There’s a thriving music scene in Beijing, although I didn’t get to see any of it. Goldie was playing the night we left (December 23rd) and Zhang Shouwang, the guitarist from Beijing band Carsick Cars was doing a gig with his other project, ‘experimental rock band’ White+. I haven’t managed to track down anything by White+ but Carsick Cars are well worth checking out. They toured the US in 2009 on a sort of cultural exchange, and then split up, although the guitarist has continued under the same name.
Here’s their biggest hit, Zhongnanhai which is both the name of a top-selling Chinese cigarette brand and the name of the Chinese Communist Party compound. They do some tracks in English too, which you can find on YouTube, but I quite like not knowing what they’re on about!
In 2012 the UK Government is putting on a big promotion of UK music, art and culture in China. I’m not sure who or what we’re sending over, but I’m going to try to find out. Will we be sending the UK equivalent of Carsick Cars, or will it be something nice and safe and mega-selling?