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Jan 20, 2010 (AFP), The singer smashes his guitar to pieces on the stage as thousands of spiky-haired punk fans cheer loudly – a rare display of countercultural exuberance in military-ruled Burma.
At this concert in a land where all song lyrics must be submitted to the regime´s censors, there are no openly anti-establishment messages from either the musicians or the crowd with their dyed blond, blue and red locks.
But as the band launches into the next number, a raw release entitled "I Want To Kill You!", fans moshing at the open-air park in the former capital Rangoon say they want the freedom to express themselves.
"As a punk, I do whatever I want!" says 16-year-old Ko Pyae, dressed head-to-toe in black and sporting smeared black eye shadow – the unofficial uniform of punks and goths all around the world.
"At home I don´t care about anyone. I don´t care about my neighbours."
Rangoon´s vibrant youth music scene is unexpected in a city where the streets ran with blood less than three years ago as the ruling junta crushed massive pro-democracy protests led by Buddhist monks.
But the regime´s thought police still exert their control – even when most bands would rather sing about vague themes of fun, teenage rebellion and relationships than anything political.
Heavy rock group Outsider are in a dingy studio on the outskirts of Rangoon working on their first album – and must submit all their song lyrics to the censors.
"If I want to write something about freedom, if I want to write about the things I want, I can´t write it directly," says drummer and songwriter Thar Nge, stepping over the blankets next to his drum kit that serve as his bed.
"If I want to show something that represents the Myanmar [Burma] people, not just me personally, there´s no way I can do it. If I write that, it becomes political," he adds.
The censors do not stop at politics, he says. Any mention of alcohol, cigarettes or anything else deemed not to conform to the Buddhist nation´s values is struck out.
Bands like Outsider learn to sing in analogies and become masters of euphemism – even though they say they are no trailblazers for democracy and don´t want their music to have any overtly political message.
"We do as much as we can," says Thar, "but we don´t try to change politics. In our heads, we are musicians."
Debbie Stothard, a Bangkok-based pro-democracy campaigner and coordinator of the ALTSEAN-Burma network, said the reluctance of some of Burma´s young musicians to play at politics was a legacy of the system.
Burma has been ruled by the military since 1962 and the regime has cracked down on protesters not only in 2007 but also in 1988, besides locking up hundreds of dissidents.
They include Nobel Peace Prize winner and author Aung San Suu Kyi.
"Young people have been brought up to believe that politics is dangerous and, by being political, they are asking to be locked up, they are asking to lose their job opportunities, they are asking to be tortured and killed," Stothard said.
"But, eventually, everyone gets to a point where they have to sing what they´re thinking."
Music is not the only way of getting a point across in Burma.
Aung is a successful painter whose commercial works sell for hundreds of dollars each, a big sum in this impoverished nation, but he says his real interest lies in conceptual art.
"I live by selling paintings but there´s less freedom with paintings. I make videos and do performance art to express myself. That gives me a sense of satisfaction afterwards," says Aung, not his real name.
One of his videos shows a goldfish swimming in a small glass of water. A hand drops in a tablet that fizzes and sends the fish into a frenzy – when the froth clears it lies floating dead on the surface.
An apparent commentary on the junta´s handling of the 2007 protests – known as the Saffron Revolution after the colour of the monks´ robes – he says that he has drawn fire for cruelty to the fish.
"People have criticised this video because a fish is killed. What about all the people killed here in Myanmar? Why don´t they speak up about that?" he says.
Meanwhile at the end of the punk concert in Rangoon unrest brews, fuelled by cheap beer vendors, as fans throw bottles, try to tear apart the stage and stamp – then urinate – on concert posters.
But there is no sign of any security forces moving in and no chants of political activism – the marauding punks are angry that the band didn´t play an encore.