Stick it to the boss. It’s hard to say goodbye. Remember the friend that died in a scooter crash. These are a few of the messages behind the songs on Earthquakes, the latest release from The DoLittles, an expat rock band based in Taichung.
The group, whose members list their music as “progressive alternative rock” on their Facebook page, is doing a run of shows across the country over the next few weeks in support of the album, starting tonight in Taichung at the Light Lounge.
The DoLittles enjoy a small but loyal following of around 30 expat fans who rarely miss a show, according to Sean Allingham, a 28-year-old Canadian living in Changhua who has been watching the band perform since it formed in 2006. One fan, he said, even has the some of the band’s lyrics tattooed on his arm.
When attending the band’s shows, one should be prepared for an “emotional” night where the audience dances and sings along, says Allingham. What fans like about the DoLittles, he adds, is that the band’s music speaks to their own experience of living in Taiwan.
He lists some fan favorites that the band often performs live: Stooge, which is about an offensive English language cram school boss, has a lyric that goes, “You’ve been working for the man so long/she has sucked you dry/you’re such a stooge.”
“Everybody knows what they’re talking about,” said Allingham.
Songs like Time to Say Goodbye reminds him that Taiwan is a “transient type of place.” Fall Asleep was written by DoLittles guitarist Chris Robison as a tribute to his friend and fellow Canadian expat Matt Stever, who died in a motorcycle accident in Chiayi in 2008.
The song always has the audience singing along, says Allingham. He didn’t know Stever well, but says, “I’ve cried during that song.”
What: The DoLittles CD Release party with Three Day Bender and Dirty Skies tonight and New Hong Kong Hair City tomorrow
When and Where: Tonight at 10:30pm at the Light Lounge, 85 Huamei W St Sec 1, Taichung City (台中市華美西街一段85號). Tomorrow at 10:30pm at B1, 507, Jhongshan 2nd Rd, Cianjin Dist, Kaohsiung City (高雄市前金區中山二路507號B1)
Admission: NT$300 for each show
On the Net: www.myspace.com/thedolittles or search for “The DoLittles”
The band took fans into account in producing Earthquakes. “When we selected songs for the album, it was partly based on how much the crowd likes it, and how popular the songs are,” said lead singer and songwriter Andy Goode in an interview earlier this week.
Goode, a Brit who has been in Taiwan for five years, says he also wanted to convey the “energy” of the band’s live shows through the album. “I think that as band we’re a bit rough around the edges sometimes ... but our strength is that we can emotionally connect with the audience.”
The DoLittles also appear in Taipei on March 26 at Roxy Roots and March 27 in Taichung at 89K. These shows are also a rare chance to catch the band with Robison, who already moved back to Canada but has returned to Taiwan for a few weeks to help the band promote Earthquakes.
As the band’s lead guitarist, Robison offers another description of what to expect at their shows: “We have a big sound. We try to be as big as possible without forcing people away. Some people say we have a ‘Wall of Sound’ — you know, it just hits you.”