W-inds' fans blow in right direction

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 July, 2007, 12:00am

J-pop dancing group W-inds, who recently made their debut in Hong Kong, say fans here are more enthusiastic than their Japanese followers.

'Whether at the airport or at a concert, our fans in Hong Kong are excitable while our fans in Japan are more timid,' W-inds' Keita Tachibana (below centre) said. 'Hong Kong fans are charged up.'

The group performed at Pop Rock Gala with local stars including Hins Cheung King-hin, rock band Tai Chi, Grasshopper, former Beyond drummer Yip Sai-wing, Ivana Wong Yuen-chi and Stephanie Cheng Yung. The concert, at the Tamar Site, was part of the celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the handover.

Tachibana said the visit to Hong Kong was 'one of the most important trips for W-inds'. Another member Ryuichi Ogata (below right) said it was nerve-racking performing in such a historical event. 'As the only Japanese group to perform at the event I was nervous ... but it was fun,' he said. But it wasn't a flawless performance for Ogata, who fell on the slippery stage.

W-inds, comprising lead vocalist Tachibana and background singers and rappers Ogata and Ryohei Chiba (below left), formed on March 14, 2001 when they were only about 16 years old.

The group were popular in Japan and in Hong Kong, topping the chart of IFPI Hong Kong's best sales of Japanese and Korean releases between 2004 and 2006 with their albums Prime of Life and Bestracks in 2004, Ageha in 2005 and Thanks last year.

On this tour the group were presented with the awards by IFPI Hong Kong and they also introduced their new single, Love is the Greatest Thing.

'It's the first time in Hong Kong and we hope to open some concerts here soon,' Chiba said.

While in the city, Ogata said he developed a taste for century eggs. 'When I first saw it, I wondered if it was really edible. But it tasted really good.'