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- Posted on Jan 15th 2010 9:00AM by Tony Dekker
But how will their music be received by an audience worlds away? Frontman Tony Dekker and his bandmates are finding out as they embark on their first tour of China.
In Tony's second blog post, the band leaves Beijing for the lesser-known megalopolis Chengdu, discover DIY culture in the explosive city Wuhan and hang out at a place called 'Prison Bar.' Also, harmonicas...
January 9, 2010 - 11:40am
Last night we played at the appropriately named Little Bar in Chengdu, which is a contrast to Beijing in several ways -- the most immediately noticeable being the significantly warmer temperature, due to its position on a delta basin. The mild weather makes it feel sort of like the west coast of British Columbia.
Little Bar was cozy and full and had more of a Chinese audience than last night. The openers, a local band called Novocaine, were also very good and had a sort of space-rock feel to their music. Shout-outs also go to Indie Coffee, located next door to the bar, for our relaxed pre-show hangout there.
With Beijing being such a diverse, multicultural and touristic city, I feel like we got to see a small piece of the real China in Chengdu.
We're currently waiting at the airport because our morning flight to Wuhan was unfortunately cancelled. It's nothing that a hot bowl of noodles and some strong coffee can't solve, though. It's giving us a chance to ruminate on the experience so far and talk about life, politics and the arts. It's an enlightening delay, but hopefully we can catch the next plane to Wuhan in time for soundcheck.
Jan 9, 2010 - 10:05pm
After a flurry of transportation from the airport to the venue, we've made it just in time to have a quick soundcheck at the VOX club in the city of Wuhan. The miles of construction on the highway drive from the airport is staggering. This all gives way to a somewhat surreal urban scene, complete with neon-lit skyscrapers, in the downtown core.
The venue manager Like Lee met us at our hotel, where we had just enough time to drop off our bags, and walked us across the street to the venue. VOX's slogan "Voice of Youth - Voice of Freedom" is prominently splashed on the wall behind the stage, and the moment we step inside the cavernous space I immediately feel that tonight's show is going to be something very special.
Interestingly enough, the local opening act, Man Made Lake, consists of four Canadians, one American and one Chinese musician. To think we've flown halfway around the world and the other band is being headed by a dude from Victoria, BC just drives home how small the world really is.
The club has a great energy and enthusiasm about it, and it leads me to think that the independent, DIY spirit is alive and well here. The enormous buildings with their outlandish, dazzling neon signs combined with the hustle of the street vendors and the sheer volume of people out for a stroll on a Saturday night give Wuhan the feel of a city about to explode.
Jan 10, 2010 - 8:55am
Another early start to the day, made all the earlier by a late night hangout at the indie record store/little pub known as the "Prison Bar." Last night's show was packed with energy, and I think our performance has really hit its stride after working out the bugs with our borrowed equipment and hectic schedule.
There were many English-speaking ex-pats from around the world in attendance, but at the same time I really feel like we're connecting with the Chinese audience, as well. The VOX really seems like the cornerstone for independent musicians and bands in this part of the country and it felt great to tap into that.
I've also noticed that in China people LOVE the harmonica. There's been an eruption of cheers each time I put on my harp and brace to play our song 'Various Stages.' Note to self: write more songs with harmonica in them.