There’s opportunities for a “black man” on China’s live music scene, according to several ads appearing in recent editions of The Beijinger. The ads, which were placed by TaipingYang Eight, an agency that arranges gigs for ‘world’ music performers across China, promises RMB500 (less than EUR50) per gig and travel outside Beijing and China.
Good work if you can get it: a car show in China
Now EUR50 a gig isn’t a fortune but if there’s a visa and housing involved – as is often offered by Chinese employers – it might be okay work for a travelling musician. Aside from the ‘positive discrimination’ overtones of the ad – Chinese people have referred to Europeans, not maliciously, as ‘big noses’ and Russians as ‘old hairies’ – but rather the circuit that the successful applicant will find himself on: token foreigner playing supermarket openings, restaturants and beer festivals around China, with stops to play provincial TV shows. I’ll be looking out for TaipingYang Eight.
2003 - Witnness 2003, a comprehensive review by Brian Kelly of the 2 days of what transpired to be the last ever Witnness festival (in 2004 it was rebranded as Oxegen when Heineken stepped into the sponsor shoes).