Their Cards Right,
--- By Don Quan Translated
by Annie Liu
full house (n.) - in a standard poker
game, a hand consisting of three-of-a-kind and two-of-a-kind.
Full House (n.) - a Taiwanese rockabilly
trio considered to be one-of-a-kind.
Modern-day rockabilly has never been-save for Brian
Setzer/The Stray Cats-in the mainstream of popular music.
Even more unusual is that a Taiwanese group called Full
House pursues this form with all the authenticity and
earnesty of American rockabilly heroes of the 50s. Based
in Tainan, this trio (Akira - guitar/vocals, Kyohei
- slap-bass/vocals, Bambi - drums/vocals) is one of
only a handful of rockabilly bands on the island.
The group formed about two years ago
and has since released a six-song eponymous CD. Their
live repertoire includes originals, as well as covers
of rockabilly greats (Eddie Cochran's '20-Flight Rock',
Buddy Holly's 'Oh Boy') and even surf music (The Chantay's
'Pipeline'). The band's reverence for American roots
music only adds to their credibility as a one-of-a-kind
Guitarist Akira was a late bloomer rockabilly-wise,
only discovering Setzer on the Woodstock '99 DVD a few
years ago. That changed his musical path for good, and
he now performs with a Gretsch 6120 (the same as Setzer's
signature guitar). Slap-bassist Kyohei grew up in Japan,
and currently studies at a Tainan university when not
showing off his incredible skills on the upright bass.
Drummer Bambi plays the kit standing up, not unlike
the pioneering rockabilly drummers. The band members
are all quite knowledgeable about many genres of music,
and all moonlight in other bands, but rockabilly is
their first priority. Everything about Full House-their
look, style, attitude and music-qualifies them as the
most authentic band of their genre in Taiwan.
In a country where most folks likely
have never heard of (let alone understand) rockabilly,
one would wonder why these guys do what they do. Their
response is that "It's not about money. We love
rockabilly music". With their attitude and ability,
and just being really nice guys, hopefully it won't
be long until Taiwan gets hip to Full House.