Sugar Plum Ferry

Sugar Plum Ferry


Looking back at Taiwan's indie scene over the last decade, Sugar Plum Ferry stands out as the island's most accomplished postrock act.


Our story begins in 1997, when singer-turned-producer Chang Yu-Sheng was still alive-and-kicking and Taipei-based Ladybug hadn't yet broken loose from the Riot Grrrl genre, and four college students formed their own band with a fumbling start. However, it was not until the frontman, hailing from NTU, missed a rehearsal session that the rest of the outfit discovered their own sound and started to chart their own way towards what would become the anchor of the alternative/post-rock scene in Taiwan.

Several months after this accidental epiphany, guitarist Xiao-Bai (aka Insecteens), bassist Leaf Lee, and drummer Yoz came up with the name Sugar Plum Ferry while shooting the shoot at a Burger King. With virtually no college radio to speak of, they had to rely upon word-of-mouth about their live performances to gain an audience. After playing warm-up act for Groupie and co-headlining with 1976 in numerous gigs and music festivals around Taipei, they gained definitive recognition as the local opening act for Seam and Macha during their 1999 world tour.

Not everything was always so smooth, however. On the eve of their album debut, major frustration hit the band. Bundy K. Brown (of Tortoise/HiM fame), who had expressed mutual appreciation after listening to SPF's earlier compositions on various compilation albums, was unavailable to produce the band, forcing them unexpectedly to look for a new recording engineer. (Fortunately, the fellow with whom they hooker up was an acolyte of Butch Vig!). Misfortune turned into another new start, and in spite of Yoz's departure on a solo career the following year, Missing Something was successfully launched in 2001, leading to critical acclaim.

For the remaining pair of Xiao-Bai and Leaf Lee, the notoriously prolonged search for a capable substitute to replace Yoz reached an unlikely conclusion before their 2003 Shanghai debut featuring the drummer/founding member of Triple Six. This lurching step forward was followed by another 20-month hiatus during Xiao-Bai's mandatory military service. Xiao-Bai's absence made it difficult for his side project (Tin Pan Alley, a math rock sensation led by local legend Huang Wan-Ting, formerly of Ladybug) to promote its first album with sufficient show counts, but fortunately didn't put an end to SPF 's existence.

With drumming coach John Wu and his flutist ex joining the roster, SPF launched a series of comeback concerts in 2005. When Icelandic collective Mum came in need of a Taiwanese band good enough to share the stage, to whom else would they turn but SPF?

Thank you for reminding me (White Wabbit Records), the highly anticipated second album by Sugar Plum Ferry, was recorded right after Xiao-Bai and his fellow musicians finished the original soundtrack for Spider Lilies, directed by Zero Chou. This album captured SPF 's creative dynamics with unprecedented accuracy. Its success confirmed SPF's position as the foremost post-rock act in Taiwan, and has created great anticipation around the band's upcoming musical efforts. Then SPF teamed up with Nike Japan to film a music video of their 4 asia cities music project. In 2008 they held their 10th anniversary concert with 1000 fans participated.

In 2009, SPF added a new member, Guitarist and Synth Player Su and they start the year with a full house show at The WALL Taipei. In this year they also cooperate with world famous graffiti artist Reach in his project with SPORT b. to have an EP - Message Vol.1. After producing and recording their latest Album, in October, SPF participated in the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival. In November, tour with MONO to China.

In 2010, SPF released their eagerly anticipated 3rd Alum - Island On The Ocean Of The Mind. With good reviews from all over the island and China, they had a Taiwan and China tour and receiving about 5000 audiences for that tour, and achieved remarkable success. In September, they participated in the Eslite Rooftop Festival as the headliner of the third day and had a great time with over 1000 audiences enjoy their music.

Festival Invited:

Spring Scream Festival (Taiwan, Kenting)
Formoz Festival (Taiwan, Taipei)
Megaport Festival (Taiwan, Kaohsiung)
Eslite Rooftop Festival (Taiwan, Taipei)
Music Terminal Festival (Taiwan, Taoyuan)
Taipei Summer Rock Festival 2008 (Taiwan, Taipei)
Taiwan Band Festival (Taiwan, Taipei)
Autumn Tiger Festival (Taiwan, Taipei)
CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival 2009 (NY)
Amnesty International Small Places Tour 2008 (Taiwan, Taipei)
2010 South East Asia Tour (Taiwan, China, Hong Kong)


Island On The Ocean Of The Mind (2010)
Thanks for Reminding Me (2007)
Lack of Something (2001)

10th anniversary tour single (2008)
Message Vol.1 (2009)
SPF Rooftop Festival Limited Edition EP (2010)

Compilation Albums:
Red Sound Rock 2 (1998)
Red Sound Rock 3 (1999)
Good to be a Band (1999)
Happy Play Band 3 (2000)
Wrap a Bandage on the Wound 2 (2001)
Red Sound Rock 5 (2002)
Candy Rain Movie Soundtrack (2008)

Spider Lilies Movie Soundtrack (2007)