The Boys: Undercover – Live In China

Chinese rock – at their own risk.

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The Rolling Stones were denied playing in China until the early 21st century because the Chinese Ministry of Culture feared they would cause “cultural pollution”.

Even in 2015, the authorities are still paranoid, as The Boys discovered in January when they arrived in China and found that the tour there to promote their Punk Rock Menopause album had been cancelled due to “security issues” (the tour poster, depicting blood spurting from between a manga girl’s legs, didn’t help).

Thanks to resourceful locals, The Boys still got to play three secret shows in former underground bomb shelters in Shanghai, promoted by word of mouth.

The performance on one of those nights, in a bunker which doubled as a studio complex, is captured here, as the venerable punk survivors – still fronted by Matt Dangerfield, Honest John Plain and Casino Steel – court real danger, steaming through their recent material and anthems such as Sick On You and Brickfield Nights with defiant gusto.

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Kris Needs

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!