First and foremost, what a fantastic set from VOOID. The Taiwanese band arrived in China with one full album to their name and a lot of expectation given that Hom Shen Hao is the inimitable former lead singer of Touming Magazine and a solo artist in his right.
On the Die!ChiwawaDie! took to the stage first trying out some new work which sounds a lot more funky than what we are used to. Don’t get me wrong, their new EP will by no means be straight up De La Soul or what have you, but they have certainly sought to introduce more and interesting aspects into their music.
The same for Kirin Trio, who are themselves working on new material. At one point guitarist Soda made a half joking statement that all of their material on the night was new. That’s unsurprising given that their output so far comes from their sole 7″ release, Breeze. Again, this was a wonderful set and it shows that despite the probable ending of The White Tulips, or at least the possibility of an extended hiatus by that band, that there is still life coming from Xiamen.
Finally, VOOID took to the stage. I had heard a lot about them leading up to the gig, from fans and organisers alike. Those predictions, analytics, assertions all proved to be correct as Hom Shen Hao immediately worked his magic with the crowd, raising the audience engagement, the intensity level and generally just bringing a nicer, more enjoyable atmosphere.
Whereas their published music is very lovely, their live performances far outshine what they have captured on physical release. They are less a band you want to sit at home and listen to through a pair of speakers, than a fantastic and charismatic live band.