Dos Kolegas is back everyone!! After retreating from the cold, like so many of us during the winter, the Liangmaqiao joint is back to please all your musical needs. With new bathrooms as well, and a wall wide mirror – oh my. No worries though, Dos Kolegas is still the same ol’, down n’ dirty, friendly and mellow place I remember – all the right ingredients for a long night of fun. So after a coin flip in front of Temple (which really is just a spiritual brother to Dos Kolegas) landed in my favor, I found myself heading toward some juicy rock served up by Ningxians Nucleus, Wu & the Side Effects, WHAI, and Buyi.
As is becoming more and more common these days, I missed the first act, which is a shame cause Li Dong is a pretty bad ass dude and always brings the goods. Instead, I was treated to some good ol’ fashioned blues and funk – Wu & the Side Effects.
Wu Kejia is a perfect match for this material – his voice is straight up sexy – I swear if I close my eyes, I can hear echoes of Jimi Hendrix’s voice up there. Beyond that, there really isn’t too much more to the group – they’re slick, more than capable, and have an energy that’s undeniable. Most important though, they’re fun. They’re having a grand ol’ time and its hard not to follow suit. That may not sound like crazy praise, but that’s only because my roommate in college used to attempt to play blues on his guitar every freaking night, eventually numbing me to the sound. On top of that, I was greatly anticipating Buyi –
Now this was what I came to see folks. After much talk around town about these guys who have been around for a shocking 15 years, I really didn’t know what to expect. But Buyi is the real deal folks. This is ‘bursting at the seams’ cutthroat hard rock – melodic, heavy and just as epic as my many songs of the late nineties sounded to me on the radio when I was young and innocent.
Lead singer Wu Ningyue is simply an animal on the mic up there – screaming, growling, going all in every song – I was often reminded of Eddie Vedder in his early days, albeit will more rhythm. Zhang Wei brings a lot to the table as well with his deep voice, groovy shades, and Gumby-like arms. Hell, the whole band was on fire – these guys have been playing together for some time now, and it shows – not one beat missed. From their self-titled song “Buyi”, where I found myself pulled beyond my control to center stage, to the ska infused “唯一的理由“, and all the way to the very end, I was hooked on Buyi – it was deep in my veins now – I was helpless, a complete junkie. I could hardly contain myself.
Just looking at the progression of my camera jitters in the footage, it’s obvious I was itching to toss the camera aside and go buck wild. They torn up the joint, and I’m ecstatic that I have a new favorite band – their douban page has been getting abused all week by me.
Finally, WHAI came onstage. My only exposure to the band before, was some candid footage my friend recorded of the band practicing in an empty band around Gulou while he was messing around with his iPad (footage that I’m desperately trying to procure). WHAI did not disappoint – loose and lean all at once again, WHAI is like the dark shadow of Buyi. Whereas Buyi’s songs had an anthemic melodic feel to them and snatched you up from the get-go, WHAI are a slow burn. With a darker edge, their music build and builds, relying on the drum and bass beat to drive the music forward until the three members, which includes guitarist and vocalist Zhang Wei from Buyi, converge and well, make sweet dirty rock and roll love.
This is slow motion walking away from a burning car rock and roll – the perfect nightcap to a long evening. It’s good to have you back Dos Kolegas!! Check out some more videos from Wu & the Side Effects and Buyi below.
Wu & the Side Effects