The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


When I heard, saw Yu Tian playing an underground passageway in downtown Beijing I easily parted with the RMB20 (EUR1,90) for his self CD. His easy strumming and sad songs about love lost and whacky observations on China’s social development. The soft, sad voice and Morrisey-esque literariness both mean he’ll never be a big star in China. Stars here become stars by smiling when they bop about stage singing upbeat pop. 

Tunes like 'Ke Yu Bu Ke Qin' (Possible to Meet But Can't Beg For It) suggest a Bob Dylan fan but there's a much softer voice here, less political lyrics and a dreamy delivery that suggest a poet who's picked up a guitar to accompany musings under a willow tree in a Beijing park. If you're ever down at the computer marts in Chaoyangmen on a weekend, you'll usually find Yu in the subteranean passageway linking the BuyNow centre with the other side of the crazy highway (though it's called a 'street') that runs through this neighbourhood in high rise Chaoyang district.



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Nuggets from our archive

2002 - Interview with Rodrigo y Gabriela, by Cormac Looney. As with Damien Rice's profile, this interview was published before Rodrigo y Gabriela's career took off overseas. It too continues to attract considerable visits every month to the article from Wikipedia.