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99 Musical House

From our archives, Compass Magazine, Mar. 2002:

By Courtney Donovan Smith Translated by Rachel Chiou

When entering the large free-standing structure on Shiang Shang Rd. (near Ying Tsai Rd), one of the first things you notice is the uniformed bouncer. While logically one knows that (unlike batman) this guy’s uniform isn’t likely to add any protection, it did imply a seriousness that suggests one isn’t likely to be hassled by drunk gangsters or other nefarious sorts. That alone, if true, would put this place up on several of the other “music pubs” in town.

Stumbling past the uniform, we found the place surprisingly packed for a Sunday night. Few of the many tables arrayed downstairs and along the upper level were empty. With the music volume only accurately measured on the siesmic scale, we headed upstairs in the hope of being able to hold some semblance of a conversation. Our table had a nice view of the stage and the crowd below. The crowd seemed to vary widely in age and consisted mostly of office workers letting off steam.

We quickly set to working on our inebriation skills with a combination of beer (NT$160-200) and mixed drinks (NT$180+), all in blatant disregard for the Monday morning that awaited a few hours away. As the 4 am closing time drew near, we were relocated downstairs and, unable to converse, started to pay attention to the cover band. As an aging ex-punk, I found it a little disorienting to see a guy in a Sex Pistols shirt singing the BeeGees but, once they broke into a rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, their high musical skill level became apparent.

This cavernous hall of noise is a great place to bring a party of friends or co-workers, but isn’t the sort of place one goes to mingle with the crowd– it’s a table, not a bar, sort of establishment. So, next time you go out to get goosed up on liquor, give this place a gander.

22, ShiangShang Rd., sec 1
(04) 2301-9181
Hours: 8 pm-4 am

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Written by 石東文 Courtney Donovan Smith

Courtney Donovan Smith is co-publisher of Compass Magazine and editor-in-chief of Taiwanfun.com

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99 Musical House