Thu, Jun 04, 2009
The New Paper
Super Band's super train ride

by Kwok Kar Peng

THEIR band name - Zhong Guan Xian - refers to the trunk line of Taiwan's railway system.

And what better way to promote their upcoming concert than meeting the media on board a Circle Line train from Bishan Interchange to Kim Chuan Depot and back.

That's how accomplished musicians Luo Da-you, Jonathan Lee, Wakin Chau and Zhang Zhen-yue - collectively known as Super Band - met the local media on Sunday to promote their Super Band concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 18 July.

Before they hopped on the train for the 30-minute ride, there were about 1,500 supporters waiting at the platform to greet them.

'We have taken a plane from (Chinese city) Chengdu to Singapore just to board the MRT!' Wakin joked to the cheering crowd.

It's the first time in 10 years that the popular crooner is taking public transport - his last time was in a Taipei subway train for work.

Jonathan's last experience was five years ago, also in Taiwan.

The 51-year-old recounted animatedly: 'Passengers in Beijing got quite excited when they saw me. They pointed at me and shouted my name excitedly.

'People in Shanghai are more subdued. They would just elbow their friend and whisper as they point at me.'

Apparently, Hong Kong subway passengers are the most blase.

Da-you, 55, took the city's trains just a month ago and said nobody gave a hoot.

The youngest member of the group, Zhen-yue, also had no qualms taking public transport.

The 35-year-old said: 'I usually take the train to the Dong Qu (east of downtown Taipei, where his office is located) in the morning. There aren't many passengers around so I'm not worried about being recognised.'

Wakin added: 'He's now one of the tourist attractions in the Dong Qu!'

Awkward start

However, the press conference got off to an awkward start.

About 40 members of the local media were ushered into the train cabin with the singers.

After a round of photo-taking, reporters were led to the train seats while photographers and videographers were ushered to the sidelines.

In their aim to control the crowd, security guards from Certis Cisco inadvertently pushed the cameramen back.

But after a while, the photographers and videographers were eventually allowed in front of the band to continue taking pictures.

The interview proceeded without any more hiccups.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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