I've heard good things about the Clippers from several
different sources. I knew that they were a three-piece
( lead singer/ keyboards; DJ; dancer/ mime artist/ backing
vocals) band that sang in Taiwanese and Mandarin, and
had been assured that I would have a good time in spite
of my poor Chinese, as they were very visual.
The first thing that struck me about them is that it's
very hard not to enjoy yourself when the band is so
clearly having a good time. As the show went on, I was
more and more impressed. Sure, they sang in Chinese
but they tried their damnedest to include the entire
audience. The lead singer had obviously taken note of
the mixed local and foreign crowd and introduced each
song using Mandarin and English, explaining the general
gist of the song and informing the foreigners about
the meaning of certain key words.
In addition to this, the band was much more visual than
I could have hoped for. The show was far more than your
standard gig; they combined mime, dance and role playing
to fantastic effect. One particular track had their
lead singer jump between the roles of a girl and her
boyfriend, complete with differing voices and mannerisms.
You didn't need to follow the Chinese to get the humour
and, for those that did understand fully, it was clearly
rip-roaringly funny. Relaxed, upbeat funky music backs
them up and my only regret was that I didn't understand
more Chinese because those that did spent most of the
show in stitches. Still, I was pleasantly surprised
as to how effective the intros were, combined with a
style which lends itself to clear, non-rapid pronunciation.
The Clippers have been together for nearly 10 years
and it certainly shows in their performance. I can easily
see how they have managed to remain one of Taiwan's
top underground bands. Language barrier non-withstanding
I was certainly impressed enough to buy their CD at
the end of the night.