China’s Wild West sound comes to NZ

16 February 2011

Born out of China’s Wild West frontier, Xinjiang, rock band sensation Askar Grey Wolf is the voice of The Silk Road and they are coming to Wellington for one concert only.

Askar Grey Wolf come from the land of the Uighur people, an ancient race with a rich past, whose musical and poetic heritage stretches back to the 6th century AD.

The band will be in Wellington for one show only at the San Francisco Bath House on Wednesday February 23.

With an aim to give more people around the world an insight into their music and culture, Askar Grey Wolf combine traditional Uighur instruments with electric guitars and keyboards to create an exciting blend of Uighur, world music and modern rock.

Now based in Beijing, Askar Grey Wolf were formed through a passion for music in their hearts, says member Hu Bei, and have been renowned in the Chinese music scene since the late 90s. Lead singer Askar Mamat fuses modern rock with a mix of Han Chinese and Xinjiang elements, singing in both Mandarin and his own mother tongue.

The band is a mix of ethnic minority Uighurs and majority Han Chinese. “Every song is written by Askar that combines multiple musical cultures, including Han, Latin, and rock music of Western,” said Hu Bei.

It is the band’s first visit to New Zealand, made possible by the Asia New Zealand Foundation. They are looking forward to performing in such a beautiful country and seeing the response from another overseas audience.

“Chinese audiences put more emphasis on reputation rather than the essence of music. However, the fans from overseas are fascinated by the soul of music.”

New Zealand audiences will get a taste of Askar Grey Wolf’s latest album, their fifth, which was completed recently. They are performing at the Auckland and Christchurch Lantern Festivals as well as the concert at San Francisco Bath House in Wellington on Wednesday February 23 with local acts, Orchestra of Spheres and Taikoza.

Tickets cost $15 (+ booking fee) from www.1-night.co.nz, Real Groovy and Samurai Store. Door sales $18 also be available. Check out their music on MySpace: www.myspace.com/askargreywolf.

For interviews and photos, contact Priyanka Bhonsule on (04) 589 7625 or 021 973 476) or priyanka.bhonsule@gmail.com