After a couple days staggering around Ningbo and Shanghai, it was time to head home — but not without a slight detour to Wuhan, the city which rivals Beijing in its massiveness (it’s essentially three cities tied together). It was a rushed endeavor for sure with really only one goal in mind – to check out the renowned VOX Livehouse, a venue that’s become one of the most significant livehouses in China over the past decade. And it’s easy to see why. Spacious, friendly, with a strong clientele of students and music lovers, and killer sound to boot, it’s no wonder bands across China put Wuhan in their itinerary.
One such band was Fuzhou’s THE 尺口MP, a band that popped up on my radar when Qiii Snacks Records (pretty much the best label to emerge in the past year) released their stellar debut in early April. They were pretty much the reason for my short stay in Wuhan but Wuhan’s own crop of bands impressed the hell out of me just the same.
浪味仙贝(or Shrimp crackers I think?) is the kind of lo-fi retro-fitted pop punk that I can easily fall head over heels for. Laid back, endearing, solid, and effortless – it may not be much to bet on but trust me when I say these guys rocked.
The Crow on the other hand were using a much bigger canvas for their own brand of melodic indie rock, injecting everything from grunge to funk to emo into their songs. It’s pop music through and through but done with genuine emotional heft and skillful instrumental work. Have a feeling we’ll be hearing about these cats soon enough.
And of course the highlight of the evening were THE 尺口MP (pronounced The Romp) – the Fuzhou ‘leisure-pop trio’ whose lo-fi jangly selves were an absolute delight to hear live. A bit of surf rock, some shoegaze riff raff, and plenty of dream pop reverb, it’s the type of music that conjures up summer on the spot. Just look at those kids eating it up and throwing their own Beach Blanket Bingo party.
Solid evening of tunes —– and I’ll definitely to looking to hit up Wuhan again in the near future.