Fri, Jan 13, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Music: Back to the 1990s

Influential post-rockers Sugar Plum Ferry will play rarely heard tracks tonight at Legacy Taipei

By Catherine Shu  /  Staff Reporter

Sugar Plum Ferry performs tonight as part of a series of concerts celebrating 1990s rock at Legacy Taipei.

Photo Courtesy of Sugar Plum Ferry

Founded in 1998, Sugar Plum Ferry (甜梅號) is one of Taiwan’s best-known and most influential post-rock bands. It will perform tonight at Legacy Taipei as part of a concert series celebrating 1990s rock.

The band’s set list will include rarely heard tracks from its out-of-print debut album Lack of Something (是不是少了什麼), as well as a brand new, unrecorded song that doesn’t even have a title yet. The band is currently working on its next album and hopes to release it by the end of this year.

“Our older songs, including the ones from our first album, were a bit more simple in form. Our new songs are more complex and the beats are almost mathematical. It’s unique and something we’ve never done before,” says Sugar Plum Ferry drummer John Wu (吳孟諺).

Tonight’s performance will include fan favorites like One Person’s Sewer (一個人的水道), along with lesser heard tracks like Paranoia Dissertation (偏執狂的論文) from Lack of Something. Wu says the band only performs the latter song about three times per year.

Over the past 15 years, Sugar Plum Ferry’s sound has become increasingly complex, says Wu. The band is known for lush, multi-layered arrangements that can veer from soothing to discordant in the same track.

“I think the first album’s sound was purer and more direct,” says Wu. “Everyone’s way of thinking has started to mature and we’ve begun to experiment with new things in our new arrangements, designing small details and placing them into the music.”

“After people listen to our music, we want them to remember the form of the song,” adds Wu. “We want to make sure they aren’t like, ‘oh, that was nice to listen to,’ before forgetting what it sounded like.”

Performance Notes

What: Sugar Plum Ferry (甜梅號)

When: Tonight at 8pm

Where: Huashan 1914 Creative Park (華山1914), Center Five Hall (中五館), 1, Bade Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市八德路一段1號)

Admission: Tickets are NT$500 at the door and $400 in advance, available at ERA ticketing outlets, online through and and at 7-Eleven ibon kiosks

Over the past decade and a half, post rock has developed a large fan base in Taiwan, with bands like Sugar Plum Ferry, Aphasia (阿飛西雅), Ladybug (瓢蟲) and Tin Pan Alley (錫盤街) gaining a devoted following.

Wu says one of the reasons post-rock is so popular is because each track leaves plenty of room for the listener’s own interpretations.

“We don’t have lyrics, so our songs aren’t about who loves who, and who doesn’t love who, and what so-and-so is doing,” says Wu. “Post-rock gives people space for their imagination and a place for their own stories.”

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