Second Hand Rose
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Second Hand Rose

Beijing, Beijing, China

Beijing, Beijing, China
Band Rock Pop

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March 22nd, 2002, at Kleine Scheidegg, a place at about 2,000 meters over sea
level in the Swiss Alps, a Chinese man who was dressed like a woman from the
countryside of north-east China, with red jacket and green trousers, was
standing on the stage and gave the audience of 4000-5000 people a rock
performance by using the art of "er-ren-zhuan" of which the audience never had
heard before.
This is the annual Snowopen Air in Switzerland. As the only foreign band of this
year's music festival, Second Hand Rose took Switzerland by storm with their
music. News concerning their performance was broadcasted in the evening
news right after news about the situation in Afghanistan on Swiss TV. A Swiss
newspaper wrote the following report about Second Hand Rose: "They are
recognised in China as a band with a broad spectrum of changing style. From
their name - Second Hand Rose - you can guess already their flair for playing
with words. This is exactly the style of the guitar player and lead vocalist Liang
Long in his lyrics, which are soaked with a bitter-ironic flavour. This 25 years old
young man integrates his unique talking and singing style into the traditional
er-ren-zhuan, an art of story telling from the Northeast of China, which is still
popular nowadays. He plays both the roles of male and female. That is why he
always acts on the stage as a beautiful-dressed and well made-up woman. It is
linked to the name of the band and on the other hand reminds somewhat of the
old tradition of male playing a reversed role as a female in Peking opera".
When Second Hand Rose returned to Beijing, the journalist learned from their
agent Niu Jiawei a lot of information concerning their performance at the
"Snowopen Air".
For Swiss people, they do not have much knowledge about Chinese musicians,
except Cui Jian, who has already given concerts in Switzerland. It was the first
time that Liang Long (Second Hand Roses) gave concerts outside of China and
it's also the first time for Swiss people to know er-ren-zhuan and Chinese
traditional musical instruments like Suona, Hulusi and Sheng.
The band found the festival was very well promoted when they arrived in
Switzerland. They were excited when they saw on the streets the big poster with
their picture. In order to make Second Hand Rose known to the Swiss audience,
the organiser made a special introduction about the band on Internet and
translated some of their songs into German.
The Alps are crossing Switzerland creating the conditions for ice sport and ice
culture of Switzerland. "Snowpen Air" is probably the music festival on the
highest point about sea level in the world. The festival this year has 4 bands
participating including Swiss famous rock band "Gotthard" whose popularity and
style is similar to the Chinese band "Heibao". Another female singer is Sina
whose popularity and status in Switzerland is like Tian Zhen and Na Ying in
China. The tour through Switzerland of Second Hand Rose (except the
Snowpen Air there were two more concert evenings) was meant also for
warming up the stage for Sina. However, beyond the expectation of this "Swiss
Tian Zhen", her performance every time had to be postponed for 10 minutes
since Second Hand Rose was well received by the audience. But Sina was
satisfied with her co-operation with Second Hand Rose and deemed it to be a
"beautiful ending of her spring tour". As a return, Sina will visit China in September and give concerts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in
cooperation with Second Hand Rose.
The reason why Second Hand Rose was well received is because the audience
thinks they are fresh. Liang Long can not speak any English nor German and
among the audience there are no more then maybe 20 persons who understand
Chinese. It is not language but music and the performing style which conquered
the audience. The band gave two encores at the last performance; this is where
the great fascination of Chinese traditional music lies.
Local newspapers gave Second Hand Rose the following comments: "Though it
will take some time for a western audience to adapt to the talking and singing of
Second Hand Rose, yet their music is the traditional rock music with changeable
and thoughtful poetic words and an intense eruption of emotion. There might be
some Chinese folk music mixed into their music. However, the only thing which
makes people feel uncommon is the using of the wooden instrument Suona,
which sounds similar to the oboe. Liang Long uses irony and pun to express the
chase of money and love and to describe the living environment in which people
fear that old customs and safety will disappear. His style can easily be
associated to the western rock music tradition."
After the performance, the band of Sina told Second Hand Rose: "You are Red
Hot Chilli Peppers (well-known American rock band) in China". Someone even
joked with them: "You can make a living now in Switzerland".
At present, Second Hand Rose is the most outstanding among those Chinese
rock bands which did not publish any records so far. From Liang Long's
seductive expression on the stage, the audience experiences again the charm
of popular culture.
- by Wang Xiaofeng for Embassy of Switzerland in China, 2002


