Wow: Pepsi + Torturing Nurse = WTF?

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pepsibattleofthebandsUPDATE: Unbelievable indeed. This was, of course, an April Fool. As was this. Chortle chortle. 

I've just got back in from dinner and a few drinks with a friend who used to be pretty involved with the noise scene here and have to share this. It's an enormous WTF, but comes on very good authority. Details are still being firmed up, but it's basically agreed in principle.

First up, the unbridled success that was the Pepsi battle of the bands contest last year, has clearly emboldened the fizzy drinks company because, guess what? They're doing it all again. Hooray! Entitled 'Pepsi Battle of the Bands 2: The Voice of a New Generation Ultimate Showdown' (my translation), it seems as if the contest will follow much the same format as last year's show, the one that caused all that fuss. So far, so corporate. But wait, the next bit of news is the really unbelievable thing.

First, catch up on last year's fiasco here.

Now, having read that, set your faces to stunned. Apparently taking on board the criticism of last year's commercial fizzfest, the organisers are trying to reach out to more underground acts that chime better with Pepsi's [quote] 'cutting edge brand' by putting some of the leaders of the alternative scene on in prime-time TV slots as part of the show. Roughly entitled 'Mentor's performance' (it sounds better in Chinese to be fair), the plan is to invite more alternative acts to perform a song each week as part of the overall contest and to then pass judgement on the participating bands. Again, this is similar to what they did last year, except that according to a very well placed source, instead of people like Mayday, they're looking at inviting Torturing Nurse as one of the guests. 

Yes, that's Torturing Nurse of S&M, torture and harsh as fuck noise fame. On prime-time TV. In China. What the fuck? According to a former member of the group, who is considering a one-off reunion for the show scheduled to air in late May, they are in talks with organisers of the Pepsi contest to do an 'anime-inspired' show as part of the 'Mentor's performance' slot. Pepsi are apparently offering the act 'significant amounts of money' for the slot and see the anime twist as a way of getting the group's less harmonious aspects around the censors. 

There's more info on this year's contest here (Chinese only so far) and you can see the 'Mentor's performance' page here (although it simply says 'more details soon' in Chinese at the moment). A date for the performance hasn't been released yet, but it'll be on Hunan TV and should be 'late May' according to my source. They're in advanced negotiations apparently (naturally there are a few questions over exactly what they can perform) and a date should be confirmed 'within the next two weeks'. As soon as I know more, I'll post it up here. 

This poses all sorts of questions, not least can they pull it off? Right now though, I need to go and have a sit down and take all this in. Unbelievable.

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Dude! What's going on?? Local bands at the expo? TN on live TV??? This is all unbelievable. I'll believe it when I see it.

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