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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Beijing Explosion at The Fringe Club Hong Kong with Snapline,Carsick Cars and Dreamlike

Snapline at The Fringe Club

Carsick Cars live in Hong Kong

Dreamlike debut at Beijing Explosion 2

The Fringe Club,Hong Kong was packed on Sunday night to check out the latest new indie bands from Beijing and to see how they compare with our local bands.First time round , last year Beijing Explosion gave us indie pop in the form of New Pants and Hedgehog and new punk with PK 14.

This time round the sound was totally different although Yang Haisong,vocalist of PK14 was the producer of Carsick Cars' album.We had 3 upcoming bands Dreamlike ,Carsick Cars and Snapline with a much more art-rock,edgy sound..
First band on was Dreamlike who made a promising start with their set.
The band are Johnny (guitar,lead vocals),Wang Zhe (bass,vocals) and
Chou Yun (drums).The band's sound was a mixture of punk and the classic blues guitar fuelled by the energy of the excellent Chou Yun on drums but became closer to a lighter, Brit-pop tempo on their final songs.I think the sound balance wasn't perfect for their set but I look forward to seeing more of the band.

Dreamlike live at The Fringe Club

Carsick Cars at The Fringe Club

Carsick Cars are one of the leading bands of Beijing's indie scene.They are gaining recognition outside of their native city and were asked to support Sonic Youth on their last world tour.The band members are Jeff Shouwang(vocals,guitar),Levis(bass) and Li Qing(drums and guitar).In this set the band more than lived up to expectations.From the opening song "Zhe yuan de ren ' to the closing 'Zhong nan hai' the band impressed.They are challenging but in Jeff Shouwang ,they have an outstanding guitarist and they know how to craft songs with big hooks.There's distortion and feedback galore on songs like 'Gum' and 'Hui shou' but more than enough massive guitar riffs to keep the audience involved in 'Hou dao','Xiong mao' and many others.The band finished their impressive set with 'Zhong nan hai' one of their best known songs.

Carsick Cars at The Fringe Club

There's a great buzz about this band and it's not surprising.Like the best classic indie bands they make a sound that is both exciting and challenging.Although sharing 2 band members Li Qing and Li Weisi with Carsick Cars,Snapline's sound is completely different,much darker and more introspective and brooding with a more synthesised avant-garde feel.Songs deal with topics as wide ranging as the origins of the universe on S*2 to pornography on 'Pornostar'.The band is fronted by vocalist Chen Xi,with his jerky,eccentric dance moves and passionate vocals and the sound is strongly reminiscent of early Joy Division and The Fall.
Snapline at Beijing Explosion

The band kicked off their set with agitated,synthesised rhythms and simple (but impenetrable) lyrics before launching into the more upbeat 's*1'('-Snapline 1)you need an explanation /that I can't tell' with its massive,anthemic guitar,followed bythe more downbeat 's*2'-Snapline 2 (every circle is a door to the end of the world).After 'Close your cold eyes' the band played their only love song,'Hey Jenny'.The sound became again more upbeat when Li Qing exchanged guitar for synthesiser on the next few songs before the band brought the set to an almost rocking finish with 'Holy comments'.Fascinating,intriguing,complex but above all ,challenging new music from Beijing and you can even dance to it too!

Beijing bands,please come back soon to Hong Kong!
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