Second Hand Rose, which claims to be "the most seductive" folk rock band in China, has become one of the
most popular with rock fans. Second Hand Rose, which claims to be "the most seductive" folk rock
band in China, has become one of the most popular among rock fans. The
band is well-known for its bold combination of traditional Chinese instruments
with solid rock and roll fundamentals. The influence of traditional Chinese folk
music, especially Errenzhuan, a kind of comic theatrical duet popular in
northeast China, can be clearly felt in the singing.
Liang Long, lead singer of the band is from Heilongjiang province in northeast
China. He looks no different to other men from that area: tall, broad and
straightforward. But on stage it's a different story. Unlike front men of other
rock bands, Liang Long dresses up in women's clothes and uses lots of
make-up. Sometimes the singer wears a Qipao, a traditional Chinese dress.
The funny outfit, together with the often comic lyrics is a big hit with fans, but
there's a very serious side to the band as well.
"Tomorrow has become a burden for you Stimulations are not that exciting. You need some time to be really depressed and to find
evidence for a reasonable metamorphosis." The lyrics are taken from the Song "Compromise".
Liang Long's musical journey has by no means been a smooth one. In 1997 he established a band called Black Lens in Harbin,
capital city of Heilongjiang Province. The next year he quit his job and came to Beijing to organize a new band but without much
success. Liang Long watched other bands performing in bars, and although he says he didn't like much of what he heard, he had to
admit he was no better than them. The following year, the singer made a second attempt to set up a band, but this came to nothing.
He went back to his hometown and stayed in the countryside for a period of time. During this period Liang Long became inspired by
the local folk music. Over several weeks, Liang Long composed 10 songs after which he returned to Beijing for a third time. This
time he was successful.
As one of the most famous of China's "underground" rock bands, Second Hand Rose held its first concert in December last year.
Although the concert was not perfect in terms of the performing venue, the staging and marketing, it was the first of its kind during
these few years and was definitely a significant event for China's rock'n'roll scene.

Second Hand Rose were one of the few Chinese rock bands invited to perform
in Shanghai at the 2003 China-Japan Pop Music Exchange Concerts organized
by Japan's public broadcaster NHK. And in 2002, they also became the only
foreign band to be invited to attend the annual Swiss Snow Mountain Music
Festival. Next month the band will perform at a grand rock gala to mark 20
years of Chinese rock.
The first time he heard Second Hand Rose play, Cui Jian, the father of Chinese
rock music, thought the band performed terribly, but he said their ideas were
some of the best he'd heard. He even performed as a guest at one of their
later concerts. No matter what the fans and critics say, the band has stuck to
its style and is becoming more and more popular.
- CRIonline, 2004-7-15 (CRIENGLISH.com)


Discography

2004: Second Hand Rose Band
2006: Yu Le Jiang Hu (CD+VCD)

Photos

Bio

“Second-Hand” reminds itself not to copy others blindly, and the name “Roses” indicates the ultimate pursuit of art. Since its founding, the band has held as its faith to produce China’s own Rock & Roll and it has kept the promise all the time. Indeed, Second-Hand Roses did become a new rising force and has finally grown up into the most unique rock band in China. Being the most seductively charming rock band of the time, Second-Hand Roses never stops creating miracles in this circle. The distinctive feature, the spirit of experiments and the inexhaustible creativities become the key to its success. The band is worthy to become the focus of attention and recognized not only by the fans but also the critics and even the Chinese Rock & Roll history. Growing in the context of post-colonial culture in China, Second-Hand Roses, however, has found a perfect balance between the rock spirit and the ethical identity. It has not only met the need for original cultural elements of the Chinese people but also expressed the rock music in a new way which is closer to the common taste and is easier to accept. Maintains their artistic style and sticking to its aim, it has gained commercial success as well. In its prime time, the band is to break all the fetters for its development.
To some extent, Second-Hand Roses is a proof of the existence of Rock & Roll music in China. There has been no such a single band as Second-Hand Roses, so it cannot be compared to any other rock bands at all. As a band which is adaptable to changes and ever compromise, it never covers up its theory, for they grow out of the need of the time. It is destined to bring more and more unexpected surprises in the near future.

music videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouZS0FAQCus&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGZLni7dMms

live videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5mxEaH0wp8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQg3gEgeBzA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xIQuEZLqEU