Tiny Australian town to host Daft Punk album launch

Daft Punk, an electronic music duo consisting of French musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter.

SYDNEY: A remote farming town known as the "Cotton Capital of Australia" is set to hit the global stage next month after French electro-pop duo Daft Punk picked it for the global launch of their new album.

Wee Waa, with a population of just 1,653 about 500 kilometres (310 miles) north-west of Sydney, will host the official launch of Random Access Memories -- Daft Punk's first album in eight years, local officials said.

The album will be released on May 21 but it is set to be played for the first time anywhere in the world at an exclusive 4,000-ticket party at the annual Wee Waa agricultural show on May 17.

Daft Punk themselves will not be attending, but the Wee Waa Show Society are claiming it as a major coup for the event, whose highlights are usually a pet show and wood-chopping contest.

"This year's event will be highly anticipated with the announcement of Daft Punk, a French band with millions of fans worldwide, having chosen the Wee Waa Show to become the official global site for the launch of their new album," the region's tourism authority said.

"The Wee Waa Show will host a playback of the new album to a packed audience for the global launch party. It is expected people will travel from far and wide to attend the show."

Ticket sales will be handled by The Crossing Theatre in Narrabri -- the nearest sizeable town -- and go online this Friday at a mere Aus$35 (US$38).

Members of the Wee Waa Show Society will be guaranteed a ticket to the official Sony Music event, which is being described as an "album playback show" because the French outfit will not be present or performing live.

"We're still pinching ourselves. We don't know why, but why not?" society president Brett Dickinson told ABC radio.

"They just wanted somewhere that was different to what Daft Punk does. They're known for breaking down barriers and being creative and Wee Waa is uniquely Australian so they just said lets go to Wee Waa."

Narrabri Shire mayor Conrad Bolton added: "What the band wanted to do is capture Wee Waa and the surrounds and the people, and they want to feed that into their video release and then beam that out on the night."

According to Rolling Stone magazine, the band of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter chose Wee Waa after reading about the Australia Telescope Compact Array, a collection of six radio astronomy dishes near Narrabri.

Formed in 1993, the Grammy Award-winning group are a major force in the French house music scene and are known for their elaborate, costumed live shows.





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