Spring Scream stalwarts release Kaohsiung MRT video

By Ko Yu-hao and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Sat, Oct 06, 2012 - Page 5

Netizens received a treat on the eve of the Mid-Autumn Festival last weekend when the English band Transition posted the new video of their Chinese song Stay in the Moment online.

Founded in 1997 by Josh and Jess Edbrooke and Niall Dunne, Transition had toured around Europe until their first appearance in Taiwan in the 2005 Spring Scream event in Kenting (墾丁), an event promoting local music and musical creativity that started in 1995.

The band’s first contact with Taiwan had been through the Edbrooke family, who at one time was a host family for Taiwanese students studying in England.

The band members fell in love with Taiwan, its culture and its people, and pledged in 2005 to return every year. In 2009, they stayed in Taipei for over three months.

Unfortunately for the trio, complications — the receipt of money for performing for a church without work permits, giving rise to some tax problems — resulted in the band being found guilty of working illegally.

After a lengthy investigation last year, they were fined NT$90,000 (US$3,070) and barred from entering Taiwan for three years.

Being unable to appear in person, the band posted the video on YouTube on Friday last week, and linked to it on their Facebook page. The video had received 31,000 views by Thursday.

Netizens in Taiwan were impressed with the vocals, and numerous Greater Kaohsiung residents said they were touched to see their hometown show up in the video.

Transition shot the video in Kaohsiung last year.

The band members said they wanted to film in Kaohsiung because they were great fans of the Taiwanese TV drama, Black and White (痞子英雄).

The Chinese-language TV drama was first aired in Taiwan in April 2009 and is known for its extensive use of the Greater Kaohsiung cityscape.

The video features the band playing around a NT$1 million white piano that has been in the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system’s Formosa Boulevard Station since late 2010.

The Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp, the company in charge of the day-to-day running of the MRT, accepts applications from members of the public who want to play the piano.

The company said the piano’s booking rate over weekends and holidays is as high as 80 percent and it is often seen in various TV shows.

According to the Kaohsiung City Government’s Bureau of Cultural Affairs, the band members see Taiwan as their second home, although many of their family and friends in England would not be able to find Taiwan on a map.

That is why Transition made a documentary on Taiwan in 2010, to show their family and friends back home, the bureau said.

However, as the documentary is under contract with the band’s managing company, it is unlikely that it will be shown in Taiwan any time soon, the bureau said.