Fri, Dec 17, 2010 - Page 13 News List

The only way is up

Indie rock band 1976 tops off a successful year with shows in Taipei tomorrow and Taichung on New Year’s Eve


Indie band 1976 is ready to catch the next wave.

Photo Courtesy of Sony Music

Fans of rock band 1976 have two more chances this year to see the band perform live: the indie-rock institution, which recently broke through to the mainstream, performs tomorrow at Riverside Live House (西門紅樓展演館) and headlines a New Year’s Eve concert in Taichung.

Founded in 1996, the band released four albums through three different indie labels from 1999 to 2006 before signing with Sony BMG in 2008. Following its second Sony release, Manic Pixie Dream Girl (不合時宜), the group beat out Golden Melody darling Sodagreen (蘇打綠) to net the Best Band Award this year.

After pocketing the gong, the band embarked on its first countrywide tour last month.

“We’re glad to receive the mainstream recognition,” front man and vocalist Chen Ray-kai (陳瑞凱, aka Ah-kai, 阿凱) told the Taipei Times last week. “I’ve always felt that indie music is not about taste. Rather, it’s about the state you are in and how the advertising budget is spent.”

The band’s name comes from the birth year of its two founding members. Chen played in a cover band with guitarist Zac Chang (張崇偉) in high school and the two decided to start their own band and create original music.

Drummer Warren Lin (林雨霖) joined in 2001 for the band’s third album, Encourage With Love (愛的鼓勵), and bassist Lin Tzi-chiao (林子喬), the youngest member, joined in 2006.

The band’s layered rock sound — often described as “Brit rock” — and poetic lyrics ranging from romantic musings to existential contemplation have garnered it a devout following, especially among college students.

The band’s literary leanings can be witnessed in its recent single, Sail to Neverland (世界盡頭), which combines soul searching and romantic yearning.


WHAT: 1976 concert

WHEN: Tomorrow at 8:30pm

WHERE: Riverside Live House (西門紅樓展演館), 177 Xining S Rd, Taipei City (台北市西寧南路177號)

ADMISSION: Tickets are NT$500, available by calling (02) 2370-8805 or online at or at

On the Net:

WHAT: 2011 Encourage With Love New Year’s Eve Concert (2011年愛的鼓勵跨年演唱會)

WHEN: Dec. 31, from 7:30pm to midnight

WHERE: CMP BLOCK (勤美誠品綠園道正後方), 257-2, Jhonggang Rd Sec 1, West District, Taichung City (台中市西區中港路一段257之2號)



“This song is about the changing world and the desire to go on a journey. The lyrics are about a man and a woman who depart from Norwegian Wood to go to Kafka on the Shore,” Chen said, referring to the work of Haruki Murakami, one of his favorite authors.

The chief owner of Kafka on the Shore cafe (海邊的卡夫卡) in the Gongguan area for five years, Chen has utilized his management experience and musical interest to help arrange events such as the Urban Simple Life festival.

The group is planning to release a new album in March next year.

“I’m going to have my first child soon. There’s also the recent election results and the Golden Melody win,” Chen said. “A lot has happened to stimulate new ideas for the next album.”

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