Late last year, it came to my attention that Beijing-based garage-punk act Subs had a song of theirs covered by Norwegian rockers Black Snakes. The band has just released a video for the tune, “Down,” which comprises a collection of footage from shows across China, and worth pointing folks toward.
“Down” by Black Snakes:
You’ll note the involvement of October Party Records, a Norwegian company run by the man behind the band K-Jell long involved in sending his countrymen and women into China. Subs, in particular, have a long-standing relationship with Norway; it’s where the band first performed outside of China, back in 2005, at the massive Oya Festival – when yours truly was along to help make gigs happen around that festival – the following year, I put together an even more extensive Nordic Tour about which you can read here in which we visited more Norwegian cities (and no small number of other Nordic locales) than most residents of the country had heard of.
It’s not the first cover of a yaogun tune, but it’s much more rockin’ than the other one that comes to mind: Michael Learns to Rock’s take on Cui Jian’s “Nothing to My Name,” “I Walk This Road Alone.” Ambient/electro act FM3’s Buddha Boxes have had their share of reworkings by a range of international artists, so you’d have to file them, too, in this category.
Let’s hope there’s more where these came from. With all the international action on the Chinese landscape, and Chinese action on the international landscape, seems like we’re bound to hear more in the near future.