Yuck

As seen here -and I think I have a ticket stub somewhere in my stash- I had definite plans to watch Yuck last year, but couldn’t. I was surprised to see their name again in my Chinese gig schedule source recently (if you must ask), as the event was nowhere to be found in the expat-centric English lifestyle sites.

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I knew of Yuck from their first album, but had not actively followed them after that release. Personnel changes happened with the band, I was made known, but I’ve already been on that road that time I saw Sepultura sans Max Cavalera. Admission price reasonable? Event venue accessible? The songs made me excited even just once-before? Then there’s barely any reason to miss this gig.

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Held last September 17 at the Q Hall of QSW Culture Center, there was a good 30-40 people in the audience. On the opposite side of Shanghai, there was a better publicized, big music festival, that I went to last year. There were bands there I would love to see (Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, The Go! Team), but I wasn’t in the mood or mind-state to invest an entire Saturday for it. The Yuck gig fills that sweet spot I wanted that weekend, and I got it.

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Generous head-bobbing was made to the more familiar songs -“The Wall” (sung by their bassist), “Get Away”- and still went on with the unfamiliar ditties. Yes, they sound so much like 90s rock music revivalists, but they pinned the sound down to the really, really good parts. A riff that could’ve been culled from a Kevin Shields B-side? Sure, as long as it works. Make a girl-boy duet song called “Lose My Breath” while you’re at it. Does it sound like that My Bloody Valentine song? No, but it is delightful.

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There was an awkward moment when the band was anticipating a call for encore, but the crowd was just too thin to feel a response. We got it, and bassit Mariko tore into an unfamiliar Japanese song whose guitar lines may strike you as American Football-like. Later, I found out it was a cover of Happy End’s “Natsu Nandesu“. Though I was busy fiddling, trying to get good shots with my camera unofficially from the stage pit, the sheer beauty of those minutes was undeniably my highlight of the evening.

 

 

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