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Topics: Music, North Korea

Friday, 18 November 2005

Seminal Glam Rock pioneers, Roxy Music announced Wednesday that they will headline a pop festival in Pyongyang, North Korea next spring. While details are still sketchy at this point, it is believed that the festival will occur sometime in late March or early April. No other performers have been confirmed at this point, but Roxy will definitely be the headlining act.
The band, which consists of ultra-suave front man Bryan Ferry, guitarist Phil Manzanera, Sax and Oboe player Andy Mackay, and drummer Paul Thompson, formed in the early 1970's and quickly rose to stardom. Known as the godfathers of the new-wave, romantic sound, Roxy topped the charts with hits like "Love is the Drug," "Dance Away," "More Than This," and a 1981 cover of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy."
Though they disbanded in 1983 following the release of their famous album, "Avalon," they reformed in 2001 and are currently in the studio recording new material.
They spent much of this past summer on tour, performing in cities that they had either never played in or had not visited in years.
"We went to some really thrilling cities back in the summer....." said Ferry by phone from his house in the English countryside. "....Bonn, Stuttgart, Tienen in Belgium and Horsens, which is in Denmark. I had never even heard of Horsens prior to our gig, but it was cool. It's a charming little city, you know."
Ferry went on to say that the opportunity to play in North Korea seemed odd at first, but then it all made sense.
"Our music has always appealed to a very unique type of fan. Basically, we will play wherever we are wanted. So if it's the most communist country in the world that wants us there, we'll do it. We're like that"
Li-Dong Phem, a spokesperson for the North Korean Department of Culture, said that the entire country is eagerly awaiting the spring pop festival.
"We are very, very eager to have this performance," said Phem. "I must be honest, though, Roxy Music were not our first choice. We really wanted The Big Country to headline the festival, but I just recently found out that their lead singer killed himself five years ago. We don't get much international news here."
When asked what made him choose Roxy Music, Phem said that the idea came from his wife.
"Liu has always had a thing for Ferry and she said the 'Avalon' album makes her hot. So, for me, the choice was obvious. And the price was right."
While Ferry was iffy about going into details about the new album, he did say that it will be the bands best album of new material in nearly a quarter-century.

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