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November 26, 2009

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G-Hous: House gets a new home

WANG Hao and his live lineup are big draw at Bar 288, but now he's taking his music to a new home. Nie Xin reports. Shanghai's live music scene has been growing rapidly in recent years and the success of the Melting Pot, also known as Bar 288, on Taikang Road, proves that live music can pull them in.

Every weekend guests flock to Bar 288 especially to enjoy a live show by the music group headed by Wang Hao, a 30-year-old Shanghai pop singer and producer.

There's good news for Wang's fans: The new bar G-Hous at the Galaxy Hotel in Changning District will open with a grand splash next Friday, and Wang and his group will be performing there every night.

"The facilities in the new club are much better than in the old one," says Wang. "The elevated stage will give the effect of a music concert in a big stadium."

The popular live show style from Bar 288 will be carried on in G-Hous, but club-style dance music will be performed at a regular time every night.

"G-Hous will be one of the first bars in Shanghai that combines live music and clubbing dance tunes," says Deng Wei, manager of G-Hous as well as one of the singers and rappers in Wang's group.

"There will be different programs every night and the diverse music styles in the pub will be welcomed by people who want to relax and enjoy the night," he says.

Wang graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and is considered one of the best nightclub singers in the city. He is known for his live performances and talent in playing the drum, piano and bass.

In September he gave two well-attended jazz concerts at the Grand Hyatt Concert Hall and last month he collaborated with E-Groove, a local jazz band.

Wang's lineup has fixed performers as well as guest musicians. The regulars are Ping An, former member of local band Reload; Shocann Xiukan Chen, a Chinese-Canadian pop singer; R&B singer and rapper He Yi (stage name Da He).

Wang's many musician friends in Shanghai will join the group from time to time.

"Guests will have many surprises. They may meet pop musicians they have heard about but never met, as well as local bands and individuals," says Wang.

The G-Hous stage will also be a platform for fresh musicians. "Unlike other pub groups, mine is like a big family, together with those regular customers," he says.

The name of the bar, Hous, has special meaning for Wang. G, of course, stands for Galaxy Hotel. "Hous has two meanings," he says. "One stands for my first name 'Hao' and the other means house music, which is my dream music style."

Although the economic downturn has hurt many entertainment venues, including nightclubs and bars, Wang isn't worried about the future of G-Hous.

"No matter what happens, the development of live house music will not end," he says.

"I also believe that though there are many influences on the business of nightclubs, Shanghai will be the city that recovers first from the financial crisis," Wang concludes.

Grand opening of G-Hous

Date: December 12, 10pm

Venue: Galaxy Hotel, 888 Zhongshan Rd W.

Tel: 139-0163-0877, 137-0162-1166 Who's who in Wang Hao's regular lineup

Wang Hao

An acclaimed independent pop musician, Wang is at the heart of his performing team. He is now the lead singer at the Melting Pot, or Bar 288, on Taikang Road.

The versatile Wang is a vocalist, drummer, pianist and bass player.

His magnetic live show attracted many fans.

Shocann Xiukan Chen

A Canadian-born Chinese from Taiwan, Chen is adored by many fans since he performed in the local TV singing competition "My Show" this year. He was one of the 10 finalists.

He is known for his delicate, somewhat feminine looks, fashionable style, sensitivity and sincerity.

Chen joined Wang two years ago when he came to Shanghai from Canada for a PhD in journalism at Fudan University.

He owns an advertising and communications company.

He Yi (stage name Da He)

He is an actor at the Shanghai Drama Arts Center and is beloved by many young women because of his strong build and cool style.

He is known as "Shanghai's MC Hotdog" who is considered one of the best rappers in Taiwan. When He's on stage, his voice and body make the ladies scream and swoon.

Ping An

Ping is often called the "most beautiful male voice in the Shanghai night sky" because of his pure, high-pitched voice. He is known through singing competitions including "Happy Boys" in 2007. When Ping sings, including some English classics, noisy bars fall silent.


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