It was inevitable. A week into the New Year and we are already saying goodbye to one of the city’s few venues for underground bands. 4Live limped to a close last night after a year of struggling to make it promoting live music in the city of turntables (and laptops). Opening as a beacon of hope for those interested in the underground music scene the venue was plagued by internal management problems and an identity crisis that lead to its demise. Lucky for us that both Live Bar and Yuyintang are going strong with regular gigs, while Logo (despite a crap sound system) and the Dream Factory still hold random shows. Also rumored to be testing the live music waters is the Shelter. It seems that no matter how far under the ground you push it, the scene manages to survive.
In other news, we have heard rumors that the besides the vomit-inducing (in a really bad way) DJ Sasha, Smirnoff (thanks to Split works) will be bringing in UK rockers Hard-Fi for an event later this month. We hope this is true, because we honestly couldn’t take a night of DJ Sasha even while loaded on cheap vodka drinks.
For anyone who will be in Hong Kong next week, we strongly recommend checking out the inaugural Clockenflap festival at the Cyperport. Besides a great lineup of HK bands the organizers are bringing over a bunch of exciting young British bands, including the Young Knives and Bizali. Film, animation and installation art will also be on display, giving festival goers an orgy of sonic and visual pleasures.
Nightwish with Skylark, two goth metal bands from Europe, are playing at Hong Kong Gymnasium on January 23rd. Seems local promoters can’t get enough of this genre even with the pathetic turnouts at past concerts by other “well-known” European metal bands. Dream Theater, a metal band actually worth seeing, is skipping Shanghai in favor of Beijing for the China leg of their Asia tour on January 22nd. While Shanghai based promoters China West is back with Incubus in early March at the Yun Feng Theater.
(video of PK-14 at 4Live)
Abe Deyo is Shanghaiist’s Music Editor. Email tips, recommendations, news and gossip about Shanghai’s music scene to music at shanghaiist.com.