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Chinese rock band Miserable Faith builds bridge with Europe

By He Xiating in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-05-22 01:56

Members of China's rock band Miserable Faith meet fans in London on April 21. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Formed in 1999, China's leading rock band Miserable Faith concluded their The World Will Be Better 2 European tour in London on April 21, following performances in Madrid, Berlin, Paris, and Amsterdam.

With historical ties to the United Kingdom, and it being a key birthplace of rock and roll, the country holds significant meaning for the band.

In August and October 2017, Miserable Faith recorded their album The Youngster and performed at Liverpool's legendary Cavern Club, where English rock icons The Beatles rose to fame.

In 2018, they penned a song for the English football club Wolverhampton Wanderers, commonly known as Wolves, on its rise to the super-rich English Premier League.

"In the UK, traditional elements are well preserved alongside modernity, and I'm truly impressed by the rich cultural ambiance here," remarked Gao Hu, the band's founder and lead vocalist, noting that it's no surprise that so many outstanding artists and remarkable works of art originate from the country.

"And the culture of live music performance, even in a small pub, has flourished here, something that recorded music simply can't match," he observed.

"Music is universal, human nature is universal," Gao said, echoing the words of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from 1835: "Music is the universal language of humankind."

"And through our music we want to convey love and transcend boundaries," he added.

Over the years, the band has actively engaged in philanthropy. In 2019, they supported the "Guardians of Village Doctors" project by holding charity concerts in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Yunnan province, helping amplify the stories of village doctors.

In addition, they have been involved in initiatives focused on combating malaria in Africa and raising awareness about this deadly disease.

During the London tour, Gao reminisced about how a trip to Africa many years ago inspired him to compose the song May Love Be Without Worries.

"People warmly greeted me with 'Jambo', their way of saying 'hello', which resonated with me as deeply as 'Tashi Delek' in Tibetan and 'Namaste' in Nepali," he said. "The simplicity of these greetings, the warmth they carried, sparked a melody in my heart.

"I envisioned a song that could weave all these (versions of) 'hello' together, a song that transcended languages and cultures. It's the power of music to unite people," he said.

The band has remained steadfast in their commitment to touring, traversing cities both large and small throughout China over last two decades. Through their tours, they are cultivating a growing fanbase of rock enthusiasts in China. Now they have started to share their music with international audiences.

Ann Bilverstone from the UK is a fan of the band, but she can't attend the London show in April.

Ann initially learned about the band through a CGTN report from 2021, which covered the band's endeavors to raise awareness about village doctors in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in Northwest China.

"Their music is quite emotional, sometimes quite spiritual and can make me feel almost tearful, which is surprising since I don't understand the lyrics. I can get lost in their music, I believe they are kind, very thoughtful and honest with their music," she added.

Ann looks forward to catching them when they return to the UK, and even hopes to see them during a future visit to China.

Moved by Ann's heartfelt words, Gao responded. He said: "I'm truly touched that our music resonates with someone from a different part of the world."

He thinks that the band still has a long way to go before foreign audiences travel to China to see them perform. "But we can reach out to them," he said. "Currently, our audience may mostly be Chinese, but in the future, we expect to see more and more international fans. That's why we should do the touring."

After this year's European tour wraps up, the band plans to go to many more cities abroad.

"We're acting as a bridge, and I believe more and more bands will join us in the future, turning this small bridge into a major road," said Gao.

Jiang Duo contributed to this story.


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