Gig Recap: Outsider Music Festival (2020.09.06)

[Outsider 局外之声] —- Jumping Goat 跳山羊, Dreaming Julie 发梦茱莉, Deadly Cradle Death 致命摇篮死 , Panic Worm 驚蟲, Domino Trigger 推骨牌的人 , Solid Liqui 固体李逵 (Bandai Namco 未来剧场 2020.09.05)

I love Bandai Namco – both upstairs and downstairs. I don’t think any other venue has a sound as good as them (and their bar is surprisingly affordable). But a dilemma I faced more than a few times last Saturday night – is that it’s too nice. The stage can become intimidatingly too big for livewire bands used to being in your face; the sound can become too clean and refined for an act that revels in dissonance and musical disturbance. Just something to consider – because even though there wasn’t one disappointing act tonight,  I often wished I was in a dingy basement pressed up against other sweaty attendees. 

Representing Shanghai and opening up for the jampacked evening was angular off-kilter post punk trio Solid Liqui, a band that always brings a smile to my face, and Domino Trigger, who brought some serious intensity to their set – they tap into something some primal and blunt and yeah, they’re a band everyone here in Shanghai should check out. 

Wuhan’s Panic Worm brought their jittery paranoid-skewed antics to the stage next – delighting in their crunchy and jagged arrangements and their sardonic demeanour that’s simply lots of fun to get lost in. It’s manic but never loses its cool, even when the dial turns way up. 

It’s always a pleasure to check out Beijing’s Deadly Cradle Death – a band I’ve held dear in my heart since I first accused them of witchcraft back in 2011. There’s just something hypnotic and chaotic about their sound – a pair that’s in complete command of their larger-than-life and often abrasive sound. 

The true surprise of the night was Dreaming Julie – the madcap freak jazz trio made up of renowned experimental and jazz figures Feng Hao, Liu Ping, and Yang Tao. I think the fact that I waited till I left Beijing to finally see them might have had something to do with my feelings – or the fact that I doubled over in laughter at the satirical edge found in both their visuals and their discordant sound. Simply put, punk as all hell. 

The evening closed out with a Xi’an Jumping Goat, a post punk outfit that’s not against putting a bit of punch in their step – charging through one erratic, melodically earful song after another. They’ve got the attitude down pat – and rarely let up during their set, allowing the dual female-male vocals to get the frantic energy high. A terrific and wiry performance – and a fine finish to a (very) tipsy night for me.  

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