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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Danish band poised to teach Phnom Penh to rock

Danish band poised to teach Phnom Penh to rock

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Eight million Cambodians are expected to watch Michael Learns to Rock on TV on October 19.

T he chart-topping band Michael Learns to Rock is heading to Cambodia for a televised concert on October 19 that organizers say will be watched by more than eight million people.

The concert will be shown on the Cambodian Television Network (CTN) at 8pm.

No tickets are on sale for the pop band's performance in the CTN studios, since sponsors Cellcard and ANZ Royal are giving away 700 tickets to winners of lotteries and SMS-based competitions.

Michael Learns to Rock's most famous single, "Take Me To Your Heart," was a hit in Cambodia, spawning a locally-produced Khmer language version.

"It's a huge event for Cambodia," said Glen Felgate, general manager of CTN. "With this concert we are trying to open the door for international acts touring Asia."

Apart from minor French acts and Jose Carreras - who may not qualify as a pop star - no big-name international bands have performed in Cambodia.

In preparing for the big night, CTN is dealing with music promotion giant Midas, and Felgate hopes to attract more of their clients in the future. Midas promotes international pop stars like Robbie Williams, the Black Eyed Peas and Sting.

Felgate can't see why Phnom Penh should be any different from other Asian big cities like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Ho Chi Minh City, where stars perform regularly.

"It takes a lot of money and a lot of logistical work to arrange a pop concert, but when they are in the neighborhood, there's no reason not to put on a concert in Cambodia," Felgate said.

Michael Learns to Rock made their debut in Denmark more than 10 years ago with the hit single "The Actor" but hit the big-time after moving to Asia, where they have had a series of Number One songs. The band has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide.

For budding vocalists, CTN is also throwing a competition to find the best singer of a Michael Learns to Rock song, and Felgate said the station has received hundreds of entries from fans hoping to win tickets for the ground-breaking show.

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