On The Scene: Temple 04-04-2013


For my second foray into the Sound of the Xity, I made my way over to Temple for some finger licking, uptempo, deep voiced acoustic goodness. With local Ningxia folk heroes Li Dong, and Guangdong coastal lovers Toy Captain, there was plenty of jovial, high spirit tunes to go around, perfect for the Gulou dig which refuses to not to have a good time.

Almost too good of a time, as by the time Korean duo SU:M got (oh sat) up on stage, the place was already in its usual rambunctious state of mind.


If there ever was a band that was born for the beach its Toy Captain. Everything about these boys screams sea shells, sand between your toes, and tiki fires.

It’s not often a sound that Beijing is graced with. There’s a southern mentality to their sound which brings a sense of ease and calm. I was often reminded of Hawaiian music – open chords which reflect the peaceful coastal lifestyle.

And really when you got cowbell and saxes accompanying you, you can’t go wrong.


It’s been a while since I last got my fix of Li Dong. And boy did I miss their brand of rich dusty folk.

Far from the beaches, this is Ningxia-flavored folk music, full of warm yet rough melodies, pristine and rugged – just like your grandpa’s whiskey.

And Li Xia’s voice ceases to amaze me. Ladies, best watch out. It looks like a few of their tunes are shaping up quite nicely which can only mean good things – new album perhaps.


I have no idea whose idea it was to have contemporary Korean duo SU:M perform last (or even at all here) at Temple, as this clearly wasn’t the right establishment for this kind of music. Luckily, the folks looking to hear some of the meditatively beautiful instrumental work got their asses on the floor.

Blue Stream Bar, Jianghu Bar, heck even XP might be able to handle music as delicate as this – but Temple – you got to be shittin me. Whatever the case, the girls gave it their all – quite the composers they are.


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