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Shin - Xin Yue Tuan 信乐团

Shin ( 信乐团; simplified chinese ) (pinyin: Xìn yuètuán) are a Taiwanese five-man rock group who made their debut in 2002. The origin of the band’s name can be traced to the group’s lead vocalist, Xin Yue Tuan. Other members of the band include the guitarist Chris (孫志群), bass player Chris (曉華), keyboard player Tomi, and the drummer Michael.

The lead vocalist Shin has a very deep, clear and penetrating voice predominantly lacking from most Chinese singers , thus making the band stand out in terms of stature. Shin’s music is loud, wild, and expressive, which differs from the largely dominant style of pop music in the Asian and Chinese music world.

Apart from Shin’s home market of Taiwan, the band also have fans in Mainland China, Hong Kong and among overseas Chinese.

On July 20, 2007 the lead vocalist Shin parted ways with the band and officially went solo.
The remaining members are currently in the process of seeking for a new vocalist to front the band.

There is very little information about Shin on the internet, so this is what we have from our own research:

The picture opposite is of Shin performing solo in Beijing in 2007, after a stunning show in Shanghai days earlier. This song is in Mandarin and one of our most played tracks of all time. Shin is accompanied by talented erhu player 周蓉.

This track features a wonderful introduction using the Erhu (Chinese bowed instrument), whilst the song itself is heart-rending! We know it as "ni hao" or "Hello", and the chorus basically means he doesn't know how to say 'Hello' to a girl he really likes.What is most compelling is the instruction to him to let the crowd sing the chorus - watch and wonder why we need words to understand one another.
Image: Shin solo live in Beijing
Click for video 信-2007平安夜北京-片断3

One Night in Beijing - One Night in 北京 信乐团

Shin as a group are best known for their enduring song entitled "One Night in Beijing", which is one of the most searched for Chinese songs on the internet. It is a standard in any karaoke room, and probably the most famous song in Canton.
Image: Shin - Click to Play Video
  A standard rock song all Chinese know very well, featuring Xin Yue Tuan on vocals. The band is named after him (Shin = Xin). The song feature a chorus sung in falsetto, which parodies Beijing Opera

One reason this song holds our fascination, is that whilst Shin are from Taiwan, the song is sung in Mandarin and uses a very flowery language when directly translated. The problem, as highlighted by the KTV captions, is that to really understand what this song is about, you need to translate the Cantonese characters
Click for a copy of the words in pinyin (Chinese written in English), or download the Word file here

It is like a song within a song - which is probably why it holds our fascination throughout the years (Just as Beyond do). Snapshot of what this song is really about:

I am a Hong Kong boy and I went to see the Capital City, Beijing. Everything is strange and smells different. They do not speak my language, and I am not sure I understand what is happening here. I 'go around', see the sights, meet people and make new friends - and also drink too much liquor. I miss my home, and everybody wants to take my money. The girls are not as pretty as those at home, but seem to have less scruples. I am directed by an old woman to meet a beautiful girl, usually translated as 'Flower' (Old woman means: Brothel-keeper, and Flower means: 'A lady of the night'. The next thing I know, it is morning and I am cast out on a strange street. I am lost, and now in love with a girl I cannot find again - and I have lost all my money. It is time for me to go home ... but I always will remember 'One Night in Beijing'!

And so do I...

The falsetto parodies Beijing Opera, and is generally more of a modernist political statement - something I will not go into here, as this thinking does not interest me at all. However, it also questions the Traditional vs Modern Chinese values - something we should all question. This section was actually written with Cantonese 'Yue' Opera in mind originally, but please note the Sichuan Opera skill of 'Changing Faces' has very great importance for those seeking other meanings of the lyrics

You need to speak Cantonese to understand this song, and your starter will be in Jyutping (Cantonese version of pinyin). I have given you some pointers: 'Hua and qing' actually mean language and money respectively. 'Flower' and 'Old Lady' are extremely important, and if you ignore the real meanings of these two words, you will never understand this song!

Cover Versions

We doubt any song has been covered as often, and with such wide diversity of talent. Here are a few of our favourites:

There is also a very good version of this song by Chris Lee, which features traditional Chinese instruments to great effect, especially for the introduction. Search YouTube for her concert in Italy - or find it here on YouKu (Move the playbar to the last characters: '< >' at the end of lower captions) - it is about track 10! This concert begins with her version of the Cranberries 'Zombie', which is very well worth listening to.

There are numerous versions of this floating around the internet.
i. Another good one is by the guy in an apron aka 'Super Woman' - you'll know it when you see it, or use this link.
ii. For an excellent and haunting Jazz version go here
iii. This one has me in stitches, and features Netizens = 3 likely lads and a girl, which you can find here.
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