Introducing: Naohai

Get to know the local student garage rock outfit

Jake Newby meets student garage rock trio Naohai

They are A young garage rock outfit started in the summer of 2010 by three Shanghai-based students. When drummer Zhao Shuang left the city for work just a few months into the lifespan of the band, they put the project on hold but they’re back together and looking to gig regularly.

They sound like Shanghai’s answer to The Gar, the Beijing rock act known for their rhythmic guitars and catchy hooks. Blur circa ‘Song 2’ are another reference point, as are Pavement and The Jam. Frontman Qi Jinlong also cites Chinese luminaries PK14 and Lava/Ox/Sea (Han Han of Duck Fight Goose’s former band) as influences. They play ‘noise with a punk heart,’ according to Qi.

We say One of the more promising student bands to emerge from the city in the past year, Nao Hai are in need of a sustained period of gigging, but they already show promise. Their good taste (which extends to having Time Out illustrator Mojo Wang design their logo, pictured above) and clear knack for a tune, make them a band to watch and the rarity of their downtown live performances means it’s worth making the effort to see them at this month’s Pairs-organised new band showcase.

They say ‘We’re hoping the next year will be a bit more stable for us,’ says vocal-guitarist Qi. ‘But no one can say for sure. If we can play, we’ll play, but it can be hard for us to get together. Each show could be our last.’

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