the world feel our power and love": B.B.*
---By Courtney Donovan
Smith Translated by Ann Lee
The sweet, thoughtful and cute singer-songwriter
finished her set and left the stage. Then, musically,
all hell broke loose. A buzz-sawed explosion of noise
blasted through Taichung's Nunu's Live House, punctuated
by lyrics shouted, spit, snarled, screamed and--just
to throw you off--occasionally sung. A chill went down
my spine; this was old school punk--done right.
Singer and guitarist Hsu Pei's eyes
flashed with challenge and flashes of humour as she
guzzled her Taiwan Beer and dominated the room with
her mic and smoky voice. 'Juice-maker' , the other front
woman, was at first appearance attractive with refined
features and a thin, almost fragile frame. But on stage
her bass is wielded weapon-like with skill and power
and her singing leaves no doubt about her attitude.
Drummer Nico sets a staccato pace and offers up occasional
flashes of hair and sticks.
Asked what adjectives described their
band, Hsu Pei replied "female" ( used a bit
like many women use the English word "chick").
Anything else? "No, just female" was the decisive
reply. Asked the same question, the girl behind the
bar said, "Strong, like a gun."
The music is tight and the lyrics simple
and often anthemic, with the repeated references to
oi! and Japanese act Thug Murder testifying to their
influences. Old school musically they may be, but their
message both is and isn't. Patti Smith summed up much
of the early female punk attitude when she sang "we
go in the men's room, we don't give a shit". B.B.Bomb
isn't invading anything, they're creating their own
territory and attitude that is emphatically not male.
As they put it, "We want to let the world feel
our power and love and to hear what Taiwanese women
have to say."
Around for three years and having toured
in China, Japan, Hong Kong and around Taiwan (and Singapore
in February), this experienced and skilled punk act
is a growing force. On stage they are themselves and
loving it, and it shows--which makes for a great show.
If you like punk or simply a change from the singer-songwriter
style that dominates women's original live music in
Taiwan today, then check them out and--as they put it--feel
More about B.B.Bomb
Website with songs available ( to listen, but not download):
EP: 3(Three) available from Gamaa Music (www.gamaamusic.com
or from Eslite Bookstore, www.eslitebooks.com)