On The Scene: School 20-11-2013


As some of you may have noticed I’m playing around with the format – stretching my arms a bit. What better place to have some fun than at School where This Town Touring brought over fresh faced, feverish punk pop ska outfit The Bennies, from Australia, who managed to inject this particular Wednesday night with an anarchistic sense of nostalgic reckless abandon.

Anyone who references rainbow road from Mario Kart gets an A+ in my book. Even better, School doubled booked the night, leading to an all star lineup which included Life Test, Gum Bleed, Rolling Bowling, and The Offenders, heading over from Italy. Definitely had my work cut out for me. Check out the festivities below.

Add Life Test to my list of local bands to come across my camera – skate punk bands are a dime a dozen here in Beijing, but hey, where there’s a market there’s a market. I didn’t let that deter from the fact that the trio were pretty spot on tonight. While not groundbreaking in any which way, Life Test were a load of J-pop influenced fun that shouldn’t need to take itself too seriously. Perhaps I was just excited seeing something new for once.


Hehe – which brings me to Gum Bleed, whose brand of old school punk never gets old for me. School fits them well, that’s for sure.

And while the audience wasn’t exactly ‘giving’, they managed to keep things lively. Have to mention – I am utterly fascinated by lean man Dee – his voice, his facial expressions, his whole demeanor – it’s friggin brilliant.

I’ve never seen anyone who looks as equally riled up and comatose at once. That’s craftsmanship there kids.

\"rbb\" Speaking of bands I’ve seen way too many times – Rolling Bowling just doesn’t have it in them to disappoint. I should be sick of these guys by now, but nope, they keep managing to brings the goods.

They have an aura about them that’s goes beyond plain gimmickry – they’re the real deal. Just take a garner at their track ‘Fail\’ –

I don’t know too many rockabilly songs that go for the jugular like that. Respect.


Still, leave it to the Aussies to take it up a notch – it’s a whirlwind of influences and genres that The Bennies bring into the mix, but I’ll be damned, it worked gangbusters.

Ska rhythms, psychedelic trip-outs, punk anthems, reggae jams; songs about mushroom freakouts, riding your bicycle – all unified by the bands priority of bringing the fun.

This is how you perform live – by turning up the ridiculous meter to eleven and taking no prisoners.

‘It’s a slippery slope of fun’ indeed.


And while I had slipped deep into drunken hooliganism by this point, the good times continued when Italian ska punk outfit The Offenders took to the stage. The camera just couldn’t resist.

It’s scientifically impossible not to move to ska – I shit you not.

Is it me, or is the lead singer the splitting image of John Belushi in the Blue Brothers? Alright, probably have had a enough at this point. Ska ska ska ska ska ska ska…

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