Published Jun 10, 2011It's hard to imagine the moody, hazy sounds of Canadian alt-country icons Cowboy Junkies as anything but soothing, but a recent trip to China found the band branded as rabble-rousers and the act forced to temporarily change their name.
A recent blog post from Cowboy Junkie Mike Timmins explains that the group's June 5 performance at the Olympic Park in Beijing was riddled with setbacks from Chinese officials. While the show faced problems, from having a beer permit pulled last minute to having their crowd capacity changed, the Junkies faced a funnier fate, as it was deemed their decades-old moniker was too offensive for concert patrons. Timmins goes into detail about the hoops that concert organizer, Chinese DJ Youdai, went through to get things going.
The post reads:
An example of the type of detail that he and his team needed to deal with was trying to come up with a translation of our name so that we wouldn't be ruled out by the censors... our Chinese name is now Cowboy Fan. We also had a couple of songs crossed off of our set list; Sit Sadly because it contained the word "gun" and 3rd Crusade because, well, just because. In any case, he got all of the permits and permissions signed and then about four weeks ago Zuoxiao Zuzhou ended up getting into a political mess and banned from performing live or making any public appearances.
Despite the censors affecting their set, the band are still plenty stoked on the country and hope to return in the future.
"We hope that it will lead to a return to this country and a proper tour to half a dozen or so cities. We haven't gotten enough of this fascinating country or of its resilient, friendly, outgoing people," Timmins wrote of the show. "This is my fourth time here and I still want more and I'm pretty sure everyone would sign up in a flash for another spin through this country."
To read Timmins's entire post, head here.
Thanks to Spinner for the tip.