Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Shaking Hands No More

Over a year ago I met two young guys, Ben from Australia and Jeremy from the United States. The two of them told my friend and I they wanted to start a band and we encouraged them, saying we'd be their groupies and go to their gigs.

A few months later they did get their act together and formed Shake Hands with Danger. They started off playing at D-22, a small bar in Wudaoku, the university district once every few weeks.

Pretty soon even a nightly radio music show started mentioning their gigs.

I finally saw them play live a few months ago and they were fantastic. Rock 'n' roll, hard beat, guitar solos, poetic lyrics and Ben's powerful vocal chords made SHWD a fun act to watch and listen to. My favourite song of theirs is "Love of War" which they perform to end each set.

They had a pretty good expat following, with one guy from the Australian consulate who practically films all their shows on his camcorder. These are pictures I took of them at a great venue called Yugong Yishan a few weeks ago.

And despite their plans of performing around Asia, SHWD has come to an abrupt end. Jeremy has found another job in Hong Kong and Ben will be leaving Beijing with his keyboardist girlfriend. Drummer Toby will stay here looking for other bands to play with.

Last night was their last show. Unfortunately I missed it as I had an early shift at work.

I wish them all the best of luck and hopefully SHWD will regroup again, or refashion themselves with a new sound.

We'll miss them rocking Beijing.

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