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Bangkok’s bye bye to Boyzone and hello to BTS | The Thaiger Bangkok’s bye bye to Boyzone and hello to BTS | The Thaiger

Bangkok

Bangkok’s bye bye to Boyzone and hello to BTS

The Thaiger

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by Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul and Tim Newton

In a stark reflection in the massive changes in musical tastes, music business models and the spread of world music in the last 20 years, Bangkok has witnessed the passing of one boyband icon and welcomes the next frenzy, all within 10 days.

In both cases, Irish crooners Boyzone and South Korea’s BTS (Bangtan Seonyeondan) end their Asia tour of their latest concert tour. Boyzone members, in their 40s doing a farewell spin around the globe lapping up some residual love of their popular hits from the 90s. For BTS, the 20-something Koreans are on the rise and breaking records as they completely re-invent the music industry’s tired money-making model.

Boyzone’s farewell concert to Bangkok took to the stage minus one member. It was a slightly sad farewell to Bangkok in their “Thank You & Goodnight Farewell World Tour 2019” – at Thunder Dome. Judging by the number of vacant seats both upstairs and down it wasn’t a commercial success and it lacked one of quartet’s powerful vocals after Keith Duffy fell sick and was rushed to hospital.

Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch gamely went ahead with the show as a trio. Boyzone’s lead singer Stephen Gately died in Spain back in 2009.

Bangkok's bye bye to Boyzone and hello to BTS | News by The Thaiger

“Sawasdee khrub. Boyzone has been coming here since 1995, I think. You welcome Boyzone with open arms. You make me feel like I’m home. That’s why the band is here tonight to thank you for the last 25 years. Tonight, you’re going to hear songs from the last 25 years, the songs that you want to hear.”

Only Ronan Keating has stepped away from the group with a successful pop career post-Boyzone.

But this weekend BTS are performing two sell-out concerts at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, seating 50,000.

It’s the last part of their sell-out ‘Love Yourself’ world tour which has broken records as their music, mostly sung in Korean, has broken into western charts and seen the group nominated for two Billboard Music Awards next month – they’ve won two Billboard awards in the past.

The group’s seven members have taken the K-Pop genre, refined it, weaponised social media and broken Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube records along the way. Their concerts sell-out as soon as they’re announced.

So who the hell are BTS? For many music fans over 40 or so the band has snuck under the radar but built an enormous loyal fandom called ‘Army’. They debuted back in 2013 so they’re not an ‘overnight success’. As this video shows, it hasn’t always been easy.

At the American Music Awards last year, whilst there was polite applause and occasional fan screams for Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa, Cardi-B and Camilo Cabello when they entered the arena, the audience went completely crazy when RM, Suga, Jin, J-Hope, V, Jimin and Jungkook walked in. The American music industry bean-counters were wondering what the hell was going on. How could this Korean band have two #1 albums on the top of the Billboard 200 in one year?!? The group even handed out awards at this year’s Grammys.

BTS perform their two final concerts in the ‘Love Yourself’ world tour, tonight and tomorrow night (April 6 and 7) ahead of the launch of their much-awaited ‘Persona – Map of the Soul’ album launched on April 12 and then followed up the next day with a performance on America’s Saturday Night Live program – a maker and breaker of music acts over the past 2 decades.

As of this month, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and BTS each have three videos in the top 40 most-watched YouTube videos – the South Korean band is in good company.

Boyzone closed out their last concert in Bangkok with “Love Me for a Reason”, “No Matter What”, “Life Is A Rollercoaster” and “Picture of You”.

BTS will open tonight’s concert with ‘Idol’ as Bangkok witnesses a changing of the guard in pop music music this weekend.

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ASEAN

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit

May Taylor

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Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | The Thaiger

November 4 and 5 have been approved as official holidays for Bangkok and Nonthaburi as a result of the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits being held at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul confirmed yesterday that the measure was being taken in an effort to alleviate traffic problems in both areas during the summit, adding that other state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand could implement the holidays for their subsidiaries at their own discretion and on a case-by-case basis.

“Government agencies in Bangkok and Nonthaburi will stop working on these dates. Meanwhile, state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand will consider announcing November 4 and 5 as holidays for their subsidiaries on case-by-case basis.”

“However, government agencies which have a necessity to provide urgent or previously scheduled services to their clients that cannot be postponed may stay open on November 4 and 5, depending on the decision by the heads of these departments.”

Some other public or regional holidays coming up…

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Bangkok

Colourful European ecstasy tablets targeting Thai youth

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Colourful European ecstasy tablets targeting Thai youth | The Thaiger
PHOTO:

The Narcotics Control Board are warning about cartoon-character labelled ecstasy pills that are being smuggled from Europe and heading for Thailand and a growing market of younger users. Some of the colourful pills had been cast as characters from Minions movies and The Simpsons.

The Office of the Narcotics Control Board deputy secretary-general Niyom Termsrisook told reporters about the ecstasy pills following the arrest of a woman in Pathum Thani, just north of Bangkok, last week. The woman was arrested with about 28,000 cartoon-character ecstasy pills on October 8. Niyom said they had been tracked back to a European supplier.

“The pills were produced in France and the Netherlands. Drug dealers have also been expanding their markets to south east Asia. The drugs are smuggled through airports in Cambodia and Vietnam.”

“The pills are stored in Cambodia before being smuggled through natural border passages to Thailand.

Niyom alleged the smugglers were victims of human traffickers hired by African traffickers.

He said that local sellers of the ecstasy pills are targeting young pub goers as the drugs have a sex-stimulant property.

A source at the ONCB said a quantity of cartoon-character ecstasy pills was earlier seized at Suvarnabhumi airport in the capital. The pills were smuggled from the Netherlands where they were priced at 60 baht per pill.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Bangkok

Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25

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Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25 | The Thaiger

The State Railway of Thailand and the Charoen Pokphand Group-led consortium are putting pen to paper and signing the contract for the high-speed train project on October 25.

The much-discussed high speed railway will link Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao international airports. The new SRT board was approved by the Thai cabinet today.

Deputy PM Anutin Charnvirakul says he is confident the contract will now be signed, adding that he has already met with Supachai Chearavanont, CEO of the CP group, and assured him of the government’s full cooperation and support.

The Charoen Pokphand-led consortium won the bid to develop the 224-billion baht high-speed train infrastructure as a signature project for the government’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) high-tech investment hub. The train service is scheduled to be operational in 2024 (The Thaiger is taking bets now).

Recently, however, the CP-led consortium raised concerns over land expropriation and eviction problems and asked for the government to share the risk on this issue. The Transport Ministry has already rejected the request putting the onus on CP as part of the proposal.

Mr. Anutin explained that, in any large infrastructure project involving expropriation of land, it is usual for the government or state agency not to be able to hand over the land to the contractor all at once. In such cases, the contracted completion date can be moved back.

He said the CP-led consortium should proceed with the high-speed train project without further delay because 70% of the land is ready to be handed over.

Meanwhile, the deputy PM admits that he didn’t know why the entire SRT board resigned en masse, delaying the signing of the contract, and denied that he had put pressure on the board to quit. He also denied that Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, also of the Bhumjaithai party, objected to the SRT board’s mass resignation because the latter wanted the contract to be signed quickly.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25 | News by The Thaiger

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