Ever wonder what it takes to get a gig in a rock club in Shanghai? Evidently, all you have to do is walk the city streets carrying a guitar. Oh, it might also help if you are white. To wit:
Last weekend we had just purchased a new bass guitar from the music disctrict (yes, there is a musical instrument district), and we were getting pastries in this little shop when this chinese guy approached us and asked in very broken English “Are you band?”. To which we replied “Yes but we only have 4 songs!” When he responded: “Ok, can you play 4 songs Friday November 25th at my Club?” The other members told him we would. Then he gave us a card and went on his way.
What other city with 14,000,000 people can you simply be carrying an instrument and be asked to play at a club…without presenting a demo or anything?! They must be hard up for live acts.
Um, yeah. That’s exactly right. Thankfully, the band in question — they call themselves T is for Trebuchet — was actually pretty damn good. Now, this could have something to do with the fact that Shanghaiist is more than three years removed from live music bliss, living in Georgia, equidistant from Atlanta and Athens. But we’re pretty sure we can still trust our judgment — by the time T is for Trebuchet came on the stage at Live Bar we hadn’t consumed that many 20-kuai pitchers of beer. For a moment during their four-song set we almost felt we were back in the comfortable confines of the Echo Lounge. Almost. (Atlanta readers, is the Echo Lounge really closed? If so, tragic loss.)
Here’s hoping T is for Trebuchet learns more songs. Soon. (God, we are desperate in this town, aren’t we?)
Also on Shanghaiist:
Notes from the underground: Weekend in review
25 after 7: The Best Music of 2005 (so far)
Photo of T is for Trebuchet by Shanghai Streets. More photos here.