On The Scene: Yugong Yishan 20-03-2013


I knew full well that Yugong Yishan was going to be a clusterfuck of epic proportions as the esteemed Gang of Four (albeit with just Andy Gill on guitar), one of post punk pioneers, was to perform for the first time in Beijing. However, the more interesting matter was Andy Gill’s influence and fondness for the music scene here, particularly his involvement with AV Okubo’s latest album Dynasty, expected to come out sooner than later. So frankly, I was more curious to catch opening act – that was until word got out that Gang of Four was to debut a new song – a collaboration between AV Okubo frontman Lu Di, and Re-Tros singer Hua Dong (who also had toured with the band before) entitled “Broken Talk” – now going to the show was a must if only to catch this little gem –

an awesome representation of the cross-pollution that the music scene will likely be swimming in in the near future. Seriously, this is bad ass. Check out below to read up and check out videos from AV Okubo’s and Gang of Four’s sets, as well as Hua Dong rocking out to ‘Damaged Goods’. Fuck the entourage of cameras, steadicams, dollies, and heck, that one guy took up half the floor with his set up – this was too good to miss.


AV Okubo have been sitting on their old material for quite some time and frankly I’m dying for more. They still know how to rock out to their old tunes, especially ‘Love Song’ which never ceases to crack a smile and make me want to dirty dance

Nevertheless, I kept my eyes peeled for new material and eventually it came to me. I think it’s safe to say that the band ain’t gonna mess around with their latest.

Instead of the glossy, anime-rush of their earlier work, it seems their newer stuff has a sentimental bone to it. Yeah, the synths are still in heavy play, and you can never erase the 80s love their songs evoke, but it’s almost of though they are taking themselves more seriously this time round – with more focus on lyrics. Whatever the case, Dynasty clearly won’t be more of the same – let’s hope it gets here sooner than later.


This was Gang of Four’s night though and though I was never was an avid follower of the band’s music, they won me over – one of those times where I’ve gone directly home to check out their catalogue. Heck, how did I miss hits like this –

Yeah, it took a bit of getting used to seeing young fresh blood on stage next to Andy Gill, who pretty much stared down everyone like a silverback gorilla (but dude can wield that guitar), but they brought it.

High-octane, committed, theatrical – again, one of the times where you wonder why certain Chinese bands can’t be more active on stage – a little theatricality never hurt guys. Once again though, it wasn’t until Lu Di and Hua Dong joined the band on stage that the joint went into a frenzy – and when Hua Dong busted into ‘Damaged Goods’ – god damn do you sense the fire burning.

I’m sold at this point – sold on Gang of Four, sold on Hua Dong collaborating with just about anyone, and most of all sold that Chinese music scene is about to see how good times ahead of them as they enter the western market in style. Bring it on.


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