Popular young Johnny’s Jimusho group News gave their first ever overseas “solo” performances in Taipei yesterday. The afternoon and evening shows at the Taipei Arena had been postponed by a day due to the largest typhoon seen in the Taiwanese capital in many years. 26,000 fans forgot any disappointment as the 6-member group descended in a gondola from the 43m high ceiling of the arena. The show also included high-flying wire stunts that got the performers close to the stands, despite the fact that power blackouts had prevented all but the briefest of rehearsals the previous day. Tegoshi Yuya (19) jumped too soon for one stunt and ended up in the seats. He was surprised to be greeted with a chorus of “Daijobu?” (Are you okay?), an indication that many young Taiwanese fans are learning Japanese. During the 2-hour 20-minute show they sang 23 songs including the first performance of their upcoming single “Weeeek”, due for release on November 7. The trip has clearly been a financial success, with the group’s album “Touch” and singles all reaching the top of the local sales charts.
• American pop diva Fergie (32) and acclaimed British newcomers the Pipettes have provided two songs for the TBS romantic comedy series “Hatachi no Koibito. The series stars comedian Akashiya Sanma (52) and Nagasawa Masami (20). The Pipettes’ “Because It’s Not Love”, from their debut album, is the show’s theme tune, and Fergie says she wrote “Pick It Up” especially for her Japanese fans. “Hatachi…” airs on Sunday nights from October 14.