Bigger Bang and Handsome Furs @ 2Kolegas, 8 August 2010

By , 2010年 8月 25日

Bigger Bang @ 2kolegas, 8 August 2010 (Image courtesy BeijingDaze)

It has been a long ways since a band I knew and cared about came through Beijing. It was dark and thick weather on the night of the Handsome Furs show at Dos Kolegas, only the lights from the drive-in theater. I went alone. It’s good to go alone I think, the listening is more honest. The Kolegas were packed, it was a mixed bag. Veteran expats, fresh off the boaters, Chinese students, young professionals, and big name big names venturing out from the confines of D22. When I came, the Bigger Bang had started. From what I heard, they sounded like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but with more cleavage.

Handsome Furs @ 2kolegas, 8 August 2010 (Image courtesy BeijingDaze)

The crowd was eager, starved hungry folks waiting for a feast. The Furs were playing with house odds. They grabbed booze and cigarettes and began. I was turned off by the anxious audience initially. The first songs were solid but unspectacular, and the synth and drum machine were too quiet, despite pleas from the band. Handsome Furs follows a function, a powerful formula. Strong driving synths, bumping drum machines, unfussy guitar lines, and good honest song writing. The quiet synths were inhibiting, but the show turned midway. The anxiety of my expectation was relieved. Furs had been testing a couple of new songs, and in their second experiment, “Repatriation,” they found new life (and the levels were adjusted). From then on I was a little more drunk and satiated. They saved what I think is their best song, “Dead & Rural,” for the inevitable encore. We were grateful, they were gracious.

Some pre-flight China tips from Handsome Furs (via fabubu)

Handsome Furs has come and gone and will come again. They’ve been to China several times, toured all over, and it seems they’ve caught something of the same bug as the rest of us. The indistinct yearning. They will be back in January, to live and exist in Beijing for a time at least. Even if you’re not a fan of their music, this is an exciting revelation, and a little bit frightening as well. The door is opening, the cozy cove that we call home is expanding. People have been ringing the bells for years now, but it’s another one of these things to look forward to. Oh, and it was nice to finally see a big touring band somewhere outside the cavernous arena of Yugong.

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