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Not Just “The Band”

Hailing from Ukraine, the rock band The Black Cats are often seen bringing down the house at Murray’s Irish Pub on Friday and Saturday nights.

Members Yuri, Igor and Dima met five years ago and offer an original rock sound to the city they now call home. Their decision to come to China sprang from the need/want for a new experience and arrived in China as part of a music company.

“We decided to change something, see something else, try something new,” Igor said.

Their style of music expands beyond taking requests and caters to a crowd that is receptive to the music. Seeking out this type of audience and venue was a challenge and—to an extent—a disappointment when arriving in China. Igor remembered when The Black Cats played fusion music at a high-end Chinese restaurant with a large stage and good sound system, but the crowd took no notice of the band. Instead, the crowd only drank and played dice. He said the band did not come to China to play at that kind of venue.

Eventually, they decided to break away from the music company.

“Here there are not too many places with live musicians…. Other bands are not crazy like us,” Igor joked. He remembered when he smashed a guitar on stage and burned the pieces in a barbecue pit at Murray’s. It was during the owner’s birthday party.

When asked about the official name of the band, they admitted there was confusion when they started playing in Dongguan.

“People called us ‘The Ukrainian Band’ or just ‘The Band’,” Igor said.

Dima joked he thought the band’s name was Wonderwall because of how often the Oasis song was requested; however, they have always been The Black Cats.

Before COVID-19 The Black Cats were working on an album at Yuri’s studio in Nancheng. They said they hope to get back to recording and wrap up their album soon.