As mentioned earlier on this very blog, we had Snake & Jet's Amazing Bullit Band travelling all the way to China to play at the InMusic Festival and the Mao Livehouse. We've been pretty anxious to hear about the tour and now we got this pretty decent tour diary with pictures and all. Sounds like a big cultural experience for Thomas and Thor. Read along...
We set off to China to play two shows – and with the desire to get ripped of. All the stories abouthow the Chinese people do amazing scamson stupid tourists really fascinated us. We dreamt about all kinds of scams –the tea scam, the language class scam, getting scammed on stage, maybe in ourhotel, at least in the streets or in a cab? But later we discovered that getting scammed in Beijing, wasn't easy at all – at least not for the Bullit Band.
Our first evening in Beijing was spent hanging out at a place called the Guitar Bar. Great place with a guitar menu card to make requests from. Two guitarists was playing instrumental evergreens on acoustic guitars, with a criminal dose of chorus. A young local guitarist who played that evening told us with great passion about his favourite guitartracks – like Hotel California.. Thor refused an invitation to jam with the guys – he had to save his magic for our own show the next day.
Our first show in China was at a place called Mao Livehouse, close to our hotel. We started the day out with a delicious Hong Kong style lunch (spicy Chinese food) with our Canadian friend Jon, who was working for the InMusic Festival. Later we dragged our equipment through the extreme warm and muggy heat, through the grey smog and the smell from the small street kitchens, to Mao Livehouse which is a fine place that resembles any European rock club with black walls and warm beers. We played a fine show – loud and chaotic and just fine. Some familiar Danish faces in the crowd spoiled the exotic vibe of being thousands of kilometres from home, but showed to be great drinking companions later on.
Next morning we discovered the sensation of ice-tea-coffe-milk. A weird beverage from the local convenience store – a mix of Snake & Jet's favourite drink, coffee, and theChinese national drink tea – and then some milk. The taste can't be explained with words. Try it. Then we got in a bus with Jon and some famous Chinese band.This was the day we were playing at the enormous InMusic Festival – the reason we had travelled to the other side of the planet. The drive was meant to be twohours, but showed to be five. The people arranging the festival thought it might scare somebands of, so they said two instead of five. Very clever...
After passing five nuclearpower plants, a great wall, nomad gypsies with camels, various sandy mountainsand strange fields, we reached the festival grounds. A wide stretched plain, peopled with Mad Max motorists and military police all racing towards the GIGANTIC flat screen of the main stage. Our cunning driver chose the fast but bumpy straight route, delivering the slightly shaken artists to the chaos to come.
To the tones of atheatrical post rock band, we were greeted by numerous volunteers who made just as many plans of how to get us to our stage. Once we were there, in style, we got food and water. Next were more planning with more people. A local band with 9 members was down and out with diarrhea, and suddenly we were on stage.
The stage was very, very, very big, and the distance from the stage to the crowd was slightly bigger. Sowe played intensive and violently, just to realize that "TWISTEDMACHINE" on the stage next- yes, right next to us, opened their power rockballad - emo – metal – screamo - scratch show. I think they won the shoot outwith the Bullit Band, ‘cause after 30 minutes of mixed noise, Twisted Machineplayed on for an hour more or so. Enough to become soundtrack to our autographsession with Chinese kids, a great multiple television interview, some web TVstuff and a cup of water.
We think, in our best lovefull nihilistic way, that driving home to Beijing at night and getting pissed in local liquor, were the most sensible thing to do, other than maybe just run randomly around the Mad Max plains of southern Mongolia. Stopping for snacks and beer on Chinese motorways is FUUUUUN. Drinking for the power plant employees -yeah come oooooooooooooooon!!!! Great buzz, five hours later we rolled into thelobby of our hotel, demanding more drinks, the receptionist picked up a phone –and a voice on the end of a line said sorry - no.
Not so rowdy, next morning we hit some sweet and greasy Shanghai breakfast. Some family at thetable next to us got some roots with crystals, and another table got served some blue alive sea flower creature from thedeep sea surprise. Pretty cool, and strange. Doggy bags allowed...
Hunting for the last touristtrophies, we walked around and took pictures of literary everything. Streetwelders, ping pong champions, uniformed kids, laundry, pretty signs. Onlystopping to drink funny (yes, to us..) soft drinks and hot yoghurt.
Last treat for the band, with an even longer name in Chinese, were euro-drinking with Danish friends,that happened to be around. Fun but lame to write about.
To sum things up, It was a blast. Now we're home, and miss the smell, noise and colourfulness of Beijing.We miss the many nice and helpful people of Mao’s Livehouse, the InMusicFestival and friends in Beijing. We miss the state of 20 million people livingin a cloud of smog. We miss the sweet fear of getting scammed (we never gotscammed..). We miss the pretty girls on electric scooters, and the checkerplaying men. The pumpkins on the rooftops and the vanilla aircon. Too many impressions to cover with words, and for sure with music.
Sounds pretty nice in our ears here at the new HQ! We're also diggin this neat little video about the Peace Boat game a lot!
Snake and Jet will be going back for more Kinøjser action to play another big festival in October of this year. Hope to have more interesting stories then!