domingo, 5 de mayo de 2013

Hard rockers for the Hard Rock

Bangkok's Hard Rock Café on Siam Square recently celebrated its 22nd anniversary with a party headlined by rock veterans Hin Lek Fai aka Stone Metal Fire that drew even bigger crowds than the management was expecting.

"Our original intention was to put up an outdoor stage in front of Hard Rock Café but the space simply wasn't available," said one of the staff. "We knew a lot of people would turn up because when we asked our 25,000 Facebook followers to name their favourite rock band, Hin Lek Fai won hands down."

The Fallen Versus Fate, a group of local rockers who won the Hard Rock Rising Café Bangkok 2013 contest, entertained the crowd during happy hour, performing "Eight Shot", "White Sail", and "Lady".

The band will now go on to compete in the global Hard Rock Rising battle in London, the winner of which gets the chance to play in six renowned cities and make an album and music video through Hard Rock Records, along with new music equipment and gear valued at $10,000 (Bt290,000).

Hin Lek Fai rocked the crowd with a set of their best-known tracks, among them "Nang Maew", "Soo", "Khang Khao Fai", "Yom", "Sratha" and "Ya Yud Yang".

After the show, we asked general manager James Choong how Hard Rock was faring in Bangkok compared to its branches in neighbouring countries.

"The challenges in each country are different and have to be dealt with at a local level. The Hard Rock is music centric and that is an identifiable factor in any country. It offers a perfect blend between music and home style American fare. We have a unique collection of memorabilia from famous artists ranging from the '60s to present day. Although there are standards as to the décor and colour, each Café is different. No cookie cutter style for us!

"Living up to our motto 'Love All Serve All', we welcome everyone through our door irrespective of their race, religion or career. They have all come for a good time and we work hard so ensure they get the experience."

Does the group have a special marketing plan that has ensured the café's survival for more than 20 years?

"Twenty is not old! The first Hard Rock started in 1971 and that would make it 42 years old. We are still expanding as a group. It started as a cafe and now we have hotels, resorts and casinos. We are always reinventing ourselves as a group and tied to our philanthropic and music activities. Music is universal and philanthropy is love. That is our basic DNA.

"We provide a platform for up and coming band to show case themselves in our Global Battle of the Band with the winner going to London to play in our annual Hard Rock Calling music festival. Who knows, they may end up with a recording contract or sharing the main stage with Bruce Springsteen or Paul McCartney!"

So what are the plans for the next 20 years?

"We are always looking for opportunity to expand and we will continue to do so, if not in Thailand, then somewhere else."
Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul

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