Short one this one, been a hell few weeks.
So Qingming was interesting, not so much the sweeping of tombs part as the music part for me. And not even the music bit rather the fact that this weekend just gone we saw a few afternoon or early evening shows that perhaps suggest we may be seeing a concerted effort to move away from exclusively late night same place shows?
There was a rather big commenting thing going a month or so ago on this site and if I was to summarise all of what was said in a word it would be “change”. I get the feeling that there has been an undercurrent of enthusiasm for something more – I didn’t see much in the way of negativity rather a desire to move stuff on and build on what has already been achieved. Don’t under-rate by any means what we have here – I was in Melbourne recently at the same time as Urge Overkill and walked out of that show as it was such rubbish. I have never walked out of any shows here and for me that says more than anything about what Shanghai has to offer.
Anyway, we had two (possibly three but google translate made no sense of Wednesday afternoon at YYT) shows run at times or locations that we don’t normally see in these good pages. One even had a handy explanation for why they were running an afternoon show just in case you hadn’t worked it out already. I have lost count of the number of new and interesting shows we are seeing here and I think this is a great thing, recognising that there are a bunch of potential new supporters hanging around waiting for something they can afford and also attend.
On the subject of afford and attend it has been suggested that running free shows at established venues isn’t sustainable as they are loss makers. I am not so sure about that although as I don’t run a venue I am happy to be flamed. But I look at it this way – you have monthly recurring costs no matter whether you are open or closed, piles of investment sitting around depreciating and it doesn’t matter whether you are open of closed you pay those costs. Opening on a Sunday afternoon for sure incurs additional costs but I am willing to bet they aren’t much compared to MRC. I would suggest wrong measure applied in that thinking and any afternoon shows are in fact unplanned revenue. But as I said, I don’t run a venue so I have no idea what I am talking about.
As this is a blog and in a section of this site called “opinion” I will offer another. Bands playing for free. Well what is the big deal there guys, really, come on, you don’t do overtime in those jobs you do to make a living without pay? If you don’t, well, tell me where you work and I will come and work there too. I don’t get this one at all – you are all part of a small growing scene and you do this stuff because you love it, not because you make a living in Shanghai from being in a band so surely an occasional free show is not such a big deal? Again, I am not in a band so I may be talking complete shite but this one I find very odd, it is a bit of a given that there has to be some investment upfront before you get a return in any walk of life. You doubt me? When was the last time you met a girl or boy you were in to and didn’t put in some extra effort so you could get your thing together?
Exciting times for sure.