Gig Recap: Me & My Sandcastle, The Melancholy Club (2021.06.11)

Me & My Sandcastle, The Melancholy Club 伤心病团 – Ale Garden 艾尔花园 2021.06.11

New venue alert! Well, not new per se and a bit too far for city hipsters scared to leave the confines of Changping – but Ale Garden a slice of live music paradise located in Yangpu. Situated adjacent to a riverside park and behind an office complex, it’s a stand-alone venue that feels separated from just about everything in the area, inviting in both its cut-offness and its quaint yet effective layout, complete with a beer fridge, knickknacks, and warm lighting. It’s modest in the best possible way. For the occasion, listeners got a taste of China’s new generation of indie musicians as rising DIY label DingDingMao paired together lo-fi indie pop project Me & My Sandcastle, and scrappy punk rockers The Melancholy Club, who hail from Chongqing. 

Me & My Sandcastle, heralded by the young resourceful Xiao Liu, who eventually took his bedroom project to the stage complete with a full band. Capturing a sound that’s unassuming, loose, delicate and lite as a feather – a cross between a more sincere Mac Demarco and a slow tempo city pop band. It’s a bit rough (or soft) around the edges but there’s an earnestness to the bands indifferent swagger and melodic charm. They’ve got the chops. 

Speaking of ramshackle charm, punk rock trio The Melancholy Club was all kinds of fun. Just solid catchy pop punk with shades of The Libertines and other punk rock acts with a youthful vitality that’s hard to deny. Nothing more, nothing less – punk rock equal parts sweet and savory – and all better for it.

Gig goers — be sure to check out Ale Garden when you get a chance (Wechat Account: 艾尔花园)

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