SINGAPORE - Live Chinese music entertainment, with performers dressed in campy outfits belting out popular Mandopop and Cantopop numbers, is making a comeback.
At least three new live Mandopop nightclubs have opened in the past year and one established club is seeing renewed interest in such entertainment.
Show opened its doors at Bugis+ last month, while The Shavencat in Tanjong Pagar has been entertaining Mandopop fans since June.
At Middle Road, Allurez has been doing brisk business since it opened in the middle of last year.
Even five-year-old Shanghai Dolly at Clarke Quay, one of Singapore's longest-running mainstream Mandopop clubs, has seen business pick up.
Mr Gordon Foo, 32, coordinating director of operations of St James Holdings, which owns Shanghai Dolly, notes a 15 to 20 per cent increase in sales at the club in the past two to three months.
He says: "Interest in live Mandopop entertainment really started when our (now defunct) Mandopop club Dragonfly opened in the mid-2000s. Now, we're seeing a renewed interest.
"In the last three years, we've seen many televised singing competitions from Taiwan and China, such as The Voice Of China and One Million Star, which are popular among Singaporeans, so I think the audience is exposed to Mandopop culture again."
Live Mandopop entertainment took off for a while in 2005 and 2006, when Dragonfly - anchored by headline acts such as William Scorpion, the undisputed king of Chinese pop singers in Singapore - became the go-to nightspot for Chinese music.
In its heyday, the club pulled in an average of 40,000 patrons a month, but closed in 2012 when its appeal fizzled out.
Other live Chinese music nightspots, such as Firefly at Marriott Hotel and Babyface discotheque at One Fullerton, both of which opened in the mid 2000s, also did not survive beyond a few years.
Now, the Mandopop scene is seeing a revival, with new clubs hiring singers and dancers from Taiwan to woo a more affluent clientele of working professionals.
At the three newer clubs, most of their foreign entertainers hail from Taiwan. The owners explain that Taiwanese singers and dancers are known for their vocal skills and are just as popular as performers from China and Hong Kong.
Mr Zorro Ho 33, one of the four owners of Allurez, says the demand for Mandopop entertainment "has always been there" and it is just a matter of coming up with "a new way to experience it".