Authentic Belgian Pub Inside South Gate

Xianese Magazine reviewed The Belgian Bar in the March 2011 issue.

Download PDF: Xianese Review of The Belgian Bar, Xian

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Vedett IPA on tap at The Belgian Bar, Xian!!!


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Paul Helsby photographs The Belgian Bar, Xian

belgian bar xian china

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Belgian Bar Xian Sponsors Soccer Tournament

Soccer Tournament Belgian Bar Xian

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MONOCLE Magazine visits Xi’an, Drinks at Belgian Bar!

The Belgian Bar in Xi’an was proud to host the team from MONOCLE Magazine for drinks mid-March. We enjoyed many Duvels, Tripel Karemeliets and Vedetts while discussing the future of Xi’an and what it feels like to be an expat living in this fast-developing metropolis in North West China. Their visit was facilitated by the Municipal Government of Gaoxin District and the Xian International Business Forum (XIBF).


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Interview with Ali from Ali’s Rock Band

Ali from Ali’s Rock Band is a regular live music act performing at The Belgian Bar, Xi’an every Friday and Saturday night. An exceptional live performer and guitar genius, Ali has been described as The Chinese Jimi Hendrix, yet despite his massive following he is largely unknown outside of Xi’an, a situation not dissimilar to the life story of Rodriguez (Cold Fact, Sugarman, etc.)

This interview with Ali was conducted at The Belgian Bar, Xi’an in March 2014.

Today we bring you our exclusive interview with Xi’an’s very own old man of rock and as you will see we call him old not because of his age but due to his status as a local rock music pioneer!


Hello Ali, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by The Belgian Bar blog.

Q: We can all see that you are an extremely talented guitarist. How old were you when you started to play guitar?

A: I started to play guitar around 1990, I wrote my first song in 1991.

Q: Why guitar and not another instrument?

A: Guitar is very creative and great for performing. I think it is also quite emotional instrument, also can be free-style with a lot possibilities. It’s easy to take with me, so suits me well.

Q: When did you start to perform as a rock artist?

A: In 1991 I started my first band called Ye Zhan Pai (Field Army Team). I was the lead guitarist and singer, since that time I started to play rock music.

Q: Sometimes we get to hear your own songs, which we all love. What artists have been your greatest musical influence?

A: In China, Cui Jian and Luo Dayou are my favourites, overseas, the music from the 40s to 90s has influenced me a lot, I listen to a lot of their music and I am crazy about the foreign bands of those times.

Q: Where do you see the future of rock music in China?

A: It is just started, I feel now we have chance to express our true feelings, so I feel good about the future.

Q: Before becoming a regular feature of The Belgian Bar, which famous early bars in Xi’an did you play at?

A: Before The Belgian Bar I played at Music Man every weekend until it closed.

[Jano's Note: It was in fact at Music Man that I met Ali for the first time. He was the last act of the night and all the customers would wait for him to finish before going home. Music Man was the first live music bar in Xi'an and I used to go there often while we were building The Belgian Bar as Music Man was on the other side of the city wall, unfortunately Music Man is gone now due to the redevelopment outside of the South Gate, but they were the pioneers of live music in Xi'an.]

Q: You have been described as the Chinese Jimi Hendrix because of your passionate playing style. What do you think?

A: I’m so glad they say so, it’s a big honor and I will do my best!

Q: You are not a traditional rock star, we never see you drinking alcohol or flirting with girls. What is the secret of your self-control?

A: I need to put all my energy on one thing so I have to keep myself concentrate and live simple and pure. As you know I have a religion and I believe this makes a difference.

Q: Finally, do you have any words for your fans here in Xi’an?

A: At the end I want to thank all of you for supporting me and I will offer play more good music for you in the future and wish everyone the best!

Thank you Ali, we look forward to many more enjoyable nights listening to your hard rock music at The Belgian Bar!

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