The last few weeks have seen a steady stream of great gigs on the Shanghai live scene, something that is set to continue this weekend. Does this mean that the city needs more gig venues? We’re not so sure, but there are a few signs of some more live options coming our way. First, a certain underground rehearsal studio has started putting on the occasional show and will host Torturing Nurse‘s 5 year anniversary in a few weeks. Second, Soma – the people behind the Indie Top label, which hosts bands such as Momo and The Mushrooms – are reported to be looking at opening a live venue as well. Of course, this is a sign of the increase in recent months in the number of talented local bands capable of putting on a great live show, but we’ll wait to see whether such expansion is sustainable.
In the meantime, Shanghai’s premier livehouse is quite happily going about its business. Tonight they’ve got sweet indie-folkster Wu Hong Fei and her band Happy Avenue in tow. Despite Happy Avenue being the apparent headliners for this show, their saccharine sound means that they’ll actually take the stage before the more rocky “support” act Monroe Stahr.
¥60, 9.30pm, 1731 Yan’an Xi Lu (entrance on Kaixuan Lu), 延安西路1731号 (入口在凯旋路).
Has there been some sort of tear in the space-time continuum that has resulted in a slew of Nordic metal bands being deposited in Yangpu lately? Yet another one can be found blinking and slightly disorientated up at Live Bar this Friday in the form of Norway’s K Jell.
¥40, 9pm, 721 Kunming Lu, near Tongbei Lu, 昆明路721号近通北路.
Saturday sees short and spiky pop-rock hitting YYT courtesy of one of the country’s finest bands: Hedgehog. Four years ago, they couldn’t get a gig – shunned by the Beijing scene who didn’t get their sound. Now, having just released their third album (upon which – shock horror! – they sing most songs in Mandarin as oppose to the English preferred on their previous two efforts), they arrive in town as a band at the height of their powers and one of the most cherished acts on the underground scene. Miss them at your peril.
¥40, 9pm, 1731 Yan’an Xi Lu (entrance on Kaixuan Lu), 延安西路1731号 (入口在凯旋路).
Some bands are workaholics. Mio Myo from Berlin may well fall into this category, although maybe they’re just very efficient. Either way, this German “ghost rock” (read: electro-rock with echoey vocals) outfit are planning to crack out two shows in one night on Saturday. First up, they’ll hit the stage at Live Bar once 21 Grams have done their indie rock thing, then they’ll trek in from the wilds of Yangpu to tear it up at LOgO.
Live Bar: ¥40, 9.30pm, 721 Kunming Lu, near Tongbei Lu, 昆明路721号近通北路.
LOgO: ¥40, 11.30pm, 13 Xingfu Lu, near Fahuazhen Lu. 幸福路13号, 近法华镇路
All of which should keep you busy until Re-TROS hit town next weekend.
Video: Hedgehog’s Wink, an old favourite