Over the past few months Chongqing has played host to some of the biggest names in the Chinese indie-music scene, and the Month of May promises to be no different as heralded acts, both foreign and domestic get set to rock the once dubbed 'cultural desert.'
Fresh off of their Chongqing debut back in March, Shanghai live music and party brand 'The Antidote' make their return to Nuts Club, this time with Danish electro-soul/rock duo Reptile and Retard. If March's 'Antidote,' and the press Reptile and Retard have garnered is anything to go by, Saturday the 8th of May promises to be a good one, as the consensus seems to be that their live show is a spectacle not to be missed. The charisma and showmanship of the band's singer 'Reptile,' who while touring China last year, became known for his stage antics including jumping off of speakers, crowd-surfing, and a great deal of crowd interaction, all while the other half of the duo 'Retard,' provides the musical backdrop to Reptile's gospelesque voice, creating bass-heavy electronic music with a laptop, effects pedals and a custom key-tar, as given the Danes praise as one of the must see bands in China this year. Antidote's mission of creating a party, as opposed to just a concert is always bolstered by DJs to keep the night going, and this time around will feature Shanghai via America DJ Ozone, as well as 1 or 2 more yet to be determined.
Later in the month the live-party atmosphere continues on Thursday the 20th, when French electro-rockers P.U.S.S.(and acronym for Party Under Sexy Skirt), also make their Chongqing return. After the success of last November's appearance at Nuts Club, when they had the near capacity crowd dancing and singing all night, Alliance Francaise and local promoters Fresh World Promotions(FWP), have teamed up once again to bring the high-energy out-fit back to the Shapingba live-house. Recently signed to Chinese indie label Modern Sky Records, P.U.S.S. has been building steam in China with tours the past few years, and the partnering with Modern Sky can only bode well for their presence within the middle kingdom, and we should expect to be seeing more of the Frenchmen in the years to come.
The following day, Friday the 21st, the highly regarded Maybe Mars, record company out of Beijing, bring their Independent China in Stereo series to Chongqing for the first time. Having recently returned from a stint at the prestegious South by South-West(SXSW) in Austin Texas, and a tour of America's North-east, Maybe Mars began a push to further the brand's reach domestically with Independent China in Stereo, a series of concerts showcasing 2 or more of the label's best bands. Volumes 1-4 were contained to China's east, venturing into Hangzhou and Shanghai, but the company are now making their way out west, in ironically, China's Southwest with Vols. 4 and 5 in Chongqing and Chengdu respectively, this time bringing along label heavyweights Carsick Cars, and relative newcomers 24 Hours. Carsick Cars, having garnered press from the likes of The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, The Newyorker, and The New York Times, to name a few, are one of the best and brightest acts in the Chinese music scene. Drawing comparisons to The Sonic Youth(whom they've toured and collaborated with) and Nirvana, Carsick Cars are guaranteed to bring out a good sized crowd of locals to see the progressive noise-rock trio. And with 24 Hours' "hard primal beat" dance-rock, also in-tow, Maybe Mars' first-ever Chongqing showcase will be nothing short of a rock & roll riot!
[originally published in Chongqing Currents magazine]