One festival finishes, another begins. Last night was the final of three ear-splitting nights of some of the best rock Taiwan has to offer down at Huashan, and it was the big name night, with Taiwan’s INXS, China Blue playing headline, while everyone screamed “伍伯”, Wubai, the name of the singer. It wasn’t as good for me as Friday, which was younger bands playing alot harder stuff, more like a night at the Espy. But three days of seeing bands I think has given me an idea of what Taipei’s scene is like, and also where to go this weekend.

Across the sea in Kuala Lumpar, bands from all over, Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia are getting ready to play the very long-titled tranz-regional music festival in mid-December. Bands playing are 蒼蠅楽隊 The Fly, from China, 荔枝王 King Lychee, from Hong Kong, 林强 DJ Stingray (taiwan), 臭皮匠 CPJ (Singapore), NEVADA#51 (South Korea) and Furniture, 浪氓 Lang Mang and 孬 nao from Malaysia.

“It’s always good to create an alternative platform. The aim of this festival is to help build the audience for creative-minded music and to also provide an outlet for the do-it-yourself (DIY) culture to cross over to the mainstream,”said Mak Wai Hoo, the main man of Soundscape Records, before adding, “together with the profile of the Asian bands and the Malaysia groups involved, this festival has enough appeal to blur the (Chinese) language barrier and allow mainstream rock fans an opportunity to discover a new scene.” Soundscape Records organised the successful Street Roar festival in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year, and the TRSIMF is a continuation of the label’s effort to nurture a vibrant live scene where experimental bands and the more established names can co-exist. “Besides the gigs and releases, the Chinese indie scene is fortunate to have two major festivals this year –Street Roar for the local bands and now this upcoming event (TRSIMF) –that is set to spark a regional exchange of forward-minded bands. Everything for this festival was done through indie networking and it shows that a creative community can make things happen,”he added.