Band 911 feels at home in return to Việt Nam

September 21, 2023 - 16:36
British band 911 returned to Việt Nam to perform at the UK Festival in Hà Nội and HCM City together with some young artists. Việt Nam News reporter Lê Hương chats with band members Jimmy Constable and Lee Brennan about their feelings and plans.

British band 911 returned to Việt Nam to perform at the UK Festival in Hà Nội and HCM City together with some young artists.

Việt Nam News reporter Lê Hương chats with band members Jimmy Constable and Lee Brennan about their feelings and plans.

Jimmy Constable (left) and Lee Brennan of band 911. Photo Courtesy of the embassy

- How do you feel on your fourth trip to Việt Nam?

Jimmy Constable: For me, it’s an amazing change here whenever we come back to Việt Nam. Every trip I go back from Việt Nam to the UK, I often tell my family how beautiful the place is. I keep saying that I would bring my wife and children back here. Everything is incredible.

We are very lucky to see lots of differences in Việt Nam. From the first visit to now, it’s such a great change. From the fan point of view, now a lot of people recognise our songs and recognise us as people in collaboration with Đức Phúc. I enjoy everything here.

Lee Brennan: Yeah, very excited to be back in Việt Nam for the fourth time and twice in one year is quite unknown for international artists to come back twice in one year. And especially to do more collaborations as well. At the UK festival we're looking forward to working with young talented artists. That's always really exciting for the connections for music in general between the two countries. And it's just nice to see everybody again, see the fans, meet the media and we just got to really enjoy it even more so and it feels like our second home at the moment.

- Will you bring anything special to Việt Nam this time?

Jimmy Constable: So coming back to Việt Nam is always a fantastic opportunity for us. The exciting things that we've got coming up obviously are from a music point of view is collaborations. I believe we are the only international artists to have to collaboration with Vietnamese artists. We have opportunities and we are looking for ideas and collaborations with young artists. So at the minute, we're working on a project with female Vietnamese artist with our next song. Just any opportunity that brings us back to Việt Nam is good enough for us.

Lee Brennan: And also to add to what Jimmy said, I think our collaboration with Đức Phúc, with Đông Nhi, "I do", has brought a younger audience in Việt Nam, and also this young audience teaches us a lot about social media. Tiktok. A lot of dances on Tiktok and things and this is a new thing for 911 because in the 90s there was no social media so now it's exciting that we learn from the younger fans in Việt Nam to kind of bring the old with the new and the modern artists with the young up and coming talented artists and yeah just sharing our work with everybody again, thank you.

They enjoy bún chả (vermicelli with grilled pork) at a restaurant in Hà Nội. Photo Courtesy of the embassy

- How do you think that your trip this time will support the friendship between Việt Nam and the UK?

Jimmy Constable: I think the friendship between the two countries is vital. And obviously its getting even stronger. Over the years, as we've heard from the UK embassy, they're talking about, you know, things like the economy and that side of it. Obviously, we can only speak on the music side, from our point of view. I think, as we spoke earlier, social media has a huge impact on youngsters and their music, and the talent growing up. I think the main thing that is great for us is the relationship with the two countries regarding being able to come over here. We can bring British ideas and we can learn Vietnamese culture, even food, and I have had the pleasure of having lots of street food and I love it. My favourite is chicken for chicken phở. Yeah, I think it's, you know, from both countries, we can learn a lot from each other. And especially for us. From the music side of things, we're learning that there are some talented Vietnamese artists out here, who we are going to collaborate with.

Lee Brennan: Football. Yes, the connection with Manchester United. That's a big one for me and also spike. Big Manchester United fans. I know Manchester United is the biggest team in Việt Nam. It's my favourite as well... Liverpool... Yes, it's exciting to hear how most people already love the Premier League.

- What will you tell your friends back home about Việt Nam if you are asked?

Jimmy Constable: Well, for me personally, every trip that I come back from I tell my wife and children about how beautiful this place is. As we've said, we've had many opportunities to visit different places in Việt Nam as people have seen in the musical video. But I think just in general, every time I go back, I think they're very jealous. So I will at some point, bring my wife and children here and show them this amazing place.

Lee Brennan: Like Jimmy said, Phú Quốc Island is amazing to visit. I just tell everybody about the people. How kind, generous and just kind of chilled, just helping people really. I could live over here because I like the peacefulness of the people, we feel that when we visit Việt Nam and speak to our fans and just see the people in general. It's a special place. VNS