Gig Recap: Sleeping Dogs, Bayan Dalai, Pizzaface (2021.03.13)

Sleeping Dogs, Bayan Dalai 巴彦达莱, Pizzaface 披萨脸 (Bandai Namco 万代南梦宫/Yuyintang Park 育音堂音乐公园 2021.03.13)

Headed to Bandai Namco for the first time this year and what a treat. It’s been a while since I caught Beijing instrumental outfit Sleeping Dogs, made up of some of the indie underground scene’s most prolific musicians including Liu Xinyu (Deadly Cradle Death), Abing (Boiled Hippo) and Li Zichao (The Molds) and boy did not disappoint.

Bringing in some top-notch help for the occasion, with Zhang Yichi jumping on the keyboard, Zhou Zizhi on trumpet and Andi on percussion, they were able to expand and capture ever so dynamically their intricate and rich sound, injecting some groovy vibes throughout the venue for a solid hour and a half. Taking elements of African and Middle Eastern music and colouring its edges with a psychedelic simmer and a jazz-flavoured fluidity, it’s instrumental music that’s a delight to get lost in. And based on the reception, it’s clear that instrumental music of this variety is going to be a hot commodity in the years to come. 

Support came in the form of Xinjiang-raised Mongolian Beijing-based musician Bayan Dalai, another Spacefruity act. And while his set was on the shorter end, it was a pleasure to hear – beautifully atmospheric mix of ambient guitars and his evocative and filling voice.

The Beijing reunion continued down at Yuyintang Park where Beijing punk ruffians PizzaFace were in the midst of their set, part of a mini tour. Super fun band that’s the perfect balance between feisty and sweet – with a keen ability to pogo from bubbly indie pop to ferocious punk rock at the drop of a hat. Wished I was able to fully engage with their set but was dealing with a Didi driver from hell who had taken my phone hostage. Rock and roll. 

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