My buddy and French doppleganger Elie headed down south last holiday weekend for the No Gulou! extravaganza – he’s his breakdown plus some nifty pictures!
Last week I attended Su & The Paramecia’s release party for their latest album Out Of The Labyrinth, which also happened to be a showcase for its newly founded label. The latter hosts some of the most colourful bands based in Beijing, one of their common traits being a dedication to musicality, most of them being heavily influenced by the 70s.
I arrived a little late, so I missed young guitar explorer Li Eryang‘s demonstration of cosmic music, but I did get to catch MC Dawei‘s stage antics for a couple songs, with one magical moment when the keyboard player improvised a first-class solo.
The following band was The Peppercorns, led by Harridans’ keyboard player Eric, who was wearing a cape and has been building a most efficient surreal stage presence. I said last time I saw them at Yue that there was potential to grow, and I wasn’t wrong. The Omni show was much tighter, and captured the audience throughout.
After that Macondo took the stage and boy were we in for a treat! The electro-prog-rock instrumental outfit (side note: I cannot for the life of me get genres right) has been delivering powerful and efficient beats and riffs for over a year now and they did not disappoint, pounding the crowd into a trance with an electric performance.
After a welcome break allowing our souls to find their way back to their bodies, The Harridans‘ set begun, starting with the lunar appearance of a man in his boxers dancing to the psychedelic grooves of the merry lads. One of the highlights was when they invited members of the audience to join them on stage for some backing claps. A lot of love could be felt between the band and their fans, which is always special.
Finally, Su and The Paramecia got on to provide the final fireworks to an already brilliant night. It took some fumbling around and some headscratching of the sound technicians before they could get the band ready to play, and that’s no surprise, there were at least 10 musicians on stage, some of them with acoustic instruments. It worked out after a short time, although unfortunately the end result was still a tad muddled. What to say about Su’s performance? The man has an incredible voice, and on a couple songs it felt like the whole room vibrated together. There was great chemistry between the musicians, and more on-stage antics involving one of them refusing to stand without his golden cape. Someone joined them for one last song, although I have no clue who that was.
And just like that it was over, and we found ourselves on the street, desperate for a cab but with sparks in our eyes and contentment only a great musical night out brings.