Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Bali Bali Hey!

It's easy to be complacent about our position at the hub of the punk rock universe here in the Anglophile West. We Brits and them Americans constantly bicker over who invented it and who has the ideological ownership of it, while our near neighbours in Northern Europe actually do all the hard work in keeping it going - out side of it at least. So we might all be surprised to discover that probably the biggest and most vibrant punk rock scene on the whole planet is bubbling away quite nicely all of its own accord on the other side of the globe in the world's fourth most populous country - Indonesia.

And the true kings of that scene - and hence one of the biggest, most popular punk bands on the planet - are a trio of big-quiffed, tattoo-stained rock'n'roll kids called Superman Is Dead. Looking for every bit like a flick-knife wielding street gang from some unhinged South Pacific swingtime gangster flick, S.I.D. are one of those bands that make the cool girls swoon and the slick boys get their names carved into their skin. And heck do they rock.

Formed back in 1995 in the seaside town of Kuta in the south of Bali, the music blasting out of the stereos of the hipster tourists tweaked some primal punk button in three young lads called Boby Kool, Eka Rock and Jrx (although those may not be their birth names) who pretty soon melded what they heard into their own high octane, top fuel version of transatlantic punk, working very much to the post-Clash/Rancid blueprint, via NoFX and Social Distortion, while keeping their own intangiable Eastern feel permeating the proceedings.

After a couple of cracking lo-fi albums on a local inide label, they nudged the attention of the local wing of Sony-BMG, who swiftly signed them to a mutli-album deal, starting with the blistering Kuta Rock City in 2003. Each subsequent release has been a massive international hit right around South-East Asia. They've just started to make a first foray into the Western world of rock with a hefty and extraordinarily well-recieved tour of Australia, so who knows, if they keep up their rollercoaster momentum we could soon see them zig-zagging over towards the supposed family seat of punk rock'n'roll. Or maybe now their scene is so big that it's us who have to go out to pay them a visit.

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1 comment:

  1. woow , i know this one. they are very cool. both in stage and real life. nice people and i proud being they big fans :)