Gig Recap: gilded forest, Sphinx of Third Party,  Waidiren (2024.2.23)

gilded forest木与金, Sphinx of Third Party第三方狮身人面像, Waidiren外地人 at NEO Bar 2024.2.23

Was back in the warm (saucy) embrace of NEO Bar last Friday – my first taste of live music in China since the Year of the Dragon began. The evening also doubled as a reunion and farewell of sorts – as I bid adieu to my brother-in-arms (and fellow jingjiu connoisseur) Dave Carey of nugget records小块儿, Nocturnes曳取, lost memory machine, Gilded Forest木与金, and who the hell else knows. The former Beijinger was giving China one last reacharound with his band gilded forest – a mini tour kicking off in Shanghai.

The band were pretty friggin great – a glistening and rollicking swirl of neo folk and indie magnetism. Tight, evocative with the perfect amount of crackling edge and enrapturing whimsy.

They even brought their Beijing friends Sphinx of Third Party – who were a great surprise – teetering the line between prickly new wave, woozy dream pop, and jagged indie rock with ease. Really like how the band morphed and shifted from song to song – giving audiences something different each time round. 

The evening also saw the return of the delightfully twisted and deranged Waidiren – whose ramblings uncoiled via the scrappy charisma and poetic jesting of its frontman (and fellow Will) in town for a couple weeks. 

As rowdy a night as they come. Thanks again to Neo, the bands and the people who came out. 

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