China Music coming of age

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It’s our 4th birthday.  4 years ago today, we wrote a somewhat snippy review of the first stadium show by a Western rock band in China. You can read again here Linkin Park at Hongkou Stadium in 2007. With age and maturity (!!) we understand better the difficulty of such a feat and also the significance of the show. It is only when such milestones are passed that they become standards from which we can move forward.

Uprooted Sunshine Shanghai, 6th Birthday

And while November marks four years of the Radar observing the huge growth and progress that has been made in China’s still nascent music scene, there are some other much more significant birthday celebrations this month and next that highlight the fact that China is beginning to see some experience added to the enthusiasm that has got us this far.

On Friday, we were down in Shanghai venerable old bomb Shelter celebrating 6 years of Uprooted Sunshine. China’s premiere roots and reggae outfit have been refuting the somewhat crazy notion that reggae belongs in China: the crowd at Vibronics, while still nominally expat had a more than healthy section of roots-loving Chinese fans. ChaCha, the main MC for Uprooted was performing a farewell show before heading off to Europe having been selected for this year’s Red Bull Academy. She will play at selected European festivals after the RBMA. This is all at Shelter, which of course is celebrating it’s 4th year in business at the end of the month. Lots of wonderful achievements wrapped into a tight little ball.

All the while, we’ve been following Carsick Cars as they seem to be raging through Australia on tour, and Hedgehog added to their US fanbase on their 3rd tour of the country in October. At the same time, we are over the moon to see Hanggai high up the bill on a mainstream Australian festival that we are planning to go to at Christmas.

Hedgehog Beijing band in New York with Xiu Xiu

Carsick Cars, Australian tour

Back to the birthdays for a second: our sister company Split Works is celebrating 5 years in the promotions business in China. a few hundred shows all over China and SE Asia, the JUE Festival, the Black Rabbit Festival, Wooozy and lots more. There will be 5 shows in 5 days for 5 years, featuring artists old and new: Trippple Nippples, the Iron Mic 2011 MC competition, Chad Valley, X is Y, Jay.Soul, Hamacide and Eat Alien Brain, a trancecore outfit from Chengdu….

Split Works 5 Years Old

Shameless self promotion aside, it is for definite exciting times for China’s underground music scene. Lots of festivals, lots of live houses, a few new labels: welcome to a brave new world of Chinese Music!


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