SECOND HAND ROSE (CHINA)
Second Hand Rose is a Chinese rock band from Beijing. The band is known for its bold combination of traditional Chinese instruments with solid rock & roll fundamentals. The influence of traditional Chinese folk music can be clearly felt in the singing of leadsinger Liang Long and the usage of traditional Chinese instruments in both their recordings and live performances. Their debut album, the self-titled Second Hand Rose Band, was released in 2004 to critical acclaim in China's bigger cities. The album also received rave reviews on specialist music websites in the U.S.
The group was formed in August 2000. Before the release of their second album the band were known as "Second Hand Rose Band", but the word "band" was dropped with the release of their second album and they are now merely known as "Second Hand Rose". Over the years, the line-up of the band has changed frequently. Lead singer Liang Long and Chinese traditional instrument player Wu Zekun are the only two band members who are with the band since it was formed. Other band members seem to come and go, although guitar player Yao Lan has been with the band for several years by now.
Liang long has all the characteristics of a northeast Chinese man. He is tall, broad and straightforward. The only difference is that he has the habit of dressing up like a woman on stage. Nowadays he seemed to have dropped this way of dressing, and often wears more conventional clothes during performances. The fact that he shaved off his long hair also takes away most of his former drag-act. Nonetheless, his long hails from the Heilongjiang province in northeast China, his stage antics and flamboyant look have earned the band controversy in their native China.
In 2002, Second Hand Rose became the only foreign band to be invited to play at the Swiss Snow Mountain Music Festival, an annual event attracting some of Switzerland's established musical names. They were also one of the few Chinese rock bands invited to perform in Shanghai at the 2003 China-Japan Pop Music Exchange Concerts, an event organized by Japan's public broadcaster NHK. When the Amsterdam China Festival was held in the Netherlands in 2004, Second Hand Rose was also one of the bands invited.
The band (Liang Long with a new line-up) released their second album in late 2006. The album, titled Yu Le Jiang Hu (娱乐江湖), contains ten new studio recordings that have been well received by the specialist and online press in Mainland China. The video clip to the first single, 狼心狗肺, was also included on the release. The band is often performing in Beijing, but tours to other Chinese cities to perform as well. Although they are one of China's most popular rock bands, they remain an alternative act with a non-mainstream following.