Gig Review: One Night in April… @ Dos Kolegas, 2010.04.24
It turns out that last weekend was not a fluke. I have been reformed in my opinion of Dos Kolegas as a venue because even this week, with a buzzing crowd and rocking music, I was not disappointed. The only thing that would have been nice was a little help behind the bar, but Doufu keeps himself on his toes and never skips a beat. The mood of this gig, though, was entirely different to Lonely China Day last week, and much closer to what I expect of a night at Dos Kolegas.
Unfortunately, I missed SUBS. Why they were up first when they were one of the longest-running bands there, I’m not sure, but they played and all I heard about them was that they were noisy and a bit boring. Then again, I was talking to new arrivals so I’m not sure I got the most measured opinion. I’ll have to check them out at some point, but what I did get in return was an unexpected fifth act on this already jam-packed bill.
The first band I saw was 24 Hours. Wait, strike that. The first band that was playing with 24 Hours. I stuck it out for one song, but then I couldn’t take it anymore. I haven’t listened to much of their music, just what’s on compilations I’ve bought recently, but I thought I was going to enjoy them. It didn’t happen. While the band were interesting to watch and had a great energy, their music just grated on my nerves and the female vocalist was not working for me. I’m willing to put it down to my not being in the mood, but I won’t be hurrying out to check it any time soon.
Next up were the surprise guest, Ourself Beside Me. I had been talking earlier with someone who’s been banging around the scene for six years or so, one of those stylishly bored types who thinks the scene’s tanked since it’s gotten popular. Still, despite bagging out the venue and the crowd, and mentioning that Ourself Beside Me had “dyked out”, he was still in there starting the mosh a few minutes later. As last I saw them, it was a tight set. They weren’t as low-energy as they were last time, with the lead singer looking around the crowd with wide, accusing eyes as she sang. It was an engaging set, and at least there was nobody puking on the floor this time.…
Next up were DH & Chinese Hellcats, who I have recommended many times for gig of the week but never actually seen, for one reason or another. The first time I saw them was last year at Dos Kolegas towards the end of summer, and the impression was great on me. They’re basically a cover band, playing lots of swing and jazz songs, but they’re always fun. Last time, they had a bunch of members of Swing Beijing attending the gig, so it burst into a dance party and was an absolute riot. This time, there was no swing dancing but plenty of people trying. It’s the sort of music that makes you get up and dance, whether you want to or not.
Then, just when I thought that I had missed Steely Heart in the beginning and Ourself Beside Me had been standing in for SUBS, they took the stage somewhere after ridiculous o’clock. I’m glad I stuck around for them, though, because they are always a great act. They played some new songs that I didn’t recognize from their EP, and of course all the familiar ones. It was lots of fun, not least of which because I had had enough ¥15 Haerbin beer to make me dance around like one of those crazy foreigners you’ll always find rocking out just a little too much at any given Chinese gig. Whatever, I was having fun. And will never get sick of Steely Heart, even if they always seem sick of singing.
Videos to follow, if I deem my camerawork “not too drunk to watch”.