Tag Archives: WVC Trio+1 China Tour 2013

WVC Trio +1 China Tour 2013: Log Entry #4

27 May (Mon):

Today was our day-off. We basically chilled out and walked around a bit, had Shanghainese lunch with Jasmine, and dinner with Chester.

Lunch with Jasmine, was basically typical Shanghai-nese food. We then went to a nice bohemian part of downtown, about 30 minutes walk from where we were staying. It was a very nice quaint area, where it consists of a lot of small shops selling quaint stuff, speciality restaurants and other non-typical things.

Dinner with Chester was at a porridge place in one of the big shopping malls in Pudong area, near where the World Financial Center is. After dinner, he took us up that new World Financial Center building, or as the band calls it the giant Bottle Opener. It does looks like a giant bottle opener with a square hole at the top of the building. Anyway, it was an interesting place as we could see the skyline and the entire city area from quite a few hundred meters from ground level.

28 May (Tues):

We didn’t do much today as well. Had Muslim food for lunch and Siang and I walked around checking out some bookstores. We had our soundcheck at La Vida around 4.30pm and headed back to our hotel right after. The La Vida club was about 20 minutes walk from our hotel. KJ was so excited because the drumset at the club was a really beautiful Gretsch set, and it was brand new and one of the top range sets. And yes, it did sound really good, until he didn’t want to get out of the drum stool.

Our gig at La Vida was also really nice, tight, and fun! We had Jasmine to guest sing a few songs as well. We also had one really talented guitarist who sat in on two songs with us, and we found out he was to go to New England Conservatory to continue his music studies in the Fall. The show also had several friends from Malaysia, but had stayed and worked in Shanghai for quite a few years, who came to check us out, among others. We even did several tunes as encores, which of course delighted KJ as he could spend an extra few more minutes with the Gretsch drum set.

It was a tiring night as well, but very musically satisfying.

29 May (Wed):

We left Shanghai in the morning to take the high speed train to Nanjing for our next show.

When we got to Nanjing, there were some slight delays in terms of getting accommodation. So we actually hung out at the nearby KFC for a little bit before getting our room. But even so, we could only get ONE room at that time. So we all hung out and chilled out at the room until getting to the gig, which was 5 minutes walk away. But at least the hotel had free working wifi. Haha.

We had a quick dinner before heading to Don Quixote for a quick soundcheck. There wasn’t much of a crowd that night at all, as compared to our last tour. We basically only played one normal set and a second really short set, because we had to stop playing before 12am. There were residential apartments next to the club, so I guess they must have had difficulty having late night music. Even so, the band still kicked ass! Didn’t matter if there were little people or a lot.

30 May (Thu):

It was our day off, and we had thought about doing a little sight-seeing. Unfortunately our plan was marred by the fact that it had started to rain. Even though it wasn’t heavy rain, but it was heavy enough to put a damper on our plans. So we ended up just chilling around the hotel, and AJ and myself went checking out the surrounding IT malls. When we got back, we also ended up watching a movie on the iPad. We had dinner with the Don Quixote owner, and visited the Confucius Examination Hall cum Temple a short drive away. As expected, it was extremely commercialized and made into a tourist trap. Nothing terribly special.

That’s it for now!

Next up: Wuxi.

Stay tuned and thanks for dropping by.

WVC Trio +1 China Tour 2013: Log Entry #3

Greetings from Shanghai.

24 May (Fri):

We’ve been here since the 23rd after our Tianjin leg of the tour. We stayed overnight in Shanghai before going to Suzhou the next day to perform in Mofun Loft 2. While we were here for the night, our friend Chester (or Yang Chen as we know him) was gracious enough to take us to the new JZ Lounge at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Shanghai.

That night, great jazz songstress Roberta Gambarini was performing, backed by some musician friends we’ve met last year – Charlie Foldesh on drums and Brian Hurley on bass. To say the least, it was an awesome show. She started the show by singing Stardust….acapella! We were just totally blown away! It’s probably the first time in a very, very long time (or probably even the first time literally) that I’ve heard anyone singing Stardust, live! And she not only nailed it, she just owned it! What a singer and a musician!

What a great ending to a long traveling day.

25 May (Sat):

We left for Suzhou in the morning, had lunch, checked in into our motel, then went for our soundcheck at Mofun Loft 2. It’s located at a relatively developing area, and it sort of gives it a rather Euro-Sino, albeit rather superficial, vibe. From what we’ve been told it is developed by some Singaporean developer and also conceptualized by a Singaporean team as well, the same group of people that designed the Tianjin Financial District.

Anyway, Mofun Loft 2 is the second branch of three. We played at the first one, during our last China tour. Not surprisingly, the crowd that night was no different from the ones from that last tour. Most of them weren’t there for the music, although we did have some listeners that were enjoying it, as well. If I had describe what it was like, I would say it is similar to our Malaysian equivalent of Wings Cafe, or Halo Cafe, or similar livehouse, kind of vibe. Bands or any performers were there functioning almost like musical wallpaper. In fact, some of the crowd there were just there to indulge or partake in their own activities – drinking, playing games…albeit rather loudly too. But sticking true to our code of performance, we didn’t really care and just played the ass off the music. And as we watched our performance video for a post-mortem, the band sounded tight, and quite kick ass, I must say. Seemed like a good show cum rehearsal for our Shanghai show at JZ Club, and generally we enjoyed it, even if the audience didn’t really bother about us at all.

It’s only too bad we didn’t get to stick around Suzhou to check out some of their attractions, as we had to go back to Shanghai for our JZ Club show.

26th May (Sun):

We drove back to Shanghai and ended up in Hotel 268, a decent motel near the JinAn Temple Station. The vibe around this place is quite nice. It has an interesting mix of Bohemian and Hippie influences. Little coffee shops with fruit stalls and Muslim food all in the same row; little boutique clothes store with Italian restaurants just in the adjacent corner. It’s relatively close to JZ Club as well as La Vida (where we play on Tuesday). After lunch with Chester, we basically hung out at the hotel until our night soundcheck at JZ Club.

Our soundcheck at the club, went relatively quick. The guy who was doing sound did a great job in making sure the sound on stage was just nice. We didn’t have to work too hard during the gig. It was basically a debut for me, KJ and AJ here at JZ. I’ve been here at least twice, but it’s definitely my first time as a performer, which is something I’m really happy for.

The show itself was a real blast. It helps so much that the sound on stage was really good, and couple that with a very attentive and appreciative audience – something that we weren’t putting a lot of expectations on, being from Malaysia and not another western country like the US and all. I guess we may be doing something right after all, I can only hope. The band, again, was just kicking so much ass! Shanghai singer, Jasmine Chen, also joined us for a few of her tunes, so it was also really fun to have played with her again. Couldn’t really ask for more. We played two sets and the shorter third set. So, to say the least, we were all wiped out after the gig, cos we played HARD that night!

We have one more show in Shanghai tonight, at La Vida. Jasmine will also be joining us for a few tunes. Looking forward to it.

Well, that’s it for now. Stay tuned for more updates as we go along