Queen Sea Big Shark


Beijing-based, Queen Sea Big Shark are one of the biggest rock bands in China. So, I was intrigued to go and check them out when they played at Brown Sugar Jar, Nancheng, early last month.

We arrived and there were a large group of Chinese fans who seemed to eschew beer in favor of just rocking out to the music. The music began with a bit of whimsical shoe-gazing in the vein of the Smashing Pumpkins, though the female lead singer was a fair bit sexier than Billy Corgan. A slow and easy start and they started to warm up, the music got louder, rockier, crazier as dozens of fanboys started dancing and jumping with the band—it was clear the people had not just turned up randomly, but were hardcore fans. It felt like the roof was going to come off at one point, and I’m sure I actually saw something fall from the ceiling.

Whilst the music they played was fine, the lyrics were annoying in the extreme, and I couldn’t help but wonder what weird concept they were attempting to bestow upon the world. They were clearly trying to inspire, but instead it felt sad, heavy and mournful. The whole vibe made me imagine teenagers wanting to slash their wrists for getting poor scores on the homework. It was straining to be profound, but felt so desperately fake. Before performing the morose ‘Be Ambitious’ (心要野), our sexy little lead told the crowd: “Close your eyes, follow me into the ocean, everything will be peaceful.” I wondered what on earth she was going on about. Then the singing started. If I might translate:

“Whatever. It is the way it is
Go ahead and laugh at our loneliness
We don’t belong to anywhere
I am going to sing you a happy song
A song that will erase all your sadness
No matter what we choose, forgive or leave
Eventually we will all be buried in the ordinary sea”

Correct me if I am wrong, but if you are going to sing me a happy song that will supposedly erase all my sadness, I’d rather not be reminded of man’s existential loneliness and that we are all going to end up dead in the sea.

Brown Sugar Jar is a great venue and credit to them for bringing big acts to Dongguan, but Queen Sea Big Shark and their tragic EMO are enough to make anybody throw themselves into the sea. But then again, maybe that’s the point.

Category Music