Young Chinese Dogs – Druckluft, Oberhausen; February 3rd, 2017
Young Chinese Dogs make feel good music in the best sense of the word. Hearing them play, you can’t help but smile, because the music sounds happy (even the sad songs) and if you’re like me, you’ll be moving along with it pretty soon. In Oberhausen they made me forget all about the current state of the world and instead had me bobbing my head in tune, laugh and just enjoy the moment. It was just a really nice evening and that was exactly what I had come for.
I saw the band for the first time at Traumzeit Festival in Duisburg two years ago and had them on my radar ever since, but didn’t get around to seeing them again earlier. Being from Munich, they play a lot more gigs in the south of Germany than they do in my area. By the time I finally got my chance I had not listened to their music in a long time and already forgotten why I had enjoyed them so much then. I didn’t feel like going either, but somehow I knew I would like it if I did so I dragged my sorry ass to the train station and went to Oberhausen. Remembering the last time I’d been to that venue, I left unusually late and arrived just before it was supposed to start. Did everything right too, the place was only half filled and everyone was standing at the back or by the side.
When support act The Gadgets walked on stage, people moved in closer, but there was still ample space available. They made nice, listenable music, but it didn’t move me at all. There was one song that stuck out, I think it was called ‘Ghost’. Other than that they were OK and I liked the fact they had a female drummer. Apparently one, who had joined very recently, since the singer pointed out she learned lots of songs in a short time. They must habe brought all their friends, because there was a lot of cheering going on and even calls for encores. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t bad, but they were not great either. What particularly irked me, had nothing to do with the music though. I was just wondering wether I should give them another listen once I was back home when the singer thanked us for listening and said she wished us “Lots of fun with the next band!” Now wait a second here – you get the chance to support them and didn’t even bother to learn their name? Not cool, not cool at all. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt that possible The Gadgets were asked to support by the venue or that she was too nervous to remember, but I still didn’t like it.
Anyway, time to move on and move closer to the stage, because they were taking down their gear and I had seen the members of Young Chinese Dogs walk backstage. They started playing shortly after 9:00 pm and with the first notes I had a big smile on my face. Soft, but never too quiet music that goes straight into your ear and stays there. Beautiful melodies, great harmony singing – what’s not too like. Meanwhile the room had filled and people clearly knew the band. To my right a group of three women was dancing from the start. It was contagious and pretty soon I was moving along.
Most of the songs were familiar, but I didn’t remember many of them, could not sing along. It didn’t matter, I just enjoyed being there and listening. They had fun. Singer Birte told us how, at the end of a long tour your brain melts down into a state where you might forget to plug in your piano. Lack of sleep and lots of beer can do that to you. 😉 She mentioned how the backstage area was tagged by many bands and how one of them had tried drawing penises out of all the other band names and joked that in their current state they spent a long time laughing about it. Drummer Marc had nothing to add but laughter. 😉
I loved their songs and I loved their stories too. It all seemed effortless, they made us laugh and they made us listen too, because when asked to be quiet, everyone shut up. 🙂 Right in the middle of their set, Birte told us about a living room tour they did and how they’d liked the experience so much, they wanted to bring it to us. Thus, the band walked off stage and to the back of the venue, where they gathered around a single microphone to perform a few songs acoustically. They traded lines and played softly. I was brilliant!
Back on stage they moved and back to multiple instruments. ‘This Town is killing me’ started the second half of the show and was one of the few songs I could even sing along to. We learned how once during rehearsals Birte held Frank’s bass and a picture of that ended up on the venue’s program in Leipzig which led to people wondering who the guys on the bass was. 😀 Towards the end of the show, Frank traded his bass for what I think as steel guitar while guitarist alternated between acoustic and electric guitars. Mark was called to the front to sing with Birte.
The main set ended with ‘Sweet little lies’, but we did not have to beg them long for encores. Everyone in the room wanted to hear more and they gladly obliged. They gave us two more original songs and ended with ‘Shoreline’ one of their favorites. Birte didn’t mention who wrote the song, but made it clear that it was a cover. I looked it up – Swedish band Broder Daniel wrote it. Might have to check her out. 🙂
After this, the band took a final bow, promised to meet us at the merch stand and left. All in all it was a good evening and I was happy I had decided to go after all. I enjoyed it quite a lot and I’m sure I’ll come back next time around.
When the Rain set in
Save the Date
Turn the Lights down low
Acoustic living room set
Angel from Montgomery
The Road I’m on
This Town is killing me
Heart full of Hope
Dirty little Girls
Please don’t go
Sweet little Lies
Shouldn’t be missing
Don’t talk about
Shoreline (Broder Daniel cover)