared Music Bars

5)  Get Lucky
A horrible bar run by Mongolian gangsters (they had a very unsalubrious "upmarket" KTV wing out the back, and a house pickpocket) – but it was the first live music venue I discovered here, and they did put on a few good shows.

4)  River Bar
More of a folkie vibe, although I’m told they used to have a few rock shows too. I kind of missed out on this one’s heyday, since it folded less than a year after my arrival.

3)  Wuming Gaodi (Nameless Highland)
Fiendishly difficult to find, and severely unwelcoming on the service front – but a great space, and host to some of the best gigs I’ve seen here.

2)   Loupe Chante
Yugong Yishan boss Gouzi’s first venture – it lasted barely a year, but it had a tremendous atmosphere, a properly grungy little rock’n’roll bar.

But, in the top spot we have

1)  Yugong Yishan
One of the reasons I so despise this bar’s later, more grandiose incarnation is that it is such a wretchedly pale shadow of the brilliant original. 4 or 5 years ago, I was a weekly – sometimes twice or thrice weekly – visitor here. Of course, it helped that it was right next to Sanlitun and Gongti…

1 comment:

april said...

Great list of decent music bars, but I think live music nyc bars is also very famous than these bars. I visit there every week, and there we feel tremendous atmosphere.