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ALTERNATIVE DAY OUT

Leaders of the Brit pop movement Suede headline next month's Sonic Attack festival

The music event known as Sonic Attack returns to Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Bitec) on August 4 for a second year though this time round, it's ditching the heavy metal in favour of alternative rock.

Headlining the festival is veteran British indie band Suede. The 1990's alternative rockers will be joined by 13 Thai bands of the same generation, among them Blackhead, 4 Tao Ther, Proud, Arai Ja, Siam Secret Service, Ornaree, Manote Puttan & The Lamb, Sepia, DJ Suharit, The Must, POP, and Yokee Playboy.

"The concept of Sonic Attack will change every year depending on who is headlining it," says Santi "Freddy" Samithisawad, managing director of Rock N Rolla.

"Next year, it will be Aerosmith and a string of Thai rock bands. Sonic Attack is designed as a music festival for the city.

"We know from out facebook page that the most requested band is Limp Bizkit. We would have loved to have got them for the festival but with only South Korea and Thailand willing to confirm dates for an Asian tour, it was impossible to cover the remuneration," Freddy continues.

"Other requested artists are former Oasis singer Noel Gallagher with his new band High Flying Birds. We bringing them here on September 20. On the American side, it is Aerosmith, Metallica and Guns N' Roses while on the British side it's The Killers, King of Leon, Manic Street Preachers, and Oasis. Stone Roses are on a world tour but again the cost is just too high."

Some fans are disappointed that the second edition of Sonic Attack is only featuring one foreign act while last year's event had three - Anthrax, Death Angel and Hellyeah.

"We needed to launch the festival but having three bands raised costs significantly and, as a result, ticket prices were very expensive. Now we need to build up our fan base and tell fans know that the theme will change every year. What we do guarantee is that the live performances will always be of top quality," Freddy says.

Suede, who released five hit albums over their 10 year career, split in 2002 but reformed in 2010. The current line-up features Brett Anderson on vocals, Mat Osman on bass, Simon Gilbert on drums, Richard Oakes on lead guitar, and Neil Codling on keyboards and rhythm guitar.

Norasate Mudkong, aka DJ Seed, is the festival's music director and selected the Thai artists.

"We were worried at first that some of the Thai bands wouldn't want to get back together but everyone agreed to perform at the event. They'll each be playing a cover of their favourite '90s band as well as their own numbers," says Freddy.

Another change for the 2012 festival is that it's being held indoors rather than outside - Freddy doesn't want it raining on his Bt12 million parade.

"We want Sonic Attack to be like F1 Rocks, the music festival that's tried to the Singapore Grand Prix and which draws fans from all over the region. We have the facilities," he says.

IN THE INDIE SPIRIT

Tickets are Bt1,500 available at Thai Ticket Major (02) 262 3456 and visit to www.ThaiTicketMajor.com.




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