The genre is often taken to mean English gloom – but a robust hybrid version, taking in everything from local folklore to classic cinema, is flourishing among the art-school introverts of Shanghai, Tokyo and Taiwan

Perched at the edge of Shanghai’s Kaixuan Road, between Tianshan Park’s leafy calm and the imposing weight of the elevated West Yan’an Road metro station, sits Yuyintang Livehouse, a mainstay of the city’s underground music scene. Signposted by the electric glow of a polar bear holding a guitar, this indie music destination – in a city short on such venues – recently hosted the fourth East Asia Shoegaze festival.

Organised by Lulu, guitarist of the Shanghai shoegaze quartet Forsaken Autumn, and Japan-based Luuv Label, this year’s lineup featured an eclectic range of new and known bands from the region, including rising stars RUBUR, Japanese shoegaze royalty Cruyff in the Bedroom and the diffuse Taiwanese dream-pop outfit U.TA.

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