by Gerry Mak in New Music on Wednesday 20 August 2008

One of the quirkiest and memorable bands to come out of the Beijing folk-rock scene was Glorious Pharmacy, an almost too-arty-for-their-own-good avant-jazz acoustic band that were notorious for impromptu puppet shows and ten-minute saxophone freak outs. Frontman Xiao He is the nucleus of the band, and his solo stuff is often much more grounded and accessible, with a distinctive, off-kilter catchiness, He’s voice wavering between a folky croon and an operatic wail. Though he hasn’t released a solo record since his debut, Birds That Can Fly High Don’t Land on the Backs of Oxen that Can’t Run Fast, he’s been busy collaborating with playwrights and underground filmmakers, as well as continuing his work with Glorious Pharmacy.