Fri, Jun 25, 2004 - Page 18 News List

Foreign bands get their chance to shine

By Max Woodworth

A big-hair day for rockers Sex Machine Guns.

PHOTO COURTESY OF TRA

The summer's two major rock festivals have finally confirmed most of the billing for this year's overseas acts and it looks like the organizers have taken several large steps toward making their respective events international in flavor.

The Gungliao Ho-Hai-Yan Rock Festival, which takes place between July 16 and July 18, scored probably the biggest hit this year by bringing in the John Spencer Blues Explosion to headline the event's third day, which will feature only international bands on the main stage.

Other bands set for that day are Andrew W.K. and Dirty Three, both from Australia. The best part about the Ho-Hai-Yan festival, which will have some of Taiwan's most famous pop rock acts on the first day and a day-long battle of the bands on the second day, is it's entirely free. And being on the beach at Fulong in Taipei County is a plus as well.

The other major festival this summer, the Formoz Festival slated for July 30 to Aug. 1, has already confirmed all the foreign bands that will play this year. The Taiwan Rock Alliance, the organizers of the event, promise another eclectic event by bringing in American Analog Set, Club 8 from Sweden, Primary Shapes from Hong Kong and six bands from Japan: Sex Machineguns, Ra:IN, eNVy, The Vickers, Pinkloop and Sobut.

The Taiwanese headliners of the festival will be Sticky Rice (糯米團), Sandee Chen (陳珊妮), Chen Sheng (陳昇) and Tizzy Bac.

In a first, this year's Formoz Festival will include a fourth stage exclusively for local electronica bands, which have been popping up like mushrooms over the past couple years.

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