Archive for the 'Chinese Rock' Category


Beijing Band Hedgehog…

Another ‘Beijing’ band I’m getting into is Hedgehog who are with Modern Sky Records. I mainly like their catchy indie songwriting and I’ve picked a few gems off itunes from their Blue Day Dreaming album. They released another album in March this year which I’ve yet to check out. The following youtube clip was the closest thing I could get find to a video clip but the soung production of them playing live is pretty good.


Xie Tian Xiao: Chinese zither meets modern rock…

I’d heard about xie Tian Xiao around on the blogosphere but it wasn’t until recently I began to appreciate his mixture of moderate rock songwriting with traditional Chinese instruments and I find it mixes well.  He’s definitely an artist I’m going to keep following…

He and his band The Cold Blooded Animals were the first Chinese band to play SXSW. He’s also known as XTX


Carsick Cars play Sydney November 2011

The Carsick Cars are one of my favourite indie rockers hailing from Beijing. They’re my musical ‘happy place’, and it was great to catch them for their first gig in Sydney at the FBI social, Kings Cross hotel last Thursday night.

I thought I wasn’t going to be able to make it to the gig but luckily I managed, with the help of a photographer who also took some great pics. There wasn’t a huge write up in the local street/music rag (Drum Media) but I did find something towards the end… Photos of the gig courtesy of Oliver Dunlop



Favourite Beijing Band

The Carsick Cars are coming to Sydney -but alas I won’t be able to see them coz I’ll be out of town…

I’ve been following some for Chinese indie-rock scene because there’s a freshness and absence of ‘over-marketing’ that permeates the Western music industry.

Some other bands I’m liking are P.K.14, The Gar and Hedgehog

The Carsick Cars will play in Sydney on Thursday November 3 at the FBI Social, Kings Cross Hotel.

For more info see: and

or google it…


Saw Wubai and China Blue in Sydney…

As I’ve said before Wubai is a rock icon of the Chinese speaking world, up there with the likes of Cui Jian. My impression is he’s done it through songwriting and writing songs that capture the imagination of his audience, rather than just trying to be a ‘Chinese Bon Jovi’ or imitate Britrock…

And he’s a world-class entertainer as I witnessed on Friday night in Sydney’s Roundhouse venue at the University of New South Wales. Even though the concert venue was downgraded from a small stadium to a medium-sized gig, you wouldn’t know of any disappointment on his or his band’s part because they gave an infectious performance that earned them two encores. I had seen them play about 7 years ago in Taiwan, but because this was a smaller and more intimate venue, I was really impressed this time around, and the sound was great. Furthermore, Wubai plays a rock-star as second nature without being cocky or arrogant, which endears his audience to him. He and his band have been doing it for 20 years and you could tell. I’ll see them again if I get the chance.



Wubai and Chinablue playing Sydney

Wubai is a Taiwanese and Chinese rock icon -kind of like the Jimmy Barnes or Bruce Springsteen of the Chinese-speaking world but he’s a bit more indie and alternative with some of his songs… He’s a great songwriter, and with his band, he’s going to play in Sydney at the Horden Pavilion. I think it’s still aimed at the Chinese population because I haven’t seen it in the English media here, but I’m thinking of going along at any rate…



Maybe Mars…

It’s true what they’re saying about the new role of labels: they’ll help filter out the white noise on the net. I’ve found a label to my liking -China’s Maybe Mars (… First I got into the Carsick Cars -they earned some publicity from their SXSW impact, and it started from there…

 Another label I’ve taken note of but it’s not quite my taste is Aussie label Ivy League Records (… But you can trust their tastes and it’s easy to follow a few similar bands rather than be bombarded with a bunch of songs from artists you’ve never heard of and you’ve no time to sift through… 

My personal situation though, is that I’m a little tired of the Western scene -having lived in Asia as a teacher I’ve found the indie scene in places like Taiwan and China far more fascinating, because there’s a freshness from a culture that doesn’t have such a overwhelming rock tradition and they’re often coming from a different perspective but it’s still similar to my tastes in underground or alternative indie. I’m tired of the ‘look at me’ vibe that permeates Western bands. We’re kind of weighed down with decades of cock-rock excess and posing whereas the Beijing scene comes from humbler beginnings.  Bands there don’t expect to become stars -they never will and they know that, so they do what they do because they love it, and there’s less pressure and expectations because 99.99% of the Chinese population don’t care anyway. They’re free to create how they want and I love that.