July 17, 2012

Beijing after dark

So there I was… in Beijing this time, on a recent balmy Saturday night following a week of work all over China. Having had the most wonderful meal at a friend’s house we ventured out for a walk and then into a beer garden to hook up with some other friends. A few pale ales later it was decided we should chance our arm at a gig. A Chinese band Snapline were playing locally. It was either that or some dodgy night club – I reckon we made the right call.

Off we marched. Getting a cab in Beijing at 1am is no easy feat as there simply doesn’t appear to be enough of them. So a 20 minute yomp brought us to the venue – whose name escapes me – really at this stage I’m just along for the ride following my super knowledgeable hosts Ben, Rob and Chas. Arriving bit late we missed the opening acts but we were in good time for the main event.

Snapline are actually the first Chinese band I’ve ever seen and if I may say, pretty darn good. Best described as a love child of a spawning between Joy Division and Radiohead. The start was pretty sombre but a few of the final tracks got the crowd fired up and pumping. Snapline are one of China’s better bands  – some say top 10 and, whilst I’m no muso I thought they were… er… technically pretty good. By the end I could honestly say I’d really enjoyed it. Particularly liked lead singer Chen Xi’s ‘Back the Future’ movie t-shirt. A fine piece of retro-pop cool. Nice.

Big thanks to Ben, Rob and Chas for the experience. See you next time.