Beijing based trio re-TROS took to the stage at Rescue Rooms this week extending their UK tour and further cementing their claim to China’s most prominent band in Europe. Probably the smallest crowd I’ve ever seen, handfuls of people at best were in attendance. Despite this the band quickly got on with their business and opened with a lengthy rendition of ‘Tailing drums’. This like the majority of re-TROS’ tunes are wildly intense and this opener really set the tone for what turned out to be a captivating gig. Strangely in this triplet the drummer seems to draw the most attention to himself while the husband and wife duo seem to warp their synth guitar and keyboard around his talents.
Due to the lengthy nature of re-TROS’ tracks their 40-minute set only included around 6 songs, their next track ‘Pigs in the River’ was my personal highlight. Having only had time to listen to re-TROS briefly in the run up to the gig ‘Pigs in the River’ is the song which peaks the initial interest with its confusing, sombre and highly intense lyrics and melody giving a clear indication of what this interesting trio is all about.
It is worth noting that re-TROS take much of their inspiration from post punk legends such as Joy Division and Bauhaus and more recently groups such as Liars, Lead singer Hua Dong was even sporting a Joy Division t shirt for the occasion.
The gig seemed to end before it had even begun and the handful of people in attendance all seemed hugely satisfied and largely surprised by the quality of the band they had just seen. Despite only a short set what re-TROS managed to pack in was excellent and certainly enough to keep me listening to them and following their progress into the future. Although this was a relatively unknown Chinese band playing out of their comfort zone it really didn’t seem this way and this is a band I believe should be playing to hundreds or even thousands of people rather than a dozen. Interesting band. Captivating gig